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One Disadvantage to Using Metamucil for Weight Loss
Metamucil has only one real drawback when it comes to weight loss or weight control. As a fiber supplement, Metamucil is outstanding. It is a great way to add needed fiber to your diet.
One teaspoon of Metamucil with real sugar provides 3 grams of dietary fiber. The recommended intake is usually one rounded tablespoon up to three times daily which will provide 9 or so grams of dietary fiber to one’s diet. To control appetite, the recommendation is 2 tablespoons before each meal. With an estimate of 3 servings, the fiber intake can be up to 18 grams.
The FDA recommends 28 grams of dietary fiber per day. Used as a breath control, Metamucil contains only 18 grams. And the amount of fiber from the sugar-free version of Metamucil is the same as that of “real sugar”.
In terms of its macronutrient content, Metamucil is fat-free. However, it is not without carbohydrates. Two tablespoons of Metamucil with real sugar have 23 grams of carbohydrates, with added sugars accounting for 16 grams. Two teaspoons of the sugar-free version have 10 grams of carbs and zero added sugars.
Although Metamucil has versions made with Stevia and other versions, the two most popular seem to be Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder and its sugar-free version. And its popularity is absurd to me. I like both products.
Reminds me of the taste of Tang. And I loved growing up Tang. It was the Astronauts drink with a full day of Vitamin C. What did he not like? With Metamucil, I will get the great taste of Tang with all the great benefits of fiber.
However, for all that is great about Metamucil, it has one real drawback. It is a lack of sugar. Let’s consider using Metamucil as a food control supplement. Two tablespoons before each meal provides 69 grams of carbohydrates, of which 48 grams are added sugar. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s about as good as a regular can of soda. That is a lot of sugar.
Because if one is using it to control appetite, then weight is definitely a concern. While getting the extra 18 grams of dietary fiber is great, it comes at the cost of consuming 48 grams of sugar. And sugar has no nutritional value. In fact, it can be said that it has a negative nutritional value.
Another popular item is the sugar-free version. With zero added sugar, it seems like it will solve the problem of all added sugar. However, the actual sugar reduction is replaced by the addition of aspartame. While the FDA has approved aspartame, it is of questionable value to some in the weight loss community. There are many people who drink diet sodas and are still very overweight.
This result may be unfair to aspartame, but artificial sweeteners are clearly – artificial. There also seems to be a Stevia version now but Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder still seems to be the most popular.
So, the question then becomes one of options. After all, if one wants to continue to enjoy the benefits of Metamucil but is averse to any added sugars or artificial sweeteners (except Stevia of course), then what are the options. Well, one option is to skip fiber supplements and focus on fiber.
If your diet is rich in fibrous foods, then there is no need to supplement. An avocado has 6.7 grams of fiber. Apples, carrots, almonds, strawberries, broccoli about 2 to 3 grams per serving. Blackberries and Raspberries are between five and six grams. Beans and nuts are between 7 and 9 grams. Chia seeds have a great amount of fiber, about 10 grams per ounce!
Another option is to look at Metamucil’s ingredient list. It is Psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is the only source of fiber in Metamucil. Stripped of maltodextrin, citric acid, etc., what’s left is Psyllium husk.
One cup of psyllium husks contains about 6.47 grams of fiber with zero sugars. One scoop of Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder provides about 3 grams with 8 grams of real sugar. Measure for measure, taking a Psyllium husk directly provides a far bigger bang for the buck.
Still, in the hectic daily rush, it can be difficult to get all the fiber one needs from whole foods. And if the problem is breath control, then surely a supplement like Metamucil will be up to the mark. Also, the experience of drinking Psyllium mixed in water is much less pleasant than drinking that weird Tang like Metamucil. In fact, Psyllium husks are not actually very soluble in water. You just need to drink it all quickly. Honestly, it’s just not fun.
For dietary fiber supplementation, Metamucil is a good choice. However, one should be aware that it comes from consuming too much sugar or consuming artificial sweeteners. So when it comes to weight loss or weight control, an extra 48 grams of added sugar and/or artificial sweeteners may be a compromise.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Metamucil as a supplement for digestive health, specifically for relieving constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. Actually, my original intention in taking Metamucil was to help my bowel movements. Diabetes and weight control, or weight loss, in addition, I would strongly recommend Metamucil for this reason. But, then this in itself will be a topic for another article.
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