How to counteract too much fibre in your body?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much fibre in your body?”. We will further elaborate on the symptoms of too much fibre in the body, and the causes of high fibre levels. 

How to counteract too much fibre in your body?

According to studies, cereals provide on average 36% to 65% of the daily fiber intake in industrialized countries, fruits 6% to 24%, leguminous 22% to 47% and green vegetables 2% to 8% (1).

If you suspect to have high levels of fiber in your body, consult a doctor or healthcare provider. He may advise you to:

Drink lots of water: Water helps to digest fiber efficiently by helping it pass through the stomach and intestines. The higher the fiber intake, the higher the water intake should be because there is a risk of dehydration. Health professionals recommend a diet rich in high-fiber products (1).

Avoid taking any fiber supplements: Taking fiber supplements will raise the probability of consuming an extra intake of fiber, especially when you are receiving extra fiber from other foods without recognising. Excessive consumption of foods high in fiber combined with improper chewing of food enhances Phytobezoar formation, a is a dense mass of non-digestible food, seeds, leaves or other pieces that collects in the stomach or small intestine, obstructing the region, that can be amplified by the deposition of fats, salt residues and fiber (1).

Follow a low-FODMAP diet: Try a low-FODMAP diet plan for some time, particularly if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. This will help to relieve symptoms of high fiber levels by excluding fermentable, fibrous foods from your intake. FODMAP are poorly absorbable and highly fermentable in the intestine and therefore they might exacerbate IBS symptoms through various mechanisms, such as increasing small intestinal water volume, colonic gas production, and intestinal motility (4).

Exercise: Involve yourself in moderate physical exercises, such as walking, as frequently as possible. This will help to lessen cramping and bloating by passing gas and also improve bowel activity, reducing the risk of constipation. Experimental studies suggest that mild exercise, a traditional recommendation, facilitates intestinal gas clearance (2).

Do not eat fiber-rich foods including whole grains, gluten-free grains. However, a restricted diet should not be followed for long periods.

Have a balanced diet: Try consuming fiber from different sources rather than sticking to one and calculate the intake of soluble and insoluble fiber. Also, keep a record of the amount of fiber you are consuming every day. Fibers are prebiotics and favor the growth of probiotic bacteria. Probiotics may positively influence the symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, distension, flatulence and altered bowel movements (3).

Exclude fiber-fortified foods from your intake: Avoid eating packaged, high-fiber foods. Instead, go for foods that consist of substances, for example, inulin and chicory root extract

As soon as you feel healthier, you should gradually re-include fiber-rich foods into your regime. For instance, increase your daily fiber consumption by 2 to 3 g per day in the beginning. Rather than eating fiber-rich meals in one go, divide them into portions. Bloating and temporary stomach dilatation may occur if it is introduced too quickly into the diet (1). It is most beneficial to take fiber from diverse sources, so do not depend on one particular meal. Try having a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, plus nuts. Soluble fibers include gums, pectins, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides. The richest sources of soluble dietary fibers are apples, pears, citrus fruits, carrots, broccoli, peas, cucumbers, celery and oat bran. Insoluble dietary fibers include lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, chitin, resistant starch and resistant dextrin, which have a laxative effect, are recommended by specialists to people suffering from constipation. Nuts, beans, whole wheat, barley and roots are the best sources of insoluble dietary fiber (1).

What is the recommended daily dose of fiber?

CategoryDaily Fibre intake
Adult men (50 years or younger)38 g
Adult men (over 50)30 g
Adult women (50 years or younger)25 g
Adult women (over 50)21 g
Children 1-3 years19 g
Children 4-8 years25 g
Girls 9-13 years26 g 
Boys 9-13 years31 g
Adolescent females 14-18 years26 g
Adolescent males 14-18 years38 g

However, the ideal amount of fiber ingested depends mainly on the amounts of calories ingested and the body weight of each person. Nutritionists recommend that, for excellent digestion, a normal body weight and a low risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, at least 50% of all cereals consumed should be unprocessed. Most nutritionists recommend an intake of 18–38 g of fiber/day for adults, which is around 8–20 g per 1000 kcal. The WHO/FAO and EFSA recommend an average daily intake of 25 g of fiber per adult (1).

Besides, some specialists predict that as many as 95 per cent of people do not consume this much fiber. But if you consume more fiber than the recommended daily dose you can suffer from the unwanted symptoms listed below.

The symptoms of too much fiber 

If you are eating too many fiber-rich foods, you may experience the following symptoms (1):

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Watery stools or diarrhoea
  • Dehydration 
  • Constipation 
  • Mineral deficits 
  • Intestinal blockage particularly in individuals with Crohn’s disease
  • Decreased blood sugar levels

Consult your healthcare provider immediately if you are suffering from nausea, vomiting, a high fever, or an absolute failure to excrete gas or stool.

Foods to eat to lower fiber intake 

  • Tender, properly cooked raw or preserved vegetables
  • Grass-fed pasture raised soft meat, seafood and eggs
  • Healthful fats such as avocado, olive and coconut oil 
  • Creamy, pure peanut and almond butter
  • Soft, fruits without skin in moderate amounts
  • Full-fat dairy (preferably raw, cultured) in moderate amounts
  • Skinless, cooked sweet potatoes and purple potatoes
  • Organic, unprocessed juice (rather than sweet fruit extracts)

Food to avoid to lower fiber intake 

Steamed vegetables, beans, nuts, lentils, peas, legumes, tough meats, processed meats, whole grains, granola, cereal grains, coconut, corn, raw vegetables,  potatoes with skin, broccoli, all fruits, onions, sauerkraut, popcorn and chips, pickles, cauliflower, cabbage, and seeds (such as quinoa) (5,6)

How does fiber influence digestion?

  • There are two principal kinds of fiber, each plays a distinctive part in digestion (1,6):

Insoluble fiber adds volume to the stool and aids to transfer food more speedily within the gastrointestinal tract. It also reduces the contact time of toxic compounds with the intestinal mucosa and may prevent diverticulitis, and colon cancer.

Soluble fiber draws water and creates a gel-like matter with food as it is absorbed. This in turn delays digestion and helps to feel full more quickly and for longer, which is essential in managing weight. It may also serve to reduce the risk of heart disease, control blood sugar, and aid to decrease bad cholesterol levels.


In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much fiber in your body?”. We have further elaborated on the symptoms of too much fiber in the body, and the causes of high fiber levels. 


  1. Ioniță-Mîndrican, Corina-Bianca, et al. Therapeutic Benefits and Dietary Restrictions of Fiber Intake: A State of the Art Review. Nutrients, 2011, 14, 13. 
  2. Azpiroz, Fernando, and Levitt D Michael. Intestinal gas. BIOTASCOPE, 2010, 1.  
  3. Sun, Jian-Rong, et al. Efficacy and safety of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Saudi J Gastroenterol, 2020, 26, 66.
  4. Catassi, Giulia, et al. The low FODMAP diet: many question marks for a catchy acronym. Nutrients, 2017, 9, 292.
  5. Fiber food chart. CS Mott. Michigan ‘s Hospital. 
  6. Fiber. The Nutrition Source. University of Harvard.