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Senior Care: Is There Such Thing as Too Much Fibre?

At Home Care Assistance of Toronto, a healthy diet is part of our Balanced Care Method and our caregivers always strive to help clients create well-balanced meals that include key vitamins, nutrients, and complex carbohydrates such as fibre. The recommended fibre intake for people ages 50 and older is 21 grams per day for women and 30 grams per day for men. Some assume that more is always better, but that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to fibre.

Loss of Appetite and Weight

High-fibre foods prolong digestion and the feeling of fullness. When a senior consumes too much fibre, he or she may eat even less than they would normally, leaving them vulnerable to health problems related to not having a nutrient-rich diet. When seniors consume fibre, they also have to chew more thoroughly, which leads to slower eating and causes the brain to register fullness after consuming relatively little food. Again, this can make a senior’s appetite even less.

Gastrointestinal Problems

While fibre is known to help regulate bowl movement and is key to a healthy gastrointestinal tract, too much fibre can lead to problems such as constipation and irritable bowl syndrome. Symptoms that an older adult may be consuming too much fibre include:

  • Indigestion, bloating, or reflux
  • Nausea and belching
  • Constipation and stomach pains
  • Weight loss

Inability to Absorb Nutrients

An additional risk of eating too much fibre is that it can bind minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, thereby eliminating the minerals and preventing the body from absorbing them. Simply said, too much fibre can deplete the body of minerals essential for healthy functioning.

Help for Aging Loved Ones

If your aging loved one has expressed any of the above symptoms or is not eating a healthy diet, it may be time to schedule an appointment with his or her primary care physician to determine the best diet and exercise plan for individual needs.

For more information about senior health, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Toronto. Our professional and compassionate caregivers assist seniors with nutritious and balanced meal preparation, ensure regular meals are eaten, provide medication reminders, and so much more. Call us today at (416) 488-8777 and schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation!