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Tag: fiber

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Chewing. The act of breaking down food in your mouth with your teeth. It’s something we take for granted because if we didn’t chew, we’d be preforming the Heimlich Maneuver on a daily basis. Chewing seems so simple. You just bite down a few times, swallow and repeat. But how often do you really chew your food and, quite frankly, why does it matter?

Here are 5 reasons you should absolutely care about proper chewing:
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Ingredient Spotlight: Guar Gum

This Ingredient Spotlight is a regular feature from Be Food Smart. Check back regularly to see new ingredients.

Guar Gum

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By: VirtualErn via Flickr

Names: E412, Gyamopsis Tetragonolobus, Gum Guar, Guar Flour, Guaran

Uses: Thickener, Stabilizer

Description: Extracted from the guar bean; made with the ground up guar seeds. Used as a thickener, binder, and stabilizer in a variety of foods. The guar bean plants are mainly grown in India and Pakistan. Also used as a bulk laxative.

Found In: baked goods, cereal, fruit drinks, frozen fruit, cheese spread, dressing, jelly and preserves, yogurt, kefir, sauces, ice cream

Possible Health Effects: If consumed in large quantities or without enough water, may swell and cause throat blockage. As with many fiber products, may cause flatulence and abdominal cramping…read more on Guar Gum.

Related Ingredients: Gum Arabic, Guaiac Gum

Copyright August 8, 2010 Be Food Smart

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Be Food Smart was created to educate and inform the public about what’s really in the foods we eat every day. The site has a huge database of food additives, chemicals, food colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives and allows one to search for over 400 ingredient names. Our unique ingredient reports contain simple and easy to understand descriptions, alternate names, possible health effects, and allergy information. The site is completely free and is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, health care professionals, dietitians, and concerned consumers.

Image: VirtualErn

Last year my friend posted an update on her Facebook page saying she was sitting at her desk eating chia seeds. Chia seeds? As in the Chia Pet? Apparently, yes! The same seeds used to make “hair” on Chia Pets is the same stuff you can eat. Fast forward to last month when my eye doctor recommended I buy chia seeds to help with dry eyes. I went to Whole Foods only to find they are were out of the seeds in their bulk bins. Apparently, the stuff is selling like hotcakes. I ended up with a 1lb container of chia seeds from the supplement aisle and dropped $19.95 + tax to see what they are all about.

After some research, I came to realize that there might be a good reason for the hype. Salvia hispanica or chia seeds, contain more omega-3s than any other plant source, including flax! Two servings (2 tablespoons or approx 23 grams) provides:
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