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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 management. As a fiber supplement, Metamucil is outstanding. It is the best way to add needed fiber to one’s diet.
One rounded tablespoon of Metamucil with real sugar provides 3 grams of dietary fiber. Recommended consumption is usually one rounded tablespoon up to three times a day which can provide 9 or so grams of dietary fiber to a person’s diet. To control food, the recommendation is 2 tablespoons before each meal. Assuming 3 meals, the fiber intake can reach 18 grams.
The FDA recommends 28 grams of dietary fiber daily. Used as a food control, Metamucil alone would cover 18 grams of that. And the amount of fiber from Metamucil’s version of sugar is the same as that of “real sugar.”
In terms of its macronutrient content, Metamucil is fat-free. However, there are no carbohydrates. Two spoons of Metamucil and real sugar contain 23 grams of additional carbohydrates accounting for 16 grams of sugar. Two teaspoons of the sugar free version has 10 grams of carbohydrates and zero added sugar.
Although Metamucil has versions made with Stevia and other variations, the two most popular ones will appear to be Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder and the sugar free version. And its popularity makes no sense to me. I love both products.
The taste reminds me of Tang. And I loved Tang growing up. It was the Astronauts’ drink and a daily supply of Vitamin C. What was not to love? With Metamucil, I will get the great taste of Tang and all the great benefits of fiber.
Yet for all the good things about Metamucil, it has one thing that holds it back. That deficit is sugar. Let’s say someone uses Metamucil as a dietary supplement. Two spoons before each meal will bring 69 grams of carbohydrates to the game of which 48 grams will be added sugar. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s about the size of a regular can of soda. That’s a lot of sugar.
Because if a person uses it to control food, then weight is a concern. While getting the extra 18 grams of dietary fiber is great, it comes at the cost of eating 48 grams of sugar. And sugar has no nutrition. In fact, one might even say it has poor nutritional value.
Another popular item is the sugar free version. With zero added sugar, it seems to address the issue of all that added sugar. However, the extraction of real sugar is replaced by the addition of aspartame. Although the FDA has approved aspartame, it has questionable value for some in the weight loss community. There are many people who drink diet soda and still gain weight.
The concept may be wrong with aspartame, but artificial sweeteners are a clear-cut explanation. There also seem to be variations of Stevia but Metamucil’s Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder seems to be the most popular.
So, the question then becomes one of options. After all, if someone wants to continue enjoying the benefits of Metamucil but leery of all added sugar or artificial sweeteners (except Stevia of course), what are the options. Well, one option is to forego the fiber supplement and focus on fiber.
If your diet is rich in fibrous foods, then there will be no need to supplement. An avocado has 6.7 grams of fiber. Apples, carrots, beets, strawberries, broccoli all clock in at about 2 to 3 grams per serving. Strawberries and blueberries are in the five to six gram range. Beans and peas come in around the 7 to 9 gram range. Chia seeds have a great amount of fiber, about 10 grams per ounce!
Another option is to check the ingredient list for Metamucil. This is Psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is the only source of fiber in Metamucil. Stripped of maltodextrin, citric acid, etc., what remains is Psyllium husk.
A tablespoon of Psyllium husk contains about 6.47 grams of fiber and zero sugar. A tablespoon of Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder provides between 3 grams and 8 grams of real sugar. To balance the ratio, taking Psyllium husk provides direct, big bang for the buck.
However, in the rush of the day, it can be difficult to get all the fiber you need from whole foods. And if food control is an issue, then surely a supplement like Metamucil can fit the bill. Also, the experience of drinking Psyllium mixed with water is much less lactating then drinking a wonderful Tang like Metamucil. In fact, Psyllium husk is not very soluble in water. You must drink everything quickly. Frankly, it’s not fun.
For a dietary fiber supplement, Metamucil is a good choice. However, one must understand that it comes at the cost of eating too much sugar or using artificial sweeteners. And so in terms of weight loss or weight management, the extra 48 grams of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners can be a dial-breaker.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Metamucil as a digestive health supplement, especially for reducing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. In fact, my original purpose for taking Metamucil was to help with my bowel movements. Sugar and weight control, or loss, except, I will highly recommend Metamucil for this reason. But, that would be the subject of another article in itself.
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