Pros: Easy to take, sugar-free, non-gritty or thickening
My mother has diverticulitis and one of my sisters has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and I occasionally have bouts of spastic colon so I think its safe to say intestinal problems run in the family.
Years ago, when I went to see my doctor, he told me to take a fiber supplement and I think he suggested Citrucel or Metamucil. I tried them but I found them to be gritty and if you put them in a drink like orange juice and didnt drink it right away, you would find yourself with a glass full of thick gel which was undrinkable.
After I bought the first container of Benefiber, a bulk fiber powder, I found a $2.00 coupon in my Sunday paper and went to the supermarket to buy another. To my surprise, they now have a plus Calcium version too. Since we women need to be sure we get enough calcium, especially in our older years, this makes an easy way to help supplement our calcium intake.
Benefiber comes from the makers of ex-lax?, a chocolate flavored, chocolate candy look-alike that has been around for decades. Benefiber is 100% natural and is a soluble dietary fiber extracted from the seed of the cluster bean. It also contains partially hydrolyzed guar gum. I have no idea what partially hydrolyzed guar gum is or what that means. I do know that we should stay away from Partially Hydrogenated Oils (trans fats). I dont think its the same thing. You can learn more about guar gum at: http://www.healthtouch.com
The Food and Nutrition Board
recommends that Americans consume 38 grams of dietary fiber per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. However, current typical fiber intake for the average American ranges from only 16 to 18 grams per day for men and 12 to 14 grams per day for women
Regarding Colorectal Cancer
The Food and Drug Administration says on its website: proposed health claim about dietary fiber and reduced risk of colorectal cancer could not be authorized because the results of studies about dietary fiber consistently showed a lack of relationship between dietary fiber supplements and the risk of colorectal cancer. For further information go to: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/ANS01044.html
Directions for Use:
Adults: 1 ? to 3 tablespoons into 8 oz. of any beverage or soft food (hot or cold). Stir well until dissolved. Dosage is up to 3 times daily. Not to exceed 7 ? tablespoons per day. This product can also be used by children under 12 years of age: 7 to 11 years: 1 to 1 ? tablespoons and up to 3 times daily; not to exceed 3 2/3 tablespoons per day. Children younger than 6 years, ask your doctor.
In very tiny print on the bottom of the container, it says: not recommended with carbonated beverages.
(HOWEVER, there was a little label sticker on top of the Benefiber plus Calcium container that says: Do not mix with milk.)
There are 36 servings in the 9 oz. container. It doesnt thicken no matter how long it sits in your drink and so far Ive put it in orange juice, tea and grape juice. I cant taste any difference in flavor.
I was surprised that there was no instruction on the label to indicate to drink a lot of fluid with the product. Typically these products recommend a second glass of water following the glass that has the product in it. I did find the following though on their website:
Experts recommend including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables and choosing 6 - 11 servings of breads, cereals, rice and pasta each day. And when you increase fiber, always remember to drink more beverages to keep the fiber moving through your digestive tract.
A Word About Water
Experts tells us that we should be drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Thats 64 ozs. or one half gallon. Do you know what a half gallon of milk looks like? Well, thats how much water you should drink daily. Just thinking about it makes me feel sea-sick. How many people do you know who drink 64 ozs. of water a day? Could it be the reason America is so over-weight? Are we not drinking enough water?
I have read recently that if you are trying to lose weight and you think you are hungry (say after a meal), that you should drink a glass of water because your body may be craving water when you think what you are feeling is hunger.
How Much Fiber is Enough?
I also remember reading recently that if you have too much fiber in your body you could lose Iron. Women cant afford to lose Iron! How much fiber is too much?
According to Mahendra K. Matta Diplomat, American Board of Surgery and American Board of Colon and Surgery http://www.colonandrectaldiseasecenter.com/highfiberdiet/:
While there is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for dietary fiber, the National Cancer Institute has recommended eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Most Americans consume only 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. Thus, most people are 15 to 20 grams short of the daily fiber goal.
A Word About Sugar
This product is sugar free. If you are watching your sugar intake (and you should be) you can relax because Benefiber will not add to your daily allowance of sugar which is only 8 teaspoons per day! Sugar adds pounds quickly!
Did you know that the ? cup of syrup that we put on our pancakes for breakfast contains 8 teaspoons of sugar? I was shocked! Thats your daily allowance right there.
An 8 oz. glass of orange juice contains 5.5 teaspoons of sugar! I stopped drinking orange juice and started eating ? grapefruit for breakfast instead.
Four tablespoons of ketchup (I put at least 4 tablespoons on my burger) is 4 teaspoons of sugar! Thats half your daily allowance!
I know I wont have to worry about any added sugar in Benefiber! Sodium is low too; only 10mg per serving. Serving size is: 1 ? tablespoons. Carbohydrates: 6g per serving and only 20 calories per serving.
Benefiber is available in various sized canisters and premeasured packets for individual servings.
For more information about Benefiber, go to their website: http://www.benefiber.com/