Functional fibers are isolated, nondigestible forms of carbohydrate that have been extracted from starchy foods or manufactured from starches or sugars. They may have some of the benefits of naturally occurring dietary fiber, such as helping to prevent constipation or lowering blood glucose levels after meals. But they lack the nutrients and phytochemicals that come with the fiber found in whole foods. On food labels, functional fibers are currently included in the grams of dietary fiber. Viscous fibers help to lower blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels, fermentable fibers are beneficial for colon health, and insoluble fibers help to alleviate constipation. Here are some of the more commonly used functional fibers:
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