Insulin? No, no. Inulin. What is Inulin? No idea? You aren’t alone.
Inulin is a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides. Oh right why didn’t you say so? Polysaccharides, of course! Sorry! Inulin is the stuff found naturally, mostly in root vegetables, which has been turning up on ingredients lists of late and it is high time you knew about it. Inulin is basically a carbohydrate, belonging to a class of compounds known as fructans.It is considered to be a fibre because it is not absorbed via the intestinal tract. It has a bland to sweet taste and feels creamy in the mouth.
There are some health benefits: Fibre - self-explanatory. Pre-biotic - helps with good bacteria in the colon. Cholesterol - lowers cholesterol in the blood.
But why on earth is it being added to my food?
As far a carbohydrates go inulin is low in calories, it also doesn’t create an insulin spike like other carbs and it adds fibre. If we are in the business of making products low in carbs we would do well to add inulin. If we are in the business of making products low in carbs that taste good inulin is a no-brainer. It’s slightly sweet taste and creamy texture in the mouth, mimic the fat and sugar us dieters like to avoid.
Is inulin all that bad? Apart from the fact that some people do have a hard time ingesting the stuff, not really, but if it is naturally occurring in root vegetables how is it being turned into something which winds up in your nutritionally-packed health bar? I think we might need to investigate…..