One rounded tablespoon of Metamucil with real sugar provides 3 grams of dietary fiber. Recommended usage is generally one rounded tablespoon up to three time daily which would provide 9 or so grams of dietary fiber to one’s diet. For appetite control, the recommendation is 2 tablespoons before each meal. Assuming 3 meals, the fiber intake can be up to 18 grams.
The FDA recommends 28 grams of dietary fiber daily. Used as appetite control, Metamucil alone would cover 18 grams of that. And the amount of fiber from Metamucil’s sugar free version is the same as that “with real sugar.”
In terms of its macronutrient content, Metamucil is fat free. It is not however, carbohydrate free. Two tablespoons of Metamucil with real sugar contains 23 grams of carbohydrates of which added sugars account for 16 grams. Two teaspoons of the sugar free version has 10 grams of carbohydrates and zero added sugars.
Although Metamucil has versions made with Stevia and other variations, the two most popular would seem to be the Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder and its sugar free version. And its popularity is a no brainer for me. I love both products.
The taste reminds me of Tang. And I loved Tang growing up. It was the drink of Astronauts with a full day’s supply of Vitamin C. What was not to love? With Metamucil, I would get the great taste of Tang with all the great benefits of fiber.
Yet for all that is great about Metamucil, it does have one real drawback. That drawback is sugar. Let’s suppose one uses Metamucil as an appetite control supplement. Two tablespoons before each meal would bring 69 grams of carbohydrates to game of which 48 grams would be added sugar. Not the end of world, but it is almost the equivalent of a can of regular soda. That is a lot of sugar.
Because if one is using it for appetite control, then weight is certainly a concern. While getting the extra 18 grams of dietary fiber is great, it comes at a cost of consuming 48 grams of sugar. And sugar has no nutritional value. In fact, one could even say that it has negative nutritional value.
The other popular item is the sugar free version. With zero added sugar, it would seem to address the issue of all that added sugar. However, the subtraction of real sugar is replaced by the addition of aspartame. While the FDA has approved aspartame, it is of questionable value for some in the weight loss community. There is a lot of people drinking diet sodas and still very overweight.
The inference may be unfair to aspartame, but artificial sweeteners are to state the obvious – artificial. There also now seems to be a Stevia variation 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 enjoying the benefits of Metamucil but leery of all that added sugar or artificial sweeteners (except of course Stevia), then what are the options. Well, one option is to forgo the fiber supplement and focus on fiber.
If your diet is rich in fibrous food, then there would be no need for a supplement. An avocado has 6.7 grams of fiber. Apples, carrots, beets, strawberries, broccoli all clock in at around 2 to 3 grams per serving. Blackberries and Raspberries are in five to six grams range. Beans and peas come in around the 7 to 9 grams range. Chia seeds has an enormous amount of fiber, about 10 grams per ounce!
Another option is to look at the ingredient list for Metamucil. It is Psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is only source of fiber in Metamucil. Stripped of the maltodextrin, the citric acid, and so forth, all that is left is the Psyllium husk.
A tablespoon of Psyllium husk holds about 6.47 grams of fiber with zero sugars. A tablespoon of Metamucil Real Sugar Orange Smooth Powder provides about 3 grams with 8 grams of real sugar. Measure for measure, taking Psyllium husk directly provides far, greater bang for the buck.
Still, in the hectic rush of day, it may be difficult to get all the fiber one needs from whole foods. And if appetite control is the issue, then certainly a supplement like Metamucil would fit the bill. Also, the experience of drinking Psyllium mixed in water is far less palatable then drinking that wonderful Tang like Metamucil. In fact, Psyllium husk doesn’t really dissolve much in water. You just have to drink all down fast. Frankly, it’s just not pleasant.
For a dietary fiber supplement, Metamucil is a good option. However, one must recognize that it comes at the expense of consuming a lot of sugar or consuming artificial sweeteners. And so with regard to weight loss or weight control, the extra 48 grams of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners could be a deal-breaker.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention Metamucil as a supplement for digestive health, specific for alleviating constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. In fact, my initial purpose in drinking Metamucil was to help with my bowel movements. Sugar and weight control, or loss, aside, I would strongly recommend Metamucil for just this reason. But, then this would a subject for another article in and of itself.