Soluble corn fiber is one of the most common ingredients you can find in low carb or keto food products.
Yet, corn is the food item that is rich in both carbohydrates and fiber
Let's also not forget about the fact that this has a sweet taste.
Now, you might be thinking this substance might do your keto diet worse than good.
So, is soluble corn really fiber keto-friendly?
Well, these are the questions we'll be answering in this article, so let's get started!
What Is Soluble Corn Fiber?
From its name, soluble corn fiber is a type of dietary fiber that's derived from corn.
It's commonly found in the ingredients label of most packaged foods such as protein bars, crackers, soups, salad dressings, cereals, dairy products, frozen goods, and many more.
This ingredient is often added to such food items for two main reasons.
First, it's meant to boost the fiber content of packaged foods.
Second, it's also used as a sugar replacement for low-carb foods.
Now, this is where the problem starts.
Many people confuse soluble corn fiber, aka resistant maltodextrin, as maltodextrin.
The substance has been known for spikes in blood sugar levels, so it should be avoided on keto as much as possible. (1)
But hold on for a second.
How Is Soluble Corn Fiber Made?
When you add heat and acid to regular corn syrup, you'll get soluble corn fiber.
The addition of heat and acid is known as the rendering-down process and can help burn off the sugar compounds of high-fructose syrup.
As a result, soluble corn fiber contains lower carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index of 25, which is a lot lower than the table sugar.
Resistant Maltodextrin Vs. Maltodextrin
While both substances are found in corn, these are not the same.
Maltodextrin can indeed raise blood glucose levels and may kick you out of ketosis because of the absorption during your digestion.
However, the effect of this substance may not interact with resistant maltodextrin because this substance bypasses the normal digestive processes, so the body does not absorb it during digestion.
Additionally, Maltodextrin also doesn't contain any calories, so it won't affect your blood glucose levels.
The Known Benefits of Soluble Corn Fiber
One of the biggest challenges you'll ever have in the keto diet is getting your recommended daily fiber intake right.
Since soluble corn fiber is considered to be both a prebiotic and soluble fiber, it can be an excellent addition to your keto diet.
Because of the nature and structure of soluble corn fiber, here is some of the benefits you can get from it:
This can help you get the right amount of fiber that you need.
As mentioned, hitting your fiber intake can be an issue on the ketogenic diet.
The consumption of food items that contain soluble corn fiber can 100% help increase your fiber intake.
Fiber is an essential nutrient that plays a significant role in different bodily functions.
Besides promoting regular bowel movements and aiding in digestion, the right fiber intake can also help you lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. (2)
It can promote healthy gut bacteria.
When you're on keto, you will experience many gastrointestinal issues—bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and many more.
The lack of microbiota may bring these about in your gut due to your diet's drastic change.
Soluble corn fiber is a well-known prebiotic since it helps increase gut bacteria by feeding them.
With this, consuming soluble corn fiber may aid in bringing back balance to your gut microbiota, reducing or eliminating these unwanted effects in the process.
It can help support immunity.
When we talk about fiber and intestine, your immune system will be the last thing we would want to talk about.
After all, it seems impossible that there will be a link between our gut health and immune health, right?
Well, here's a piece of surprising news: around 70% of our immune cells are found in our gut. (5)
In one study, the adults who were asked to take soluble corn fiber supplements and a probiotic for three weeks showed an improvement in their immune function based on their natural killer cells' increased activity.
The Potential Downsides of Soluble Corn Fiber
Despite the benefits of soluble corn fiber, the consumption of this substance is laden with doubts and issues because of two main concerns:
The majority of the corn crops in the US are GMO's. The most common concern with GMOs is the presence of glyphosate, which is considered to be a potentially carcinogenic compound.
One of the benefits of soluble corn fiber is it can help address digestive side effects by correcting the imbalance in your gut microbiota.
However, we must keep in mind that fibers, when consumed in excess, may cause digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and many more.
Is Soluble Corn Fiber Keto-friendly?
With that said, we already have enough information to answer this pressing question—is soluble corn fiber keto-friendly?
Since it can't spike your blood glucose levels and, therefore, won't kick you out of ketosis, we can consider soluble corn fiber to be technically keto-friendly.
With all the benefits one can get from soluble corn fiber, it shouldn't be a surprise that most people on keto are incorporating this into their diet.
Yes, soluble corn fiber is keto-friendly. Yes, it's prebiotic.
Despite these, you shouldn't forget that the consumption of soluble corn fiber may also come with a few side effects and potential dangers.
To minimize these, it's always a must that you check and inspect the labels of the low-carb and keto foods that you consume, especially the packaged ones.
Shy away from the GMOs and opt for food containing non-GMO soluble corn fiber or the corn fiber that was derived from.
Another thing that you should consider is our bodies are different and may react differently from the consumption of soluble corn fiber.
To ensure that this substance won't kick you out of ketosis, we recommend checking your ketone levels.
You can do this by using keto urine sticks, which you may find in this buying guide.