Fiber: How much do you need and how much fiber is too much?
Fiber. We need it. Many of us don’t get enough of it. So how much do you need? This can certainly vary from person to person, and some health concerns require more or less fiber. And there is also such thing as too much fiber!
Why do we need it?
Fiber helps bulk stool and make it easier to pass, which is particularly helpful for those with constipation. Fiber can help with loose stool too by absorbing water and forming the stool. Yep, we went right to the poo talk. But it’s not just about poo. Fiber can help maintain a healthy bowel, reducing the formation of pouches (diverticulosis), and reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Fiber also helps reduce LDL cholesterol and can also help stabilize blood sugar.
How much should I be getting?
I often recommend somewhere between 25-35 grams of fiber per day, but this is also dependent on the person and their specific health needs. Most people are falling short of their fiber needs. We’ll talk about ways to up your fiber.
Well how much is too much fiber?
There is such a thing as too much fiber. There are diets that have wreaked havoc on people’s health because it was absurdly high in fiber. Too much fiber overall can cause digestive distress (think: bloating, cramping, diarrhea, or constipation), loss of appetite, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, to name a few. Also, if you increase the fiber in your diet too quickly, and without increasing your water intake along with it, it can cause some digestive issues too. Like most things nutrition, it’s different for everyone so working with a dietitian can help you figure out what’s best for your body.
So how do I get more?
I’ll say it again for those in the back, working with a dietitian can help you figure out if you need a change up in your fiber intake. Maybe you have high cholesterol and could benefit from beta glucans. Or maybe you have constipation and need insoluble fiber. Or you have loose stools and need soluble fiber. Or maybe you just want to know what foods contain fiber. We have compiled a list of foods just for you (scroll to the end to get your copy today!). If you’re looking for some recipes, keep reading for 15 delicious high-fiber dishes.
15 Recipes to Increase your Fiber
Too much is possible, but most people are not getting enough
Yes, too much fiber is possible, but in general, people are not getting enough fiber day to day. According to Harvard Health, on average, Americans are consuming half the recommended amount of fiber, about 10-15 grams per day. If you’re struggling to reach your fiber goals, check out our list of fiber foods!
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.