Eating fibre can keep many chronic diseases at bay but its overconsumption can lead to numerous side-effects from constipation to bloating to low nutritional absorption.
We have all heard that too much of a good thing can be bad for us and this especially is true for healthy food which eaten in excess quantities can be detrimental to health. Consuming too much fibre, for instance, can have numerous side-effects from constipation to bloating to low nutritional absorption. Dietary fibre no doubt plays a key role in normalising bowel movements, lowering cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugar, achieving a healthy weight and basically helping you live longer by keeping many chronic diseases at bay. (Also read: Bored of eating roti every day? 6 easy ways to add whole grains to your diet)
Beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits are all good sources of fibre. The recommended fibre intake for women is 21 to 25 grams while it is 30 to 38 grams for men. Instead of eating a lot of fibre at once, one should break it into several meals. When we eat too much fibre at once, it soaks up water in your digestive tract leaving you dehydrated which in turn can cause a range of digestive issues. If you feel you have overdosed on fibre, increase your intake of water and raise your activity levels to increase your bowel activity.
“Fibre is an integral part of our nutrition system and it has plenty of benefits. Adding fibre to your diet can help in reducing cholesterol, aid in the overall digestive system, help to control blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy weight. However, too much fibre consumption on a regular basis can have certain side effects on your health,” says Gagan Sidhu, Chief Dietitian at Dt Gagan’s Clinic and Managing Director at Gleuhr Skin Clinic.
Sidhu explains 5 side effects of consuming too much fibre in an interview with HT Digital.
1. Stomach issues
From stomach pain to bloating to gas, you can experience a whole lot of stomach issues if you eat too much fibre. The fibre-enriched foods that you consume need proper time to break down and digest in your system. But if you eat too much fibre in a quick span of time, you can end up feeling bloated or even have abdominal pain. So, it interrupts your entire digestive system, and you feel extremely uncomfortable.
Our body requires not just fibre but minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and a range of healthy nutrients. Too much fibre hinders the proper absorption of the nutrients and minerals that our body needs. Calcium, zinc, and iron are some of the minerals that get severely affected by the consumption of too much fibre. Hence you need to ensure that you have been having the right proportion of fibre in your daily meal.
When you feed your body suddenly with a high amount of fibre, it can lead to diarrhoea or loose stools. Often people have experienced stomach upsets after they consume too much high fibre foods like bananas, apples, oats, spinach, tomatoes, and many more.
4. Intestinal issues
Your body must get the time to digest the whole fibre properly. Too much fibre intake can interrupt your intestine and cause intestinal blockage. Especially, when the body is deprived of sufficient water intake, it becomes difficult for the body to digest fibre. It can be a severe health issue, if not taken care of at the earliest. So, make sure that you are having enough water and a limited fibre intake to stay away from such health troubles.
You might be surprised, but too much fibre can lead to diarrhoea and constipation. There are two types of fibre- soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is great for maintaining blood sugar levels but an excessive amount of it can interfere with your digestive system and can result in constipation. If you are having fibre, make sure to drink adequate water and other fluids and keep your body active with some kind of physical activity or exercise.