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    Archive for the ‘metamucil’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Fiber

    I’ve recently been drinking Naked Juice because I love the taste of it.

    I know full well (from my last question) that it isn’t a replacement for healthy eating, so I still try to round out my diet.

    However, fiber seems like something I still probably am not getting enough of, and I would love to add, like, 10 grams a day mixed into my juice.

    Do you know if any of those pure “green” juices include fiber?

    If not, do you know of any powdered fiber supplement that isn’t marketed as a laxative?

    I know it shouldn’t stop me, but as a healthy 21 year-old, I can’t bring myself to go buy Metamucil.

    Until I can afford to drop $500 on a crazy blender that blends whole fruits, I’m hoping adding some powdered fiber to a juice will help.

    — Andrew Carney
    Richland, WA

    If your goal is to increase fiber consumption, skip the powders and liquids and go for a much tastier and plentiful source — food.

    I personally don’t understand the decision behind taking Metamucil as a fiber supplement.

    It has an unpleasant taste and texture, doesn’t offer more fiber than food (one serving offers 3 grams — as much as six Triscuit crackers,) and doesn’t provide the naturally-occurring nutrients and phytochemicals in fiber-rich foods.

    So, if 10 grams is what you seek, enjoy your juices as they are and consider the following instead:

    Snack on one Gnu Flavor & Fiber, Lara, Pure, or Clif Nectar bar every day.

    Add a half cup of legumes (chickepas, kidney beans, lentils) to a meal. Some easy options? Heat up some lentil soup or add legumes to a salad, wrap, or burrito.

    Complement your breakfast with a cup of whole grain cereal or two slices of whole (or sprouted) grain toast. For an extra fiber boost, start off your morning with fruit as well (a medium banana provides 3 grams of fiber).

    If you’re making smoothies at home, add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. You’ll get Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and 4 grams of fiber in a 70 calorie package.  Another great option?  One tablespoon of psyllium husks is a wonderful way to add soluble fiber to your day.

    Like pasta? Next time you make some, mix a regular variety with a whole wheat one.
    A cup of cooked whole wheat pasta packs in 5 grams.

    By all means, try to get your fiber from food first.

    There’s no reason why anyone — young or old — should be spending money on fiber supplements.


    You Ask, I Answer: Fiber

    The release of a Small Bites issue is often followed by reader questions sent in via e-mail.

    Since I decided to keep each edition solely focused on the article at hand, I now have several never-before-published (tantalizing!) reader questions.

    The following (along with my answers, of course) are all in reference to the premiere issue on fiber.

    You mention whole grain breads being good sources of fiber. What about multi-grain breads?

    Multi-grain breads sure have good PR! Their healthy-sounding name makes them seem like nutrition superstars, but in reality, they leave a lot to be desired. All multi-grain really means is that a bread is made up of several different grains (i.e.: wheat, barley and oats).

    Unfortunately, the vast majority are but a mere combination of heavily refined (and therefore, fiber-free) grains. Just because a loaf of bread is sprinkled with sunflower seeds and soy dust does not make it a healthy choice.

    If you are looking to get fiber from commercial breads, go for ones whose first ingredient is “100% whole (insert grain here) flour”.

    Finding whole grain breads at restaurants is difficult, unless you are going to establishments that are centered around healthy eating. Otherwise, prepare for waiters who think that “wheat” and “whole wheat” bread are the same thing (they aren’t; wheat bread is white bread with food coloring, whereas whole wheat bread is the fiber all-star).

    I didn’t know fruits contained a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. Do some fruits have more of one type than another?

    Not really. Most fruits’ fiber breakdown ends up as half insoluble and half soluble. However, most insoluble fiber is found on skins, whereas soluble fiber is in the actual fruit.

    This is why I highly recommend thoroughly washing fruits with edible skins and taking a bite. Don’t commit a nutrition crime; put the knife down and let the apple keep its skin!

    If the goal is to get more fiber, why not just take a few Metamucil pills each day?

    Do you also ask your dentist, “if the goal is to have a brighter smile, why not just whiten my teeth once a month instead of brushing them every day?”

    Not only do Metamucil pills turn fiber into a “foreign thing I force down with water”, they also lack the benefits of fiber-rich foods — nutrients! Foods high in fiber offer plenty of vitamins and minerals, which you absolutely can not get from a fiber supplement.

    Besides, why gobble down a capsule when you can get your fiber in the taste of chickpeas, raspberries, or oatmeal?

    The other day at the supermarket I saw Teddy Grahams made with whole grains. The box even mentioned “5 grams of fiber per serving”. Does that mean Teddy Grahams have more fiber than an apple?

    Those food companies sure are smart. The more they confuse you, the better off they are.

    What you saw was indeed Teddy Grahams made with whole grains. Can you catch the misleading statement?

    Some people may read that and think, “a healthy cookie,” when it could simply mean that whole grain flour makes up one percent of each cookie (literally making the product one “made WITH whole grains” as opposed to “a whole-grain product”).

    As for the “5 grams of fiber per serving”, what you actually read was “5 grams of whole grains per serving”.

    One gram of whole grains is NOT equal to one gram of fiber. We should ideally be getting at least 48 grams of whole grains a day, but nobody thinks on these terms because food labels don’t provide this information.

    This is just Nabisco attemping to confuse consumers while making a nutritionally empty product seem like a healthy choice.

    The only factor you need to be thinking about is grams of fiber (you ideally want anywhere between 35 and 50 grams a day).

    And, trust me, if you’re looking to get your fiber fix from a box of Teddy Grahams, you’re in deeper trouble than you think.


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