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Can You Eat Too Much Fiber?

Despite overwhelming data touting fiber’s health merits—an estimated 95% of American adults and children are still not consuming its recommended daily amounts.

It goes without saying that dietary fiber is essential for a healthy diet. However, is it possible that you can actually eat too much fiber?

What is Dietary Fiber?

If you are looking for food sources with dietary fiber, look no further than:

  • Whole-grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Simply put, dietary fiber helps:

  • Prevent or relieve constipation/normalize bowel movements
  • Maintain bowel health
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain blood-glucose control
  • Lower cholesterol levels, thus, lowering your risk of heart disease
  • Control some types of cancer

Does Dietary Fiber Affect Gut Health?

As awareness around gut health continues to grow, waking up to the importance of high-fiber foods takes on a greater urgency.

Plant-based, high-fiber foods act as prebiotic food sources for your gut’s microorganisms/microbiota. As more good —and less bad—bacteria develop in your large intestine, gut health is improved.

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

Most Americans consume only 15 grams of fiber per day.

The Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily fiber recommendations for adults:

  • Men:
    • Age 50 or younger: 38 grams
    • Age 51 or older: 30 grams
  • Women:
    • Age 50 or younger: 25 grams
    • Age 51 or older: 21 grams

What Happens if You Eat Too Much Fiber?

Despite its esteemed status as a dietary staple, you can still get indigestion from fiber.

Adding too much fiber too quickly can promote:

  • Intestinal gas (flatulence)
  • Abdominal bloating, and
  • Cramping

Eating more than the recommended levels of fiber too soon can result in you feeling too full to eat other foods, which can interfere with your ability to meet all your nutritional needs (fat, protein and micronutrients).

In addition, overdoing fiber could lead to constipation and—in rare—cases bowel obstruction.

How to Relieve the Symptoms of Too Much Fiber

Some best practices for reducing flatulence when consuming fiber-rich foods are to:

  1. Gradually add fiber-rich foods to your diet
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking water
  3. Prepare dried beans by soaking them overnight to make them more digestible
  4. Do some gentle movement (e.g. go on leisurely walks, or do some gentle stretches)
  5. Avoid carbonated beverages or gum—as they can add air to the gastrointestinal system, which could lead to further bloating and abdominal discomfort

Be sure to speak with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Ultimately, you will feel your best by slowly ramping up to eating well-rounded meals containing a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber.

Is Hero Bread Rich in Fiber?

Hero Bread’s White Bread, Seeded Bread, Tortillas and Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns are rich in resistant wheat starch, which is a type of dietary fiber that acts as a prebiotic (food source) for the good bacteria in your gut.

Hero Bread can be used in many recipes to help you get that much-needed fiber into your daily diet.

But remember to mindfully increase your fiber intake—and with intention.