Bloating, gas, gastrointestinal discomfort it stinks….literally!
Fiber is often to blame for these symptoms, but in truth specific fibers are the culprits giving all fibers a bad name! High fiber processed foods are often made with a class of dietary fibers known as fructans with inulin being public enemy number one!
Inulin is an oligosaccharides typically found in roots, i.e. chicory root, and digestion of this fiber is challenging. Enzymes that are normally responsible for digestion are rendered useless by inulin thus it is quickly and completely fermented in the large intestine creating bloating and gas. In addition, the sugars inulin create often end up as food for the bacteria in the gut also known as prebiotics. It is considered a FODMAP, a class of carbohydrates which are problematic for many individuals through causing overgrowth of intestinal methanogenic bacteria.
Ever eat a Fiber One bar only to be left with gastrointestinal discomfort shortly after? That is because Fiber One bars, as well as many high fiber processed foods, have >5g of fiber and much of it is inulin!
Fiber is integral to optimal health but you can meet your dietary fiber needs 25-35g/day with eating a diet rich in vegetables and some fruits. Stick to real foods!