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Unbroken's avatar

Is it possible eat too much fiber?

Asked by Unbroken (10262 points ) January 29th, 2013

Fiber is good. We have fiber bars, cereal, chews, drinks, and I am certain I am forgetting a product or two.

There is wood pulp or celluolose in fig newtons and other products. Just fiber people, sure we might not be able to digest it, but that is the definition of fiber according to the fda.

I don’t eat these products but I would say that roughly 80 percent of my diet has some quantity of fiber naturally occurring in it.

Is this disproportionate? Should I be eating less fiber? Is there some long term side effect of eating too much fiber?

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8 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

Eating too much fiber can result in cramping, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and intestinal blockage. Adults need about 25 (women) to 38 (men) grams of fiber daily. The average adult only consumes 15 grams daily.

DrBill's avatar

A good rule of thumb is that too much of anything is bad for you.

burntbonez's avatar

It’s hard to imagine having too much fibre. We still have prehistoric digestion systems, and in those times, about all we ate was fibre. Far more than now. Meat and sugars were much less prevalent. It was probably about 99% fiber in the times our digestive systems evolved to handle.

bookish1's avatar

I am pretty sure I eat too much almost every day. At least I never get constipated.

Shippy's avatar

Yes as above, else we are subject to the fart O’Lots. Not a nice disease to have.

syz's avatar

I found this study fascinating. Researchers looking at coprolites of ancient native Americans found thier diet to be 30 times higher in fiber than the modern diet; they theorize that current rates of diabetes in Native Americans may be related to the dietary change.

bookish1's avatar

@syz: Interesting. I wonder if that theory would also hold for other ethnicities that have very high rates of type 2 diabetes in the modern world.
Imagine those researchers trying to pick people up at a cocktail party! Nice to know someone has a research specialty that is even more of a conversation-killer than mine.

Unbroken's avatar

@livelaughlove21 constipation?
@DrBill generally speaking I agree but all things are not created equal and thus we need more or less of various things… also side effects of overindulgence can be more punishing then others.
@burntbonez Actually it’s not difficult at all. Or I guess it was when I was switching my diet but now it seems harder to avoid it then not get enough.
@bookish1 Lol.. Too true.
@Shippy Haha. Actually the body adjusts. Reminds me though. I had a foodie friend fbing, regaling everyone with how great this airport mexican place was beans et al. Later that day he wrote an essay/diatribe detailing the proper etiquette of farting on a plane. I guess his seat mate might have visited the same venue.
@syz that Is interesting. Makes me feel much healthier and better about my unnaturally fiberous diet.
@bookish1 I can’t even imagine how wonderfully edifing the study of corporealites is, I can’t wait to bring it up at dinner.

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