HOUSTON—Sure, the box says “fiber filled,” but in many instances a Houston dietitian says the fiber in some products is manufactured and lacks the same nutritional value found in fiber-rich foods.
Some snack bars, cereal and bread are just a few of the products that contain chicory root fiber. It’s a plant root, but its extract is manipulated to mimic dietary fiber.
“They’re absolutely not the same,” explains Kari Kooi, a registered dietitian with the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “They don’t have the same health properties.”
Kooi believes they fall under what she calls a “health halo.” The fiber marketed and touted on the packaging leads people to believe it’s a great fiber-filled choice.
Kooi says it’s better to get your fiber, a recommended 25-30 grams a day, from beans, vegetables and fruit, especially since some people have a stomach aversion to manufactured fiber.
“They ferment in the large intestine and that can cause some discomfort, bloating and gas,” said Kooi.