How Psyllium Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels | Metamucil
Did you know that national nutrition surveys show that the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day?1 That’s more than double the recommended daily amount. Plus, less than 10% of Americans get their daily recommended fiber intake each day.2 The sugar surplus and fiber gap in today’s typical diet is a real problem.
We get most of our sugar through what we eat, and this sugar fuels our bodies.3 While sugar—or glucose—provides energy, controlling the levels of glucose present in our blood is critical for maintaining a healthy weight and healthy body systems.4 Healthy people have a blood sugar concentration that is constantly changing based on diet and activity but overall is relatively stable and is maintained by the body without ever having to think about it. We all experience blood sugar spikes that exceed the normal range of 80 and 120 mg/dl, but the frequency and amount of time spent outside the normal range can be a cause for concern and a reason to talk to a health care provider.3
High intake of sugar with low intake of fiber can make the body work to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. With large amounts of sugar and low fiber in almost every processed food we eat, closing the fiber gap can be difficult.5
Adding a gelling fiber supplement like the psyllium in Metamucil to your daily routine can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels* and close the gap.
Why are healthy blood sugar levels important?
All the cells of our body are fueled by sugar in our blood stream. Simple sugars are absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly, while more complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and absorb. Over time regularly eating large amounts of simple processed sugars can impact your body’s ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels are consistently elevated, you could be diagnosed with prediabetes.6
According to the American Diabetes Association, 88 million people in the U.S, have prediabetes,7 which is a concerning statistic given how life-changing this diagnosis can be. If you are concerned about maintaining your blood sugar levels, increasing fiber intake by adding Metamucil to your daily routine can help.*
How Psyllium Fiber Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
According to the Cleveland Clinic, among supplements that have been studied for their ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, psyllium’s evidence was graded the highest. Research has shown that psyllium fiber can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when looking at both fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) – an indicator of average blood sugar over the previous 2-3 months.8
It helps control hunger.
Since consuming sugar or carbohydrate heavy foods is what makes our blood sugar levels rise, limiting sugar intake is one way of helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Psyllium fiber supplements like Metamucil can help you feel fuller longer by forming a gel in the digestive tract.* This mechanism can help curb hunger between meals, reducing your desire to eat.*
One study showed that taking 2 servings of Metamucil before breakfast and lunch for 3 consecutive days enhanced feelings of fullness and decreased feelings of hunger.9
It traps sugar in the digestive system.
Metamucil, through its gelling action, also helps slow sugar absorption from the digestive tract. Without a gel forming fiber, sugars are free to rapidly be absorbed into the bloodstream and raising blood sugar levels.10
How does psyllium work?
When psyllium mixes with water in the body, it forms a gel that is not digested, absorbed, or broken down.11
When the gelled psyllium and sugar are present in the digestive tract together, the gelled psyllium traps some sugars slowing down their absorption.
These trapped sugars are then released over time and absorbed more slowly into the blood stream. This helps the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*
5 More Things You Can Do to Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Psyllium fiber supplements are not the only way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.* Here are 5 more tips to achieving your blood sugar goals to support a healthy life.
Research has shown that exercising, especially after meals, can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.12 Though it is often considered important to wait to exercise following meals, exercise beginning approximately 30 minutes after the start of a meal can be beneficial.12
Another advantage of exercise is that when done regularly, it can improve insulin sensitivity.12 Maintaining insulin sensitivity is critical for the body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar levels.
2. Eat a low carb diet and choose low glycemic foods
Low carb diets can lower blood sugar levels.13 Since foods high in sugar can cause blood sugar spikes and elevation, it is important to educate yourself on the amount of sugar in your diet to help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Another way to minimize blood sugar spikes is to choose foods with a low glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the change in blood sugar by a specific amount of food compared to the same amount of pure glucose, a simple sugar. High GI foods with a GI of 75 or higher will have a rapid and larger impact on blood sugar whereas low GI foods, those with a GI of 55 or less, will have a slower and smaller impact on blood sugar. Examples of low GI foods are beans, whole grains, nuts, and most fruits and vegetables. In addition to eating a low carb diet, it is helpful to choose carbs with a lower glycemic index.14
3. Consume foods with fiber.
Just as psyllium fiber supplements can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, fiber rich foods can also be beneficial. Foods rich in fiber have more complex carbohydrates and fewer simple sugars so it takes the body longer to digest them. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and as a bonus, tend to be rich in nutrients
4. Stay hydrated
Dehydration is unhealthy for many reasons, one of them being the potential to increase blood sugar levels.15 Drinking plenty of water daily is vital for optimal body functioning. It can help the body with temperature regulation, joint lubrication, proper immune function, and waste removal.16, 17 When substituted for sugar-sweetened drinks, it can also support a healthy diet by helping reduce the number of calories we intake.18
The standard recommendation to drink eight glasses of water per day sets a reasonable goal.17 More specific targets should be worked with your health care provider. Although we can get our water from a variety of food and beverages, drinking plain water is still the best way to stay hydrated and has zero calories.18 But, if you don’t like the taste of plain water, add some flavor with slices of fruit, like orange, lemon, or lime.19
5. Get enough sleep
Studies have found that sleep deprivation can lead to an increased appetite, reduced feeling of fullness, and a tendency to choose foods dense in both calories and carbohydrates.20 The CDC recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.21 However, it’s not just important to get enough sleep, the quality of sleep also matters. Poor sleep quality has been associated with increased blood sugar intolerance and insulin resistance and may lead to weight gain.20
Besides ensuring that you receive 7 or more hours of sleep, there are many ways to improve your quality of sleep. Create a bedtime routine of activities that are relaxing such as journal writing, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to prepare your brain and body for sleep while also managing stress.22 Limit your caffeine intake eight hours before bedtime and ensure your last meal is a few hours before sleeping.20. 23 Maintain a regular sleep schedule, turn off all electronic devices like your phone or the TV an hour before bedtime, and try and sleep in a dark room.20, 22
How to Take Metamucil to Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels*
Metamucil powders and capsules can both help maintain healthy blood sugar levels* when taken as directed. Check with your health care professional if you are currently using any medications to control your blood sugar levels.
- Metamucil Powders: Take 1 serving before each meal (up to 3 times per day) to help support healthy blood sugar levels.* Check the package for appropriate serving size.
- Metamucil Capsules: Take 5 capsules up to 4 times per day before each meal to help support healthy blood sugar levels.
^^ Metamucil is a licensed participant in the American Diabetes Association Better Choices for Life Program. This product is not intended to treat diabetes. More information is available at www.diabetes.org/resources/better-choices-life