This is how much fiber you really need to eat every day

In case you missed it, fiber is an essential part of our diet. As Katie Hake, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Indiana University Health, told Women's Health, in addition to assisting with weight loss, bloating, and digestion, "[it] can help to reduce cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease. It can also help control blood sugar by slowing down the breakdown of food, particularly for those who live with diabetes," among other things. So, how much fiber do we really need? Is there a set amount of fiber we should aim to consume every day?

According to Andrew Reynolds, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Otago's department of medicine, "Most people consume under 20 grams of fiber per day." Speaking to Runner's World, he continued, "But our study indicates we should have at least 25 to 29 grams per day from foods such as whole grains, vegetables, pulses, and fruit." 

We should aim to eat 25 to 29 grams of fiber per day

But that doesn't mean you should stuff yourself with high-fiber foods. Because believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much fiber. "High levels [of fiber] can also interfere with absorption of some minerals, such as iron, and some antioxidants, such as beta-carotene," registered dietitian Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina told Everyday Health. She continued, "It's rare, though, for people in this country to be getting too much fiber."

Instead, when looking to increase your fiber intake, you should do it slowly. "I would recommend just increasing by a serving or two a day for the first week, and then bring it up another one, and just see how you do," Lauren Harris-Pincus, registered dietitian nutritionist, founder of Nutrition Starring You and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club, told Well+Good. Bring on the bananas, beans, and Brussels sprouts!