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Posts Tagged fibre

Nutrition claims & conditions governing their use

LOW ENERGY

ENERGY-REDUCED

ENERGY-FREE

LOW FAT

FAT-FREE

LOW SATURATED FAT

SATURATED FAT-FREE

LOW SUGAR

SUGAR-FREE

WITH NO ADDED SUGARS

LOW SODIUM/SALT

VERY LOW SODIUM/SALT

SODIUM-FREE or SALT-FREE

SOURCE OF FIBRE

HIGH FIBRE

SOURCE OF PROTEIN

HIGH PROTEIN

SOURCE OF (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)

HIGH (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)

CONTAINS (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT OR OTHER SUBSTANCE)

INCREASED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT)

REDUCED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT)

LIGHT/LITE

NATURALLY/NATURAL

SOURCE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

HIGH OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

HIGH MONOUNSATURATED FAT

HIGH POLYUNSATURATED FAT

HIGH UNSATURATED FAT

Digestive health

In recent years, these probiotic-bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health.

Foods that claim to improve digestive health are now commonplace on the supermarket shelves. In recent years, these probiotic-bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health. These days, it’s not as simple as adding ‘fibre’ – many more exotic sounding ingredients such as resistant starch, inulin, oligosaccharides and polydextrose are used, not to mention the lactic acid bacteria that are added to yogurts and yogurt drinks.

Inulin, for example, is a carbohydrate that acts as a prebiotic soluble fibre. It may help reduce the risk of some infections and relieve the symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As a prebiotic fibre, it helps promote the growth of the ‘friendly’ bacteria that live in the intestinal tract and play an important role in the digestive process.

In recent years, probiotic bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health. The most common of these are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The idea is to maintain a healthy balance of these bacteria in the gut, because their numbers can be reduced by illness, stress, poor nutrition and antibiotics. Claims have been made that they can help strengthen the immune system, and reduce the impact of some diseases.

Blood sugar control

Fiberous carbohydrates are digested slowly.

We get the energy we need from the food we eat. Much of the energy comes in the form of carbohydrates, and if these are rapidly digested the energy is quickly taken up by the body. Such rapidly digested carbohydrates are termed ‘high glycaemic’, as they give a rapid, high peak of blood sugar. But there is a problem here – blood sugar levels rapidly ‘crash’ because of the insulin the body produces to transport the sugar from the blood into the cells. Low blood glucose leads to a lack of alertness and even drowsiness, so if these extreme highs and lows of blood sugar can be levelled out, the body will better use the energy available.

Part of the answer comes in carbohydrates that are digested much more slowly, such as resistant starches, beta-glucan, pectin and sugar replacers. Unlike easily digestible carbohydrates such as simple sugars, these more complex carbohdrates pass through the small intestine unchanged and are digested more slowly in the large intestine where they provide a slower supply of energy, reducing the energy spike.

Blood sugar claims

Health claimFunctional ingredient
Reduction of postprandial glycaemic response Aribinoxylin from wheat germ
Reduction of postprandial glycaemic response Beta-glucan from oats and barley
Reduction of postprandial glycaemic response Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose
Reduction of postprandial glycaemic response Pectins
Reduction of postprandial glycaemic response Sugar replacers – ie
Intense sweeteners, eg sucralose; xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, lactitol, isomalt, erythritol, and polydextrose; D-tagatose and isomaltulose

Fibre

Dietary fibre is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Consuming sufficient dietary fibre is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system. There are two main types of fibre – soluble and insoluble – and many different components of plants act as dietary fibres, including cellulose, lignin, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides.

Dietary fibre is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system.Insoluble fibre passes straight through the digestive tract unchanged. Because it absorbs water on the way, it softens the stool and helps waste material pass through the intestines more quickly. Important sources include beans, lentils, whole grains and wheat bran.

Soluble fibre is not digested, but it does not pass through the body unaltered – it absorbs water to form a gel, and may be fermented by bacteria within the large intestine. Increasing the amount of soluble dietary fibre in the diet may increase the feeling of fullness, or satiety, and contribute to weight management. Sources include oats, peas, beans, lentils, fruits such as apples, oats, potatoes and some green vegetables.