How much fiber should I eat each day?

February 6, 2024 | 03:29 pm PT
I take in a lot of fiber from fruits and vegetables yet experience diarrhea and bloating. What could be the cause of this, and how can I solve it? What is the recommended daily fiber intake? (Trung Hiep, Bien Hoa)


Adding an adequate amount of fiber to your daily diet brings many benefits to your digestive system and helps prevent constipation.

You did not clarify how much fiber you consume each day and which vegetables you eat. However, one of the unexpected side effects of excessive fiber intake is diarrhea and bloating. If you increase your fiber intake too quickly, fiber can accumulate in the colon and stimulate frequent bowel movements. This often happens when consuming excessive fiber from sources such as cereals, oats, and raw vegetables.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is hard to digest. When you suddenly consume too much fiber, your stomach can also become more prone to cramping and bloating, leading to discomfort. These side effects can typically be improved after the gut bacteria become accustomed to fiber. However, it is essential to consider taking in just the right amount of fiber gradually to allow your body to adapt.

Consuming too much fiber may result in diarrhea and bloating. Illustration photo by Freepik

Consuming too much fiber may result in diarrhea and bloating. Illustration photo by Freepik

The recommended daily fiber intake for women is typically around 21 to 25 grams, while for men, it is around between 30 and 38 grams. However, the actual amount of fiber one should consume can vary depending on factors such as their ability to absorb fiber and their age.

You should consult with your dietitian or nutritionist to determine the specific daily fiber requirement that is appropriate for you. Different types of fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts and types of fiber, including soluble and insoluble fiber. A nutritionist can provide personalized dietary recommendations based on your individual needs and preferences.

The general principle is to have a diverse diet with a variety of food groups every day. Each meal should include at least one type of whole fruit or vegetable without its skin or peel removed. Incorporating fiber into your snacks and breakfast by having cereal is beneficial for your health.

In addition to fiber, it is important to increase your water intake for your body. Fiber absorbs water from the intestines, so when your body lacks sufficient water, dehydration can occur more easily, leading to constipation. You should aim to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day and engage in regular light physical activity to support your digestive health.

Dr. Nguyen Anh Duy Tung

Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic System

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