There are a lot of health benefits offered by fiber, such as lowering cholesterol, controlling your blood sugar, and helping you lose weight. However, not all of us have consumed sufficient amount of fiber everyday. To fulfill the need of fiber, fiber supplements are available at some drugstore checkout lines. Some even put fiber supplements in their weight loss program.
If you want to make use of fiber supplements for weight loss, there are some things that you need to know.
Food vs Supplements
When you want to get the most benefit of fiber for your weight loss without losing the fiber’s heart-protective properties, it is recommended that you take it from food or natural sources, including vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and nuts.
In fact, with the abundant sources of fiber, we don’t need to take any supplements. Plus, supplements will not make up for poor eating habits. If you used to have unhealthy diets, and you take supplements, it doesn’t mean that your diet will suddenly become healthy.
However, regarding the health benefits, there is no clear evidence that the fiber supplements will have the same benefits as the natural sources. That’s why most fiber supplements are mostly used for preventing constipation rather than for other health benefits, like lowering cholesterol.
Types of Fiber Supplements
Talking to your doctor before taking fiber supplements is highly recommended. The supplements come in many forms, including powder, capsules, or chewable tablets. The supplements can be made in a lab or extracted from natural sources.
Extracted natural fibers include lignin cellulose (a sugar in plant cells), (a compound in plant cells), gum (a sugar in seeds), and pectin (a sugar in fruits and berries). Some manufactured fibers include psyllium maltodextrins, polyols, and polydextrose.
Safe Consumption of Supplements
Don’t add fiber to your diet too much and too quickly. You have to add it step by step because if you don’t change your diet gradually, some uncomfortable side effects might occur including gas, cramping, and bloating. Also, when taking supplements, you must stay dehydrated throughout the day.
Too much fiber in your diet can affect the nutrients absorption. So, measure how much fiber in total of your diet, either from supplements or foods.
And to remember always consult your doctor before starting to consume fiber supplements as they cannot be combined with certain drugs, such as those for treating thyroid disorders, seizures depression, diabetes, and some heart ailments. Even, the fiber intake can also affect the efficacy of aspirin, ibuprofen, and penicillin.