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A Fitness Editor Shares Her Week of Meals and Workouts

You Asked: Fiber Per Meal — Is There a Limit?

A while back, I did a post about the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber and received this great question:

Is there a recommended amount that you shouldn't go over in one meal? Like I know the body can only absorb so much calcium at one time, I wonder if it's that way for fiber. I know it's always better to spread things out, but I was just wondering if there was an actual number that I shouldn't be going over in case my body doesn't process it all. Thanks.

When it comes to fiber, you should focus on getting 25 to 30 grams a day. Fiber helps keep you regular, lowers cholesterol, can help prevent both breast and ovarian cancer, and also may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. So is it bad to eat all 30 grams in one meal? To find out

Nutritionally speaking, there's nothing bad about getting all your fiber in one meal, it's just that it's difficult to do. (Most people can't fit in 30 grams of fiber in their entire day, let alone in one sitting.) If you sat down for breakfast and ate a cup of a high fiber cereal such as Kashi Go Lean (10 grams of fiber), 1/2 cup of raspberries (5 grams of fiber), 1 banana (3 grams of fiber), and 1/2 cup of walnuts (2 grams of fiber) on top, that would still only be 20 grams of fiber. Many people find that if they eat this much fiber all at once, especially if their bodies aren't used to it, they'll feel bloated, gassy, and may have diarrhea.

To prevent tummy troubles, instead of trying to eat all your fiber at once, focus on eating a well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and nuts throughout your day. Naturally, these all are great sources of fiber too, so if you stick to healthy foods like these at every meal, you'll be able to get your fill of daily fiber.

Fit's Tips: If you're trying to get 30 grams of fiber a day, and your body isn't used to it, gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change, which will prevent gas and other belly problems. Be sure to drink enough water too, because it'll help the fiber do its job. Without enough water, you'll end up constipated.


Join The Conversation
almostloli almostloli 9 years
prune juice. 7 grams per 150ml. or pitted prunes, 6 grams per 5 pieces i think..
elle86 elle86 9 years
I would just add that another great cereal for fiber is the Fiber One brand - there are three different kinds I've tried, and in one serving it has 51% of daily recommended fiber.
herfallingstar herfallingstar 9 years
I tend to eat Bran Flakes for breakfast, or even in the evening. I guess what you could do (if you eat cereal) is mix in some Bran Flakes with your usual Coco Pops, or whatever you have =]
divine_missem divine_missem 9 years
I am totally obsessed with eating lots of fiber. I have stomach problems and I find when I get lots of fiber, all the problems go away. I take a fiber supplement each morning and then try and get added fiber through food during the day. I just learned that kiwis have quite a bit of fiber for such a little fruit so I have been eating lots of those.
clew001 clew001 9 years
drink lots of water! the poop will come after! =)
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I eat probably about 30-35 grams of fiber per day and I feel fantastic. One VERY important thing to remember about fiber is: DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! Fiber binds with the water so it moves through your system more efficiently and produces less gas. Oh, and if you take a fiber supplement, drink at least an 8 ounce glass of water with it.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
i really need more fiber.
LeLeBabii5 LeLeBabii5 9 years
LOL "fascinated"
nancita nancita 9 years
Interesting! I'm just fascinated by fiber these days. I guess I'm getting old.
AMP AMP 9 years
Ah, thanks for answering. I definitely do spread it over all my meals though. I try to get a little fiber in each time and I think its been working really well for me.
merymery merymery 9 years
I do the same as klandrach - I'll add granola to my yogurt, grab extra veggies with a sandwich, and all that good stuff :)
klandrach klandrach 9 years
I think spreading it out is a good idea. I try to add little bits of fiber to everything. Extra veggies, a spoonful of flaxseeds or even that Benefiber stuff that mixes into teas and waters and adds a few grams without any taste.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I have to agree, all at once sure won't be good.
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