Fiber seems to have made its way to the forefront of dietary importance beyond nearly every other nutritional diatribe available. Not feeling regular? Have some fiber. Not able to get all the dates you want? More fiber. Not rich and famous yet? Clearly, lack of fiber in your diet is the problem. While fiber is important, few know how important it is, or the process by which your body effectively uses it. In fact, it is possible to have too much fiber in your diet, and this slightly inconvenient truth may be a bigger problem for some than the lack-there-of.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, but it certainly can break down into useful parts. Fiber is attacked by bacteria that live in the colon, breaking it down into acids and gases through the process of fermentation. Dietary fiber is only partially fermented, because certain plant cells are able to resist bacterial attacks. The acids produced by this process of fermentation are absorbed by the body for the most part, and nourish the lining of the colon. This also provides some fuel for organ function, particularly the liver, which has important consequences for metabolism because half of the calories in fiber are made available to the body.
Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (26)Since fiber is available naturally in a number of fruits, plants, and carbs, it shouldn’t be difficult getting enough. But getting too much can sometimes create issues as well. When fiber intake is too high, it replaces other nutrients that you need in your diet – it can also block intake of some protein, which should be absorbed at a premium for vegans who may have difficulty reaching their daily goals. Some fibers also bind certain minerals, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron, and eating too much fiber too fast can actually block the gastrointestinal tract. Hence, fluids, and a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber-rich food sources must be maintained.
Confusing, indeed, but like all other things in life, it’s best to be picky and not go overboard with fiber.