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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Oct;108(10):1677-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.07.010.

Low-digestible carbohydrates in practice.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Low-digestible carbohydrates are carbohydrates that are incompletely or not absorbed in the small intestine but are at least partly fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. Fiber, resistant starch, and sugar alcohols are types of low-digestible carbohydrates. Given potential health benefits (including a reduced caloric content, reduced or no effect on blood glucose levels, non-cariogenic effect), the prevalence of low-digestible carbohydrates in processed foods is increasing. Low-digestible carbohydrate fermentation in the gut causes gastrointestinal effects, especially at higher intakes. We review the wide range of low-digestible carbohydrates in food products, offer advice on identifying low-digestible carbohydrates in foods and beverages, and make suggestions for intakes of low-digestible carbohydrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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