Are Fiber Supplements Necessary?

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

FiberA common question I get is about the importance of fiber in the diet.

Should you take extra fiber for heart health? Or, how about for healthy digestion?

Fiber also helps to keep you full, right?

Here’s some important tips about fiber supplements to keep in mind.

Plenty of Fiber in Fruits and Vegetables

The average healthy diet should contain 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This would give us a hefty serving of fiber for the day. Plus, if we add the fiber from whole grains, legumes, and nuts, this would give us an even higher fiber intake.

So, the answer is no, most people following a healthy diet do not need to take a fiber supplement.

Fiber for Digestion Problems

Special medical conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, or some irritable bowel diseases can benefit from a fiber supplement, but those individuals would need to check with their doctor or personal dietitian.

Others who feel like their digestion is not regular could supplement. Or, perhaps, you are taking a new medication that slows your digestive system. A fiber supplement may help.

Stay Feeling Full

Many like to maintain a high fiber diet for better weight control. This is smart, but it is not necessary to eat an excessive amount of fiber.

  • 25-35 grams of fiber per day is ideal for adults

The most important thing is to make sure you eat fiber-rich foods with every meal like fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. This will have the same effect in keeping you feeling full.

Brand to Buy

Evitamins.com sent me a free sample of Garden of Life Raw Fiber to try.

I liked this powder because it was made from flax, quinoa, chia, coconut, beans, lentils, and seeds.

  • All natural, and a good combination of soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Perfect to add to oatmeal in the morning or to a smoothie.

One Last Caution

It is important to never increase your fiber intake suddenly. You need to allow the body to adjust slowly, and gradually increase your fiber intake. Drink plenty of water while eating a higher fiber diet as well.

Do you supplement with fiber?

5 Comments

  1. santa

    Pureed fruits and vegetables are often made for natural, homemade baby food, but purees can also be prepared for others who can’t eat solid foods. Purees are also handy to use in recipes. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Herryponting

    Good

    Reply
  3. Dan

    I eat so much natural fiber from fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, ground flax, nuts, bran flakes, Clif bars,popcorn and often beans with brown rice that sometimes I wonder if I eat too much fiber. I am sure I am over 50 grams a day. This amount of fiber makes me super regular. Certainly, I don’t need a supplement, but the supplement mentioned sounds good. I also noticed that a health food store near me sells pure psyllium. Metamucil uses psyllium. Just buying the high fiber foods, even psyllium is probably more cost effective than buying a supplement.

    Reply
  4. Spectra

    No, I don’t take a supplement. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies–many more than 5-7 servings/day, so I think I’m okay. I never have problems going to the bathroom and my cholesterol numbers are stellar, so I think I’m doing OK.

    Reply
  5. Jesica

    I prefer taking 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds every day as a sort of fiber supplement.

    Reply