Best Top Dietitian-Approved Gluten-Free Fiber Supplements

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Many individuals with celiac disease and those on a gluten-free diet struggle with constipation and other digestive issues. Dietitian Tiffany Torok, MA, RDN, specializes in Celiac Disease and discusses the Best Top Dietitian-Approved Gluten-Free Fiber Supplements. Fiber is essential to keeping our digestive systems running smoothly.

Womans hands with seeds.

Fiber is an Essential Nutrient

Fiber is an essential nutrient for digestive health, yet most Americans don’t get enough of it.

  • Fiber helps to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Aids our immune system
  • It helps our digestive tract stay healthy.
  • Eating a high-fiber diet can also help with blood sugar management for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
  • Some forms of fiber even bind with dietary cholesterol to keep it from getting absorbed, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

Symptoms of Low Fiber Intake

  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Stomach Discomfort
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Diverticulitis.

Gluten-Free Fiber Helps People Stay Regular!

There are two types of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber and the type of fiber you eat is essential. Healthy high-fiber diets include a variety of both types of fiber.

There Are Two Types of Fiber

  1. Insoluble fiber acts as bulk inside your digestive tract, part of plant material our body can’t digest. Insoluble fiber is found mainly in fruits and vegetables; think of the strings in celery or the outside part of corn
  2. Soluble fiber absorbs water in our intestinal tract to form a gel-like substance, keeping stool moving through our intestines and colon. It is found primarily in whole grains and legumes such as oats and beans. Soluble fiber, in particular, is important for the overall health of your digestive tract. It acts as a prebiotic fiber, or food source, for the good bacteria that naturally occur inside our intestinal tract. It does this by making short-chain fatty acids, which the bacteria feed on.

However, it is essential to note that both fiber types are found in the foods above, just in differing ratios (1). All foods that come from plants in their natural form contain fiber.

Note: A healthy gut microbiota not only protects from the development of intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome but also acts as a protective barrier against invading bacteria contained in the food we eat, thus strengthening our immune system (2).

Picture of types of fiber.

Average American Fiber Intake

But despite all the fantastic health benefits of fiber, the typical American still only gets about half its recommended amount or about 17 grams per day.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the dietary guidelines for healthy Americans, adult men should consume about 38 grams of fiber daily, and women should consume about 26 grams of fiber daily.

Many on a Gluten-free diet Struggle to Get Enough Fiber

(3). Many individuals who have celiac disease and gluten intolerance struggle with getting enough fiber when following a gluten-free diet. This is because many gluten-free processed foods contain little to no fiber.

Additionally, although a high-fiber diet can help prevent and treat certain intestinal diseases, individuals with severe IBS often need to eliminate specific food sources of fiber, depending on their sensitivity. These are known as FODMAPs, a group of fermentable carbohydrates.

According to Healthline: ‘They (FODMAPS) are notorious for causing common digestive issues like bloating, gas, stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation in those who are sensitive to them. This includes a surprising number of people, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Luckily, studies have shown that restricting foods high in FODMAPs can dramatically improve these symptoms.’ – Healthline.

Fiber Supplements for a Gluten Free Diet.
  • Nutrisource Fiber or Sun Fiber—This supplement contains guar gum and is safe for people with any form of gluten intolerance. It dissolves easily in liquids without turning gelatinous too quickly. Due to its solubility and taste, this is my most commonly recommended fiber for my pediatric patients. Guar gum is the only ingredient. It is gluten-free, lactose-free, and sugar-free.
  • Metamucil—This brand contains numerous dietary fiber supplements, all of which contain psyllium husk powder as the active ingredient. Metamucil also contains prebiotic fiber and artificial sweeteners.
  • Citrucel—Citrucel is a dietary fiber supplement made from methylcellulose, a starch. It contains additional inactive ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and dyes.
  • Benefiber – This fiber supplement is made from wheat dextrin, yet it states that it is gluten-free on the label. This can be confusing for many individuals with celiac disease. This product has been deglutinated so that only the starch portion of the wheat remains. It has been tested to contain 20 ppm of gluten, but is it safe for people with celiac disease? Benefiber’s website states, “However, people who experience gluten intolerance should not consume any products, including Benefiber, that contain any level of gluten unless otherwise directed by their doctor (4).”

The above supplements come in numerous forms, such as gummies, chewable tablets, fiber powders, and pills. Most fiber supplements on the market contain dextrin, psyllium husk, inulin, or methylcellulose.

However, you can also get psyllium husk powder, like Anthony’s brand, and add it to baked goods such as homemade banana bread or chia seeds in a smoothie.

Natural-Sources of Gluten-Free Fiber-Rich Foods (5)

  • Chia Seeds – 5 g fiber in 1 tablespoon chia seeds (Sherie’s favorite is Viva Naturals)
  • Ivory Teff – 4 grams of fiber in one Ivory Teff tortilla
  • Flax Seed – 3.5 grams of dietary fiber in 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed (I use this gluten-free ground flaxseed brand daily from Bob’s Mill)
  • Quinoa – 3.4 grams of fiber for 2/3 cup of cooked quinoa
  • Beans (black, pinto, navy, kidney, white, etc) – 8.4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup of cooked beans
  • Jicama – 6.5 grams of fiber in 1 cup of cut jicama
  • Raspberries – 8 grams of fiber in 1 cup of raspberries
  • Oats – 4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Peas – 5 grams of dietary fiber per 2/3 cup serving of peas
  • Edamame – 4 grams of fiber in 1 cup of edamame
Natural Sources of Fiber Flax and Seeds.

How To Eat A High Fiber Diet

Eating a high-fiber, gluten-free diet when you have celiac disease can be difficult to manage if you rely on processed foods for the majority of what you eat. However there are some high fiber foods that you can find on the grocery store shelves that can make getting to your daily fiber goal a bit easier.

TIP: One way is to swap corn and brown rice pasta which has 2 grams of fiber or less per serving to a brand of pasta that is made with peas, lentils, or beans. For example, Banza pasta has 5 grams of fiber per 2 oz serving, or approximately 1 cup cooked. ZenB pasta has 7 grams of fiber per 2 oz serving.

Another easy way to get more fiber into your gluten-free diet is to purchase gluten-free bread that has more fiber in it, such as Schar bread which has 5 grams of fiber per serving. Some of the other popular gluten-free breads only have 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.

TIP: A great way to eat a high fiber diet is to check the nutrition label when shopping and choose foods that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, more if possible.

Salad for high fiber diet.

Dietitian Tiffany Toroks’ Recommendations

One thing to keep in mind if you are trying to increase the fiber in your diet is not to suddenly start eating a high-fiber diet if you currently eat a fairly low-fiber diet. This can cause constipation and abdominal pain. Make sure that you are eating whole grain products, as these have more fiber. Incorporate beans or lentils into at least one meal a day. Lastly, get your five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Tiffany Torok, MA, RDN

Thanks for stopping by Delectable Food Life!

I hope you enjoyed this article Best Top Dietitian Approved Gluten-Free Fiber Supplements. Please join our newsletter for weekly articles and delicious gluten-free recipes.

References

1. Yang He, Bixiang Wang, Liankui Wen, Fengzhong Wang, Hansong Yu, Dongxia Chen, Xin Su, Chi Zhang. Effects of dietary fiber on human health. Food Science and Human Wellness. 2022; 11(1):1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fshw.2021.07.001. ISSN 2213-4530.

2. Guan Z-W, Yu E-Z, Feng Q. Soluble Dietary Fiber, One of the Most Important Nutrients for the Gut Microbiota. Molecules. 2021; 26(22):6802. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26226802

3. Dahl WJ, Stewart ML. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Nov;115(11):1861-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.09.003. PMID: 26514720.

4. https://www.benefiber.com/fiber-faq/?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7OXx9LushQMVOQatBh0uVgQSEAAYASACEgLYaPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds#accordion-content-0297852548-0 5. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-search

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