04 Oct Natural Additives in Our Foods-What Is Guar Gum and Does It Impact Our Health?
Additives in our foods have come under fire lately, some for good reason. Many of these additives used in our foods contribute to health problems including food allergies, digestive problems, nervous disorders and respiratory problems.
Given the risk of using some of these additives, it is no surprise that many companies are switching to natural alternatives to try and eliminate these issues.
While these products may be naturally derived, is doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy for us. We wouldn’t want to be consuming products made from things which can harm us like poison oak or ivy for example, so what exactly is guar gum?
Guar Gum is a powdered product which is made from the guar beans themselves. This guar gum is used in products as an emulsifier, which is added to products to stabilize them. They are extremely common in dairy products such as milk and yogurts, and is found in almond milk, coconut milk and other similar products.
Guar gum has shown the potential to not only be beneficial in the manufacturing process, but may even provide benefits to our health. Should we be including this additive in our diet, or should we be avoiding it when we can?
What we have seen so far demonstrates that guar gum is more beneficial than harmful to us, but what other benefits can it provide?
What Are the Benefits of Guar Gum in Our Foods?
1-Extremely Popular in Vegan Products
If you are a vegan or know someone who is, baking vegan goods can be extremely difficult. This is because one of the most common binding ingredients in baking is an egg, which is off limits for vegans. It can also be used in place of wheat flour as well, for those of us who still use eggs.
Guar gum is important in baking because it allows pockets of air and moisture to stay within the goods. Without air pockets in the baked goods they will not rise as well, and also tend to crumble apart. Without pockets of moisture the baked goods are too dry and unappealing.
Guar gum is an absolute hero to vegan baking, and is something you almost can’t go without if you want to maintain a vegan diet.
2-Can Help You Feel Full
Another benefit that guar gum provides is that it contains complex carbohydrates. This means it provides the body with some of the energy it needs, but does so that these sugars are digested slowly over a longer period of time.
This is a reason why it is also added as a filler to certain foods, as it is a cheap way to fill people up. The flip side of getting ripped off here is that guar gum increases satiety as well, so you probably won’t be going back for seconds.
3-Can Help Slow Down Sugar Absorption
A major reason why guar gum is so effective in its ability to bind is because of its high amount of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the type of fiber that the body can actually break down, and has shown to not only reduce the risk of diabetes, but also decreases cholesterol levels as well.
It is able to do this because it slows down the digestive process, which in turn slows the sugars from reaching the bloodstream. The body is able to deliver a more steady supply of sugar to the body by doing so, improving energy levels while reducing your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes in the process.
4-Will Aid You in Your Bowel Movements
Another huge issue many people have when it comes to their diet is that they don’t get enough fiber. When you don’t get enough fiber it makes it extremely difficult for the body to defecate. This is because the digestive process is happening too quickly, to where too much water is being removed from the digestive system.
Not enough water in the digestive tract means that the bowel itself will be smaller, and thus more difficult for the body to move. This is a major cause of constipation which guar gum can help to resolve.
Some studies have even shown that adding more soluble fiber to your diet may even help to reduce the instances of flare ups in the cases of people who suffer from irritable bowel disease.