Dietary Fiber

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Dietary fiber is essentially dietary non-starch polysaccharides and cell wallassociated components such as lignin. The report of the Canadian Expert Committee (10) strongly emphasized that dietary fiber excludes polymers formed during food processing or preparation and that the labeling of dietary fiber content in a food has value only because certain physiological benefits are expected of fiber.

To consider dietary fiber as complex carbohydrates also ignores the fact that the non-carbohydrate components participate in maintaining the botanical (plant cell wall) structure of dietary fiber and the structure of the food. The botanical structure and particle size may account for a significant proportion of the beneficial effects of dietary fiber on postprandial blood glucose response and intestinal function (11).

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