High Fiber Diet: Myth and Truth

Fibers can absorb large quantity of water in the bowels which makes stool softer and easier to pass. When a fellow starts taking a higher-fiber diet he will notice the difference in stool bulk. It will relieve constipation within few days. As the stools will be easier to pass, less straining will be required; it will help relieve hemorrhoids. Foods containing plenty of fiber have more bulk than low-fiber foods. So it will slow down the onset of hunger; thus help in alleviating cravings for food. It will help in managing weight. The foods containing soluble fiber (such barley, rye, beans and oat) can have a positive influence on cholesterol, triglycerides, and other particles in the blood that affect the development of heart disease. Adding fiber to the diet helps in regulation of blood sugar levels, which is important in avoiding and managing diabetes.

Keeping all these benefits in mind everyone is trying to switch to fibrous diet without bothering about the consequences. But reality about the fiber rich diet is not as sweet as it appears. Here we are sharing with you fiber rich diet can also harm you

Diarrhea: Consuming high amounts of fiber too quickly can cause diarrhea. Fiber has the ability to act as a natural laxative, helping to speed up the movement of foods through the digestive tract.

Constipation: it is a general conception that fibers are a remedy for constipation. This is true; however, the opposite is also true. Excessive fiber intake, without adequate fluid intake, will lead to constipation. If there is not enough fluid, it becomes more difficult for bowel movements to travel through the digestive tract. Bowel movements can become hard and dry, making it difficult and painful to pass stools. It is something like; you are adding some fibers again and again in your drainage pipe and there is not enough fluid passing through the drainage pipe. For sure in few days the drainage will be chocked and there will be bad smell around! Same happens when you are taking high fibrous diet.

Besides this; for a Vata body type fellow nothing is more harmful than the fiber rich diet. Their body naturally tends to be dry and rough and taking more fibers will enhance this dryness and roughness which will aggravate the problems like constipation.

Minerals depletion: insoluble fibers bind to minerals and deplete them from the body. Therefore, too much fiber from supplements will cause negative results. Calcium, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium are especially susceptible to depletion from the body with fiber.

Interference with Medications: Fiber supplements and medications are incompatible with each other. Fiber supplements can bind to certain medications especially modern medicines and pull them through the digestive tract, inhibiting their absorption into the bloodstream. So you should not ingest a fibrous supplement within a couple of hours of taking any medications.

Risks: in people with gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, a high-fiber diet may irritate the bowel and worsen their symptoms. Likewise, people who have had a surgical weight-loss procedure may be unable to tolerate a high-fiber diet. Adding bran fiber to foods is not recommended due to the risk of poor intakes of some vitamins that bind with phytates or oxalates in many high-fiber foods.

Besides the gastro- intestinal problems; high fiber diet is also harmful for a patient of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and renal failure. In a MS patient high fiber diet might lead to colonic atony with no bowel action. For a patient of renal failure high fiber diet will result in difficulty to manage the mineral levels in the body.

Be aware before switching to Fibrous diet:

Proper Fiber Supplement Intake: Be sure to take a supplement that has a high level of water-soluble fiber. Beware of products that include sugar or artificial additives.

When adding fiber supplements to the diet, add them gradually. If they are added too quickly, uncomfortable gas and bloating will result. Additionally, fiber intake levels should be discussed with a health practitioner because individual needs vary. For example, fiber requirements differ according to gender, age and body type.

Allergies: Many available fiber supplements are derived from psyllium husks. Psyllium has been implicated in causing allergic reactions in susceptible patients. Minor cases involve sneezing, coughing and wheezing, while more severe cases involve anaphylactic reactions requiring urgent medical care. Aside from consumption, psyllium often comes in a powdered form that can be easily dispersed, triggering reactions in bystanders who are allergic to psyllium.

So High fiber diet has its pro as well as some cons. You should consult your health care provider before sifting to a fibrous rich diet.