Food Labeling Misconception #3: High in Fiber

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.

For more on food labeling misconceptions, click here for “Multigrain” and here for “All-Natural“.



4 thoughts on “Food Labeling Misconception #3: High in Fiber

  1. those bars made me EXTREMELY SICK. Bloating, gas, burping, followed by diarrhea! They should come with a warning label! They doubled me over in pain.

  2. Nice blog comment Chicory extract I like chicory extract this is hallty is the valuable herb which for a long time has won popularity in national medicine.chicory extract was also often prescribed by herbalists of recent centuries to cure a whole host of ailments; the herbalist of the middle ages often recommended herbal remedies made from the chicory extract as tonics, as laxatives, and as diuretics.

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