We know that fiber is fabulous! But what about fake fiber? As in, fiber that’s not naturally in foods, that’s added to foods? Well researchers at Georgia State University sought to determine just that!
Scientists exposed healthy mice to a diet containing foods enriched with a refined soluble fiber called inulin, which is extracted from the chicory root plant. This lead to a change in the mice microbiome that caused dysbiosis (an imbalance of bacteria). By the end of the study, the mice had developed jaundice (yellowing of skin) due to inflamed livers. Over time, these mice also developed liver cancer.
This study was done in mice, not humans. However, we can use this data to think about the implications of added fibers on human health. Overall, it appears that enriching foods with processed fibers does not provide the same benefit as eating foods that naturally contain fiber. So all in all, instead of chowing down on an added-fiber bar or brownie, eat your fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains! And if you want a brownie, just eat a regular brownie 😋
dEATS: mashed cauliflower base mixed with cauliflower rice for texture. paired with steamed zucchini, broccolini, and topped with marinara