There is a lot of attention on fiber right now and I used to be someone who thought, “oh yeah, fiber is supposed to be really good for me I should eat a lot of it”. Then I felt like shit constantly and was bloated all the time. I was beyond confused because everything out there tells you to eat tons of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, but they made me feel like crap. Sound like you or someone you know?
What is fiber?
Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested. It is found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There are 2 different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and forms a gel like substance. This type of fiber is going to slow down your digestion, helping you feel fuller longer throughout the day. This will help you if you find that food goes through your system too quickly 😉 It will help you to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels!
Insoluble fiber helps bind together waste in your digestive system and add bulk to your stool. This will help you stay regular in the bathroom if you don’t go each day 😉
You are going to need both of these every day to have the healthiest gut!
How much do I need though?
I wish there was a specific number I could tell you, but in reality everyone digests foods differently and depending on your gut and how much you’re personally eating right now will effect the amount you need. It mostly comes through trial and error. You don’t want too much that you become constipated, bloated, or uncomfortable. But you need enough to keep things moving!
A general rule of thumb is to eat 10-15g per 1,000 calories you’re eating. The more food you’re intaking, the more fiber your body can handle. For most women this is going to be around 20-30g of fiber each day.
If you’re hitting around that number and still feeling discomfort, I would look at how much fiber you’re eating at each meal and if you’re saving a lot of fiber for 1 meal you may need to spread it out throughout the day.
If you’re eating way over/under, just slowly adjust your intake to meet these guidelines. As always, pay attention to how you feel eating those amounts and you could be someone who can handle more or less fiber than the ‘recommended amount’.