You may have heard about the ‘Fanta Diet’, which was named after the soft drink originally manufactured by the Czech company, Rozay. The diet involves drinking fanta, a mixture of soda and fruit juice, to lose weight. But is this drink really suited to helping you shed those extra kilos?
Metamucil, more commonly known as psyllium, is a fiber-rich plant extract that naturally thickens and stabilizes stool. It is derived from the seeds of the tropical plant, Metamucium Regalis. While it does not taste as good as fanta, it is a more natural choice and can be a better alternative for those who are trying to avoid sugar.
Because of its unique properties, psyllium is extremely effective at preventing constipation and boosting regularity.
Is Metamucil a good choice for weight loss? Let’s take a look.
Key Facts About Metamucil
- Key Facts: Metamucil is made from the seeds of the tropical plant, Metamucium regalis. The powder is 10-12 mg in strength and is available in some supermarkets.
- Key Facts: The powder is easy to dissolve in water and can be used to make a thickener for juices or drinks.
- Key Facts: While the powder is gluten-free and suitable for those with gastrointestinal sensitivities, Metamucil does contain gluten, which is found in wheat.
- Key Facts: Metamucil is a natural source of fiber, which fills our gut with nutrients. It may also help to regulate appetite, lower blood cholesterol, and reduce the risks of heart disease.
Key Benefits of Metamucil
In addition to its role in weight loss, psyllium can be used to reduce constipation and ease the symptoms of IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is because of its mild laxative effects.
Further studies have shown that people with IBS who were using Metamucil experienced significant improvements in their symptoms, including less bloating and gas. They also noticed that their bowel movements became more regular.
Some research suggests that when used in combination with dietary fiber, the soluble fiber component of Metamucil may even be able to reverse type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by overeating and a lack of physical activity, and it is associated with excessive body weight. Therefore, the use of Metamucil as a weight loss supplement may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
While much of the research into this product is still in the early stages, these studies suggest that Metamucil may have great potential as a natural dietary supplement. Due to its ability to improve bowel movements and reduce constipation, it may also be able to help to regulate glucose levels and prevent diabetes.
How Does Metamucil Work?
The powder acts as a gut-soothing agent and bulking agent, causing food to remain in the digestive system for a longer time. While fiber provides bulk to our guts, it also absorbs water and makes the stool heavier. When stool becomes heavier, it is easier for the body to eliminate via bowel movement.
Research has shown that fiber supplements (including Metamucil) may help to reduce serum cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. The fiber may also prompt the liver to produce bile, which helps to digest fats in the gut. And although not proven, it is likely that the additional fiber intake also allows our bodies to become less efficient at processing carbohydrates, resulting in lower blood sugar levels. This is why Metamucil is often recommended for those with type 2 diabetes.
When Should You Avoid Metamucil?
Those with a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, should avoid taking Metamucil. This is because the fiber may cause the acid reflux symptoms to return. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to psyllium, then you also need to avoid this product, as it may cause an immunologic reaction upon ingestion. Some research shows that allergies to shellfish or peanuts may be associated with an increased risk of eczema, which is a type of rash.
If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, then you should also avoid taking Metamucil, as it may interfere with the absorption of nutrients and medication from food sources. It is also not recommended in those with heart disease or diabetes, or if you are taking medication for these conditions. Always consult your doctor if you have questions about how to take nutritional supplements safely.
Should You Try Metamucil For Weight Loss?
Although there are many reasons why you may want to try Metamucil, as a weight loss supplement, it is undoubtedly effective. In fact, it may be more effective than you would expect. While it does not provide a 100% solution for weight loss, it may be able to play a role in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, making it a worthwhile addition to your toolbox.