We keep talking about fibre. There are so many diets promoting the intake of fibre.
Well yes, fibre is good for health. It not only keeps the digestive system healthy but also reduces blood pressure levels and lowers the risk of heart problems.
But like every other nutrient, its overconsumption can also cause several side effects, and it’s essential to be aware of these side effects while talking about the importance of fibre.
Side Effects of Eating Too Much Fibre
- Digestive Problems
Excessive fibre consumption can lead to a change in bowel movements. It can cause constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas and several other digestive problems. You may also experience abdominal pain.
- Nutrient Deficiency
Our body needs not just fibre but other nutrients as well. As fibre is a binding agent, too much of it can lead to the elimination of some key nutrients, like calcium, zinc, and iron before the body has a chance to absorb them
- Gastrointestinal Diseases
Apart from common digestive problems like bloating and gas, excessive consumption of fibre can also flare up existing gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.
Which Fibre Is The Best For You?
There are two types of fibre: Soluble fibre and Insoluble fibre. While soluble fibre blends with water in the gut, insoluble fibre does not. Insoluble fibre usually acts as a bulking agent and passes through the digestive system mostly intact. On the other hand, soluble fibre has many metabolic health benefits, like reducing blood sugar levels. Therefore, if you want to increase your fibre intake, you should consume more soluble fibre.
Some examples of soluble fibre include barley, oats, sunflower seeds, guavas, apples, broccoli and cabbage. Insoluble fibre is present in foods, like whole wheat flour, potatoes, kidney beans, chickpeas etc.
How To Intake Fibre Then?
Firstly, make sure to increase fibre or any nutrient slowly in your diet. Do not rush with it.
Secondly, with increased fibre intake, water intake should be increased as well. Therefore, drink plenty of water.
Lastly, understand that each body is different, and just because the world is promoting a high-fibre diet, you don’t necessarily need to follow it. Don’t be misled by dietary trends and try to understand your body and its responses. Consult a dietitian, if needed, to figure out what is the ideal intake of fibre for your body.