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Most health conscious people would often look at the ingredients of the food they buy or eat. Are you one of those people? If so, have you noticed the ingredient called soluble corn fiber? But what is soluble corn fiber? Is it good for your health?
Soluble corn fiber is a kind of dietary fiber found in corn. It is used in different foods like protein bars, cereals, red velevet cake, and dairy products. It is a very good source of isolated fiber that has numerous health benefits. Suffice to say, you should aim to increase your consumption of foods with soluble corn fiber.
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What is soluble corn fiber?
Soluble corn fiber is also called maltodextrin, or resistant maltodextrin. In some instances, manufacturers label it as corn fiber or corn syrup.
It is made from cornstarch through a process called enzymatic hydrolysis. This ingredient is known for being stable to heat and water soluble.
Soluble corn fiber is a kind of functional fiber that is added to foods and beverages. Food makers use it to boost the fiber content of their products. It is also an excellent replacement to sweeteners as it is low in calories.
It isn’t exactly new, as this ingredient has been used in foods and beverages since the turn of the millennium. It is widely used in the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia.
How is soluble corn fiber used?
The following are some of the foods and beverages where soluble corn fiber is typically used in:
- Baked goods
- Dairy products
- Salad dressings
- Carbonated beverages
- Fruit drinks
- Flavored water
- Protein bars
As you can see, soluble corn fiber is so widely used that there's a chance the food you just bought has this ingredient.
What are the benefits of soluble corn fiber?
There have been numerous studies proving that consuming high levels of soluble corn fiber can bring the following health benefits:
1. Improve bone health in women
A very recent study made by experts from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA suggests that daily supplementation of soluble corn fiber can promote calcium buildup and retention in bones of women.
The study particularly looked at the effects of soluble corn fiber in the bone health of adolescent and postmenopausal women.
In a study involving the latter, 14 healthy women in their post menopausal stage consumed soluble corn fiber in different amounts (from 0 to 20 grams) daily for 50 days. Those who received 10 to 20 grams of soluble corn fiber were shown to have high bone calcium retention of 4.8 and 7 percent, respectively.
It should be noted that soluble corn fiber found in supplement form is usually in amounts of 10 to 20 grams. One of the authors noted that the amount could equal or even counter the average rate of bone loss that post-menopausal women suffer from in a year.
On the other hand, 28 girls aged between 11 and 14 years old also consumed zero, 10 or 20 grams of the ingredient every day for four weeks. After the study, it was found that females who consumed 10 and 20 grams of soluble corn fiber increased calcium absorption by 12 percent, translating to 1.8 more skeleton every year.
Soluble corn fiber, thus, reduces the risks of osteoporosis which is very common in aging women.
And even if you’re a man, you should still value bone health. You don’t want your bones to lose mass and become weak and brittle, right? If that happens, you are at risk of fractures particularly in the wrist and spine.
2. Promotes good digestive function
Soluble corn fiber has also been linked to good digestive health. It particularly improves laxation.
This was proven in a 2011 study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition. In the said study, 36 healthy adults were made to consume 20 grams of soluble corn fiber per day for 10 days. At the end of the study, increased fecal weight was observed in the participants.
The findings of the said 2011 research mirrored the findings of another study, this time published in the British Journal of Nutrition. In the same study, it was shown that 21 overweight men who ingested 21 grams of soluble corn fiber also experienced increase in fecal weight.
Thus if you regularly eat foods or drink beverages with soluble corn fiber, you will be able to have more regular bowel movement.
3. Promotes weight loss
Soluble corn fiber also increases the state of satiety of an individual. So when you eat a protein bar or consume fruit drinks with this type of soluble fiber, you will feel full faster.
And because soluble corn fiber has a lower calorie content than most sweeteners, it can be considered as a weight loss ingredient as well.
Soluble corn fiber is a kind of dietary fiber that many food makers are incorporating in their products.
It is good for our digestive system. It can also promote weight loss. And it has been proven to be essential to good bone health.
So the next time you buy cereals , chocolate paskha, dairy product, or flavored water in a grocery or store, why don’t you try to see if the food you are to buy contains soluble corn fiber?