7 side effects of high fiber diet

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Your body needs fiber, but you need to be careful if you are eating a high-fiber diet. Here are the side effects of high fiber diet.

Fiber, a type of carbohydrate, cannot be digested by our body. But it has many health benefits, including supporting your weight loss journey, reducing blood sugar levels and improving gut health. If you have problems such as constipation or diarrhea, you may be asked to include more fiber in your diet to reduce symptoms. Eating a high-fiber diet can help you manage these problems, but there can be health problems if you’re not careful. We tell you the side effects of a high fiber diet.

What is fiber?

The macronutrient carbohydrate is categorized as monosaccharide, disaccharide and polysaccharide. Fiber is one of the polysaccharides derived from plants, shares nutritionist Leena Martins.

Fiber can help prevent constipation. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

There are two types of fiber:

  • Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water. It adds bulk to the stool, which helps prevent constipation. Its sources include the structural parts of plants, such as vegetable and fruit peels.
  • Soluble fiber absorbs water, thickens and forms a gel-like substance in our digestive system. It can help reduce cholesterol levels. Sources of soluble fiber include beans, oats, barley, broccoli, apples and citrus fruits.

Why is fiber needed by our body?

Fiber is eliminated from the body in intestinal waste. It barely adds fuel or energy value to the diet, but it adds volume, preventing constipation or colon cancer, says the expert.

  • Helps maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Insoluble fiber binds to bile acids, reducing the absorption of fat and cholesterol.
  • The majority or volume of fiber in the diet fills the stomach, contributing to the feeling of satisfaction, helping to control weight.
  • Balances intestinal pH and stimulates the production of short-chain fatty acids through intestinal fermentation, which support intestinal health.

What are the side effects of a high fiber diet?

For adults, the daily value for fiber is 28 grams per day, as per Food and Drug Administration. If you eat much more than recommended, it can cause several health problems. Here are its side effects:

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1. Anemia

Anemia, which refers to low levels of healthy red blood cells, can make you feel weak and tired. Too much fiber can hinder iron absorption, leading to anemia.

2. Osteoporosis

High fiber it will bind to the calcium, making it unavailable to the body, says Martin. If you don’t get calcium, you could get osteoporosis, a condition in which a person’s bones become weak and brittle.

3. Abdominal bloating

If you suddenly eat too much fiber, it can cause gas and bloating. This happens because intestinal bacteria ferment undigested fiber in the colon.

Bloating due to high fiber diet
Diet high in fiber can cause bloating. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Mineral deficiency

Increased fiber intake makes it difficult for our body to properly absorb the minerals our body needs. Minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc are affected by consuming too much fiber.

5. Anal fissure

Indigestible fiber and less water intake can cause hard stools, says expert. It can cause an anal fissure, which is a small tear in the lining of the anus.

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6. Constipation

If you have more fiber and less water, your stool can become very hard. This can lead to constipation, a condition in which a person has difficulty passing stool or has bowel movements less than three times in a week.

7. Diarrhea

Eat a lot fiber-rich foods It can not only make you feel constipated, but also cause indigestion and lack of movement. You will feel an upset stomach if your body cannot handle the load of fiber.

If you face these problems, drink more fluids, gradually reduce your fiber intake and practice physical activity.

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