Dr Oz: Fake Fiber-Fortified Foods
Are fiber-fortified foods fake? The food industry knows consumers are desperate to get more fiber into their diets to help them lose weight, clean out their systems, and flatten their bellies. But are packaged foods with labels that claim they contain added fiber too good to be true? Dr Oz enlisted the help of Jenna Wolfe to find out. Foods fortified with fiber are everywhere from hot chocolate to cottage cheese. At first, the trend seems like a great idea, with Dr Oz himself promoting more fiber in the diet.
Dr Oz: Food Products With Added Fiber
The food industry has caught on and started adding fiber to food where it never used to exist, including ice cream. While fiber-fortified foods can certainly help fill you up, in the case of cookies, it would take five of them to get your daily dose of fiber, which is 600 calories, 50 grams of sugar and 110 carbohydrates! Fiber-fortified foods also cost more than the regular version of the same food, which is bad news for your wallet. A box of standard cookies costs about $1.50, whereas fiber-fortified cookies cost $2.87. Standard ice cream bars cost $5.29, while those with added fiber cost $6.49.
Should we really be counting on those fiber-fortified foods to get the fiber we need in our diet?
Dr Oz: Ingesting Foods With Fake Fiber
Dr Oz welcomed two women Jenna found shopping for fiber-fortified foods in the supermarket. The first woman explained that she would much rather be able to reach her daily fiber goal eating fun and tasty foods, as opposed to a bag of spinach. The second woman believes the fiber-fortified foods are responsible for helping her squeeze into her skinny jeans and feel good about herself.
The truth, according to Jenna, is that those fiber-fortified foods actually contain “fake fiber.” It’s not the same kind of fiber you would get from an apple or a stalk of broccoli. She described it as a company’s way of making bad food seem healthier. It’s actually synthetic fiber.
Dr Oz: Inulin, Maltodextrin, Polydextrose Synthetic Fiber
Dr Oz then welcomed an expert, Dr Robynne Chutkan who further explained exactly what synthetic fiber is. She began by explaining that all fiber is created equal. She then went into detail about exactly what’s in the food you’re eating, beginning with inulin. Inulin is made from chicory root extract and is often added to sugary food and candy to increase fiber content and sweetness. It can help clean you out, but it can also cause a lot of gas and bloating which is bad news for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Then there’s maltodextrin is a highly-processed fiber additive made from genetically modified cornstarch. In animal studies, it actually caused weight gain! Finally, polydextrose is a synthetic form of glucose which resists digestion, which means it doesn’t add calories but it also comes with a lot of gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.
Dr Oz: Cereal Fortified With Oat Hull
It’s important to remember that if a food doesn’t naturally contain fiber, it doesn’t really count. You want to get 25 grams of fiber per day, and fiber-fortified processed foods don’t count toward that. Instead, you’d be ingesting more sugar and unnecessary calories. On top of that, the ingredients you’re consuming will likely just cause you uncomfortable side effects like gas and bloating. The only fortified food worth trying would be a cereal fortified with oat hull, because it’s fortified with fiber made from nature.