If you're trying to lose weight, you may have heard of adding more fibre to your diet to help the process. The average healthy Australian adult needs to consume about 26 to 35 grams of fibre daily. However, according to one study on dietary fibre intake in Australia, young adult males had lower fibre consumption compared to females.
So how can you reach your recommended daily intake of fibre besides eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and beans? By taking the best fibre supplement for you.
What is Fibre?
Fibre is an essential nutrient that your body cannot digest, as its purpose is to aid in dissolving the food entering your system. There are two classes of fibre, each with different effects on the body: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibre mostly works as a bulking agent, helping food move faster through your gut. Soluble fibre's role is to aid in slowing down your digestion and prolong the feeling of fullness, which is why it can help with weight loss.
It also offers a range of different health perks, from lowering cholesterol to stabilising blood sugar. There are plenty more benefits to eating fibre!
Best Fibre Supplement
Finding the best one to help you with your weight loss goal should start with a consultation with your doctor. After all, these supplements can interfere with certain medications and conditions, so it's better to have your physician or dietitian assess your situation first. If they support your plan to increase your fibre intake, they'll also likely be able to help you choose the supplement that suits your individual needs best.
Here are some terms to help you become a bit more familiar with fibre supplements:
- Psyllium husk. Made from Plantago ovata plant husks. Helps lower bad cholesterol and treat digestive problems like constipation and diarrhoea.
- Glucomannan. Extracted from the konjac plant root. Effective for weight loss and helps treat type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol as well as constipation.
- Made by soaking chicory roots. As it is a prebiotic, it stimulates the good bacteria in the intestines.
- Wheat dextrin. Made from treating wheat seed starch with acids and enzymes. Helps stool move through your gut quickly.
- Bulks up the stool by increasing the amount of water, helping with constipation. Great for weight loss.
- Has many beneficial attributes like omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals and lignans. Helps lower bad cholesterol, improves digestion and treats constipation.
Fibre Supplements and Weight Loss
In the end, fibre, even with its vital role in weight loss and maintenance, isn't a magic bullet. Supplements can't make up for unhealthy eating, so work on getting a healthy, balanced diet first.
While eating a diet low in fibre isn't good, it's also important not to go overboard with it, either. Adding a lot of fibre to your diet too quickly can cause bloating, cramping, nausea and gas. The smart thing to do is to go slow, gradually increasing your fibre intake and drinking lots of water.