All Fibers May Not Be Created Equal

By Elena Conis, Los Angles Times, 1/11/10

If your diet lacks fiber, it’s your own fault. High levels of the cholesterol-lowering, regularity-inducing substance can now be found in many breads, pastas, cereals – even yogurts, cakes and juices.

Some foods, such as whole wheat bread, are naturally high in fiber. A growing number of products, however, proudly proclaim their high-fiber content, such as Arnold’s Double Fiber Bread and Yoplait’s Fiber One yogurt, getting some or all of their fiber from so-called isolated or functional fibers — ingredients with names like inulin, maltodextrin and polydextrose – that manufacturers intentionally add to foods to boost total fiber content.

Whether these isolated fibers have all of the same health benefits as the naturally occurring ones remains to be seen.

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