Not all fiber is created equal. And unfortunately the popular terms High in Fiber or A Good Source of Fiber don’t have much meaning as, with many other misleading front-of-package claims, there is no regulation of the term. To boost the fiber content of many packaged foods, manufacturers will add fiber-substances with names such as inulin (chicory extract), maltodextrin and polydextrose. While these do count toward a food’s total fiber, they aren’t nearly as healthy and haven’t been proven to offer the same benefits as naturally occurring fiber. Not to mention, inulin can cause gastrointestinal discomfort; and who wants that? To tell whether a product contains the above-mentioned substandard forms of fiber, always check the ingredient list. Until then, here are a few examples of where naturally occurring fiber occurs:
Insoluble fiber – whole wheat, nuts and many vegetables.
Soluble fiber – oats, peas, beans, apples, bananas, pears, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium (seed husks).
* Fiber is the part of a plant food that your body cannot digest. It travels intact through your stomach, intestines and colon and exits from your body. There are two kinds of fiber, and both are good for you. Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, adds bulk to the material moving through your digestive system and is good at relieving constipation. Soluble fiber, as the name implies, dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
** The Fiber One Bars above list Chicory Extract (Inulin) as the first ingredient and Maltodextrin as the 11th.