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Nutritionists Skeptical Of Health Benefits Of Functional Fibers Added To Foods

January 11, 2010: 06:46 AM EST
Many food products available today offer fiber content. But nutritionists and other health experts question whether added fiber has the same health benefits – lowering cholesterol, inducing regularity – as naturally occurring, or dietary, fiber found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains. Food manufacturers are adding what is called functional fiber, including lab-produced maltodextrin and polydextrose, to breads and yogurts. Other added fibers include inulin, soy hulls, oat fibers and sorghum fibers. But scientists wonder if these are as beneficial. "They help, but not that much,” says a nutritionist. “They don't have the same functionality of a whole grain."
Elena Conis, "All fibers may not be created equal", Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2010, © The Los Angeles Times
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