In our previous post we talked about the role that fiber plays in our diet and how to detect the signs that you may not be getting the recommended amount. Fiber may not be able to fix all of your health concerns, but it can certainly help in a lot of ways. While you can certainly add a variety of different foods to your diet to up your fiber game, there is also the option of taking a fiber supplement. Here are some tips for choosing the right fiber supplement…
Soluble fiber. If you are dealing with non-inflammatory diarrhea, an urgent need to go to the bathroom, or incomplete soft stools, then your best option is soluble fiber. It works much like a sponge and creates a mass that slows down the movement through your gut, transforming small soft bowels, into whole larger, log-like formations. If you are regularly a victim of constipation, you may get a little weary when you hear about the slowing effect, however; there is no need to fret, as soluble fiber is still “fiber” and because it holds water so well, it allows stools to pass with ease. The key is to take a soluble fiber supplement in the evening, so it will have a chance to work its magic overnight. Start out by taking one daily, then you can work your way up to three times a day if needed. Some options are Citrucel (methylcellulose) and Benefiber (wheat dextrin).
Insoluble fiber. If you have regular bouts of constipation, then it’s best to opt for insoluble fiber. As the title indicates, insoluble fiber has the exact opposite effect as soluble fiber. Instead of slowing down the matter while it passes through your gut, it speeds it up and makes things happen when it comes to movement. Some top choices for insoluble fiber supplements are Super Aloe, Magnesium Lactate, Fibercon (calcium polycarbophil) and ground flaxseeds.
Psyllium husk fiber. If your goal is to lower your cholesterol, then your best bet is to take a supplement such as Metamucil, as it provides gelling properties that promote steady bowel patterns. If you have a tendency to jump between diarrhea and constipation, then psyllium is the choice for you. It helps lower your cholesterol thanks to its gooey texture that confines both dietary cholesterol and a key building block of cholesterol, so they can’t be absorbed.
Now that you have your go-to list of potential fiber supplements to take, you’ll need to keep tabs on the sugar content. Keep your eyes peeled for sugar-free options, as you’ll want to steer clear of high doses of unnecessary sugar.
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