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Fiber Can Be Bad, Are You Sure?

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:18pm

"Too much fibre might be harmful in some cases for some people?"

Surprising? I bet you will but you are not alone!

I was quite astonished when I first looked at the above statement because we are always being reminded by doctors or dieticians to take sufficient amount of fiber everyday.

Nevertheless, most people just do not consume enough fiber on a daily basis, according to statistics.

People do not take enough fiber either because they do not like food of high fiber (usually not too nice to eat) or they do not keep track of what they eat: just grab whatever available to them during meal time.

Doctors and dieticians observe that people not taking enough fiber likely end up with constipation. For people with severe constipation, adding more fiber into their diet may actually worsen the condition.

When the colon is already clogged up as a result of constipation, adding more fiber into the body will add to the bulk. Therefore, it is better to consult doctor and get some medication to ease the constipation.

Consuming too much fiber-rich food may also cause other problems such as a feeling of bloatedness. This is because gas is produced when the bacteria in the guts break down soluble fiber. This will cause tummy bloat and wind. Cramps and mal-absorption may also occur if substantial amount of fiber is being added to one's diet suddenly.

But how do we know we are taking excessive fiber?

It is simple, for a person of average height and weight, consuming 4 servings of vegetables instead of 2 is considered excessive. For your information, 1 serving equals to three-quarters of a cup of vegetables.

Besides preventing constipation, fiber also has many other benefits:

  • good for our gut as it helps clear unwanted wastes from our body,
  • helps maintain intestinal health and cholesterol levels,
  • improves one's blood sugar levels as fiber-rich food take a longer time to break down into sugar in the body,
  • boosts immune system,
  • reduces risk of heart disease,
  • soothes inflammation in the body.

A high-fibre diet may help prevent colorectal cancer and also make us feel satiated on less, thus helping to refrain us from overeating.

Fiber can be found in vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower and carrots; fruits such as guava and apples; and wholegrain.

The conclusion is:

The problems mentioned above should never be used as an excuse for us to reduce our fiber intake. We should eat the recommended 2 servings of fruits and 2 servings of vegetables on a daily basis but remember not to take excessively.

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