Don’t get me wrong, adequate fiber intake is a critical element of good health. Fiber can lower blood sugar levels, increase satiety, contribute to digestive health, improve regularity and prostate health and even lower cholesterol levels. And yes, it can even have a positive effect on weight loss as well…
Nancy Howarth, a nutritionist from Tuft’s University in Boston, suggests people who add an extra 14 grams per day to their diet could expect to lose 4 pounds and decrease food intake by 10% in 4 months.
Additionally, the typical low quality North American diet does not contain nearly enough fiber — the average North American consumes 15 grams of fiber daily — 10 grams less than the minimum recommended amount of 25 mg.
So what is fiber, exactly?
Fiber is defined as dietary material resistant to digestive enzymes. It’s the indigestible material found in fruits, legumes, and grains.
Fiber is either soluable (dissolves in water), or insoluable, and it’s critical for filling you up without adding additional calories.
The best way, bar none, to increase your fiber intake is to get it from natural sources. Kidney beans, raspberries, oats, wheat bran, and celery are examples of high fiber foods.
As well as getting the fiber you need, you’ll also get vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
While products like FiberThin, ZetaCap and the umpteen other fiber based weight loss products will accomplish the same thing as Metamucil, they are substantially more expensive (although on occasions they may prove to be more convenient), and while helpful, provide no miracle solution.
Here’s a common pet peeve of mine; neither the makers of FiberThin (Obesity Research Institute) or ZetaCap (Selmedica Healthcare), are particularly forthright in presenting the actual ingredients list of their respective products, which makes me wonder what they’ve got to hide.
Perhaps if they advertised exactly what they did contain, they’d never get you to pay those outrageous prices for what is actually a pretty basic product. Fact is, even if you don’t like Metamucil, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives to FiberThin and ZetaCap.
So what’s in FiberThin to justify all these miraculous claims of weight loss?
Glucomannan is a soluble fiber derived from the Konjac root. It has the ability to absorb up to 200 times its own weight in water (glucomannan may play a helping hand in combating diverticulosis). As such, it definitely will help with “feelings of fullness”.
Several clinical studies validate glucomannan’s ability to lower LDL cholesterol and blood lipid levels — as well as blood sugar levels (J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Feb;22(1):36-42, Diabetes Care. 2000 Jan;23(1):9-14, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2005 Jun;15(3):174-80).
One study (Int J Obes. 1984;8(4):289-93) showed that 1 gram of glucomannan, taken with 8 oz. of water one hour prior to meals, has a significant influence on weight loss — almost 6 pounds of fat lost in two months, with no changes in eating habits.
Despite the clinical evidence validating glucomannan’s effectiveness, I must caution you…
Glucomannan may be helpful, but it is not a miracle cure. And there’s certainly no merit to many of the outrageous claims made by the makers of glucomannan-based weight loss pills (like Propolene, FiberSlim, ZetaCap, etc.).
In fact, if you’d like to experiment with glucomannan, there are much cheaer ways of doing so. For instance, you can buy a 180-cap bottle for under $10 at BodyBuilding.com, one of our recommended online retailers.
In fact, the FTC recently targeted the makers of both FiberThin and Propolene (Obesity Research Institute) for making false and unsubstantiated claims about these products, and forced them to pay 1.5 million is customer redress. You can read more about the FTC action here!
Regardless of this, the bottom line is simple…
Adding fiber to your diet is great for all-round health, and may lead to weight loss and balanced blood sugar levels. FiberThin and other glucomannan-based products may help you accomplish this conveniently, but it is expensive.
I’ve also received numerous e-mails documenting the unscrupulous billing behavior on the part of the manufacturers of FiberThin. Seems they are adding customers to a monthly recurring billing plan without their permission. You might want to read this article before you purchase this product!
I’d recommend you save your money, eat high fiber foods, and supplement with a serving or two of Metamucil before meals if you find yourself overeating! Also, stay away from products retailed by companies that have been charged by the FTC with deceptive advertising tactics. These companies obviously have no credibility and zero ethics.