These days, fiber is being added to everything from cereals and brownies to drink mixes that actually dissolve, all in the hope of convincing us to add more to our diet. Thankfully, these products are getting more appealing and easier to stomach, even if the, ahem, side effects, can still be a dead giveaway (go ahead, blame it on the dog or your coworker with the headphones on).
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of fiber for an adult woman up to age 50 is 38 g and 30 g for women over the age of 50. For an adult male up to age 50, the RDA is 25 g and 21 g after age 50. The health benefits of adding fiber to your diet include digestive regularity (which means less bloating and constipation), cholesterol management (lowers "bad" (LDL) cholesterol), stable blood sugar levels and weight loss and/or management.
On the October 22 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz explained how to best use fiber supplements for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. There's plenty of reasons to add fiber to your diet, so how do you do it?
What to Take and When
When it comes to dieting, it's all about timing. Now that we know the benefits of adding more fiber to the diet, it's time to plan out how these products should fit into your schedule. Dr. Oz said the best time to take a fiber supplement is actually 6 p.m., about 15 minutes before you eat dinner. This will give the supplement time to expand within your stomach, allowing you to eat less and promoting proper digestion of your food. On average, he said individuals who consume fiber before a meal consume about 70 calories less during the meal, which can add up to seven pounds per year of weight loss.
Natural Fiber Supplements
You can find fiber supplements most often in powder form, but capsules are also available. The important thing to remember when taking these supplements is to consume them with plenty of water to get them down to your stomach and prevent choking. Here are two of Dr. Oz's favorite types of natural fiber:
Konjac Root: This type of fiber was suggested by Dr. Oz during the episode. The water-soluble fiber from this plant is commonly referred to by the name glucomannan and promotes proper digestion and controls appetite. Konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac) is the most powerful source of fiber known to scientists because of how rapidly it expands into a gel both in water and in your stomach.
Psyllium Husk: Another type of water-soluble fiber supplement previously mentioned on the show is psyllium husk (Plantago asiatica). This plant fiber is a well known remedy for relieving symptoms of digestive irregularity, such as constipation. Produced from the husks or seeds of the plant, it's considered a mucilaginous fiber that serves as a bulking agent, binding with waste to remove it more efficiently.
Dr. Oz also recommended the use of premade fiber products, such as fiber crackers, that may be more appealing than drinking a fiber supplement. Just be sure to read nutrition labels and follow serving sizes properly to avoid adding too many extra calories to your diet, especially if you're trying to stay within a desired range.
Other Sources of Fiber
Of course, you can get the fiber you need from a balanced diet and you should make it a daily goal. Some of the best foods for fiber include:
Fruits -- Apples, bananas, pears and berries
Vegetables -- Carrots, broccoli, spinach and brussels sprouts
Grains -- Barley, oats, bran and wheat
Legumes -- Peas, kidney beans, black beans and lentils
We'll be back soon with more great tips from "The Dr. Oz Show" to help you stay in the loop. Shop for fiber supplements like those mentioned above at eVitamins for a healthier you.
Products you may like:
Nature's Way Glucomannan Root Why you may like this product? Produced from the root of the
konjac plant, glucomannan
promotes digestive health and
weight maintenance. This
supplement is produced from
konjac root grown in Japan and
each serving provides 2 g of
Now Foods Apple Psyllium Fiber Apple Why you may like this product? This psyillium product can
help you get the recommended
daily amount of fiber into
your diet while promoting
digestive regularity. Now's
product is flavored naturally
for a crisp apple taste and
mixes easily with water.
Do You Have Enough Fiber in Your Diet? Having an insufficient amount of fiber in your daily diet can drag you
down and contribute to health problems. Find out how to boost your
intake and start feeling better.
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Statements made about specific vitamins, supplements, procedures or other items sold on or through this website have not been evaluated by eVitamins, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) or the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. As always, please consult with a licensed doctor or physician before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program, before taking any vitamin or medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a problem.