Many people turn to fiber pills and supplements as a way to incorporate more fiber into their diet. It is well-known that the modern American diet is severely lacking in the fiber amounts recommended by national guidelines. Let’s take a look at some of the common questions about these fiber supplements.
Are fiber pills healthy and a good alternative to natural fiber?
Let’s state up front that it is almost always more healthy get your nutrition from natural whole foods rather than from a pill, and this rule of thumb holds true in this case as well. Fiber pills can be a healthy addition to your diet, but should really be used if there is some reason why you can’t get your fiber from regular foods.
The recommended amount of fiber daily per person is 25 g and 21 g for seniors. If you make a concerted effort to eat healthy by incorporating whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables into your daily diet regimen, you should have little trouble reaching these thresholds. If however, the food you have access to leaves little choice but to supplement your diet, then you can in fact gain a good source of fiber through pills.
The main reason why you want to try and get your fiber through natural foods is because you also get the associated vitamins and minerals with those whole foods. If you try to eat a diet full of fast foods and highly processed ingredients, you not only are robbing your body of fiber but you are also denying it vitamins and minerals as well.
Do fiber pills help with weight loss?
Some weight-loss programs recommend the use of fiber pills to curb hunger. Fiber does in fact reduce hunger because it will expand in the stomach and bowels and cause a feeling of satiety. You always want to drink plenty of water if you are taking fiber pills because of failure to do so can cause digestive problems. If you’re unable or unwilling to get your fiber from more healthy and natural sources, then a fiber pill can be a good secondary source that can help to curb hunger and increase weight loss. It is important not to abuse these pills and only take what is recommended and prescribed on the package.
What fiber pills are the best?
A popular source of fiber is from psyllium seed husks. These are a good choice and are very popular today.
There are a number of quality manufacturers to choose from. Always look at the ingredients and choose a brand that uses a natural source of plant fiber. Also check the secondary ingredients to ensure that there are no added chemicals and preservatives. You want to ideally get the fiber in the most natural and unprocessed form that you can.
Soluble or insoluble fiber?
You’re going to get more health benefits from pills that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is able to be digested and turns to a sort of paste in the colon. It absorbs cholesterol and other substances and helps the body eliminate them. It also helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
The insoluble fiber is what helps to increase the frequency of bowel movements. It is was helpful to relieve constipation and give the feeling of fullness. It helps to move the fecal material through the bowels.
In summary, fiber pills can be helpful in certain situations but should be used as a secondary resort and not as the primary source of fiber. They can be helpful to individuals who are unable or unwilling to get their fiber for more natural means. If you choose to incorporate them into your diet, make sure you drink plenty of water for maximum safety.