Insoluble Dietary Fiber

Authored by: da Silva Leila Picolli , Walter Melissa

Handbook of Analysis of Active Compounds in Functional Foods

Print publication date:  January  2012
Online publication date:  January  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439815885
eBook ISBN: 9781439815908
Adobe ISBN:


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The fiber content of foods has been studied for approximately two centuries. However, interest in the study of fiber content from the perspective of human nutrition is more recent and was motivated by epidemiological observations from the 1960s, which showed that diseases such as diverticulitis, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and colon cancer were common in industrialized countries but less prevalent in undeveloped countries. It was hypothesized that this occurred due to differences between the composition of the diets in each region: in undeveloped countries, food is nonprocessed or only slightly processed, and therefore it contains more fiber than food in industrialized countries. Over the years, several studies were conducted to validate the hypothesis that the content of fiber in the diet is related to the incidence of certain diseases, and most of them provided evidence of beneficial digestive and metabolic effects related to the higher consumption of fiber, although these effects are distinct for different sources of fiber The impact of these studies has led to the evolution of the concept of fiber in food.

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