Mistakes You're Making When Eating Fiber

We all know how important fiber is in our diet. It can keep us full, improve digestion, and regulate blood sugar. However, many people approach fiber the wrong way and end up with bloating and gas when they try to increase their consumption. Here are a few mistakes you might be making when eating this nutrient.

The first mistake many people make when consuming fiber is not knowing the different kinds. There are two main kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble (via Livestrong). Insoluble fiber helps to soften stools and improve bowel movements. This type is found in foods like whole wheat, leafy vegetables, and broccoli (via The Healthy). Soluble fiber, on the other hand, slows down digestion and keeps us full. This type is found in foods like oatmeal, apples, and strawberries.

Eating too much of each type of fiber will affect your body differently. Too much insoluble fiber may cause frequent trips to the bathroom and even diarrhea. Too much soluble fiber can make you constipated and bloated. It's a good idea to eat a moderate combination of both to have the healthiest bowel movements.

Be sure to drink plenty of water when increasing your fiber intake

You can offset many negative side effects of a large serving of fiber by drinking enough water. Michael Dann, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist at Manhattan Gastroenterology, told Well + Good, "The general recommendation is roughly one ounce of water per kilogram of body weight. For example, a 140-pound woman would need 64 ounces of water per day."

Dann also said that water should be consumed throughout the day to get the most benefits. If you're feeling constipated or like you need to go to the bathroom after eating foods high in fiber, try drinking a glass of water with the food in question. The same principle goes toward eating fiber itself. Eating your entire daily intake at once will probably cause negative side effects (via Livestrong). Space out meals and snacks that are high in fiber throughout the day to get all the positive benefits of fiber and none of the unpleasant side effects.