What’s a healthy diet without a good dose of fibre, right? A high-fibre diet is known to promote weight loss, keep your heart healthy, prevent diabetes, and do a whole lot of other things for your health. But turns out, high-fibre diets can also make you bloat up. At least, that’s what a study claims.
People who eat high-fibre diets apparently experience more bloating
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that high-fibre diets when combined with high doses of protein induce more bloating. The findings of the study are published in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology.
“It’s possible that in this study, the protein-rich version of the diet caused more bloating because it caused more of a healthy shift in the composition of the microbiome,” said study co-senior author Noel Mueller from Johns Hopkins University in the US.
“Notably, the protein in these diets was mostly from vegetable sources such as beans, legumes, and nuts,” Mueller added.
High-fibre diets are believed to cause bloating by boosting certain populations of healthful fibre-digesting gut bacteria species, which produce gas as a byproduct.
The findings thus also hint at a role for “macronutrients”, such as carbohydrates and proteins in modifying the gut bacteria population–the microbiome.
In the study, the researchers examined a dietary clinical trial that was conducted in 2003 and 2005 in Boston. Their results suggest that substituting high quality carb calories, such as whole grain, for protein calories might reduce bloating for those on high fiber diets, making such diets more tolerable.
Don’t eat fibre blindly if you want to avoid gastric discomfort
For all it’s goodness, fibre–much like everything else in life–needs to be taken in moderation. Eating too much fibre can induce stomach pain and cramps, gas, nausea, constipation, and even diarrhea.
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Experts recommend an intake of 25 grams of fibre daily as a part of a balanced diet. And while an overdose of fibre–which is considered to be above 70 grams–is rare, it is possible in people who only eat raw and whole foods, especially in a bid to lose weight. So while that bowl of salad and sprouts is quite healthy, it’s not enough to meet all your nutritional requirements.