Xanthan gum is a man-made additive for foods that became famous most especially in the field of weight loss. This is because xanthan is said to bind, stabilize, and mimic the properties of gluten.
Why should you use xanthan gum? Well if you’ve been doing Keto diet for quite some time now or if you’re new to this weight loss program, then you will for sure encounter xanthan gum.
Think of xanthan gum as a sugar-like compound that is being included in making processed foods. However, this compound is more well-known in healthy recipes due to its ability to mimic the properties of gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that is used as a thickening agent.
Xanthan gum is made up of fermented sugar from the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. After the sugar is fermented, the product comes out as a gel-like substance that is later on dried and ground to result in a powder form.
One of the purposes of xanthan is to be a substitute for gluten since some people are sensitive or rather prohibited to gluten due to their healthy lifestyle.
Aside from seeing xanthan in so many processed products, xanthan is also associated with some benefits that are good for the body.
Since xanthan is man-made, this compound is considered to be in the form of soluble fiber. Having said, xanthan is as similar to the carbs that the body cannot break down and process properly. Scientifically speaking, xanthan being a soluble fiber is calorie-free and at the same time doesn’t contain any nutrients.
As a result, this compound promotes digestive health and at the same time is known in keeping the body at a healthy state regularly.
Xanthan Gum and Keto Diet
One of the major reasons why xanthan gum is a perfect addition to a keto diet is because as mentioned above, xanthan is a soluble fiber. Since it doesn’t contain any nutrients and is considered calorie-free, one wouldn’t have to include xanthan in the daily calculation of carbs.
However, this amazing substance may be quite expensive for some. But that may also not be an issue since the benefits of xanthan in terms of weight loss will outweigh its cost.
Since a bottle of xanthan gum may last for months, there could be a lot of recipes one can surely enjoy with xanthan as an additive.
If we think of it, xanthan is surely a must-have in almost all low carb diets, especially in Keto diet. Unlike other gluten-free substances, xanthan can hold all ingredients together.
With that, one can surely enjoy trying our different recipes to spice up the Keto diet every once in a while. Most often, xanthan gum is used as an ingredient in making salad dressings, Keto-friendly sauces, Keto desserts, homemade syrups, and even weight-loss shakes.
So, What Does Xanthan Gum Exactly Do?
Imagine being able to bake bread or any other foods without having to include carbs or calories. Won’t that make losing weight, easier?
Well that’s exactly the beauty of xanthan gum. Aside from it thickens and holds all the ingredients together, xanthan is also very easy to blend with other ingredients. Even though there are also low-carb flours or cornstarch that are said to be conducive in Keto diet, xanthan saves one from adding up carbs on the daily carb consumption.
Some of the foods that have xanthan gum are the following:
- Fruit juices
- Ice cream
- Syrups, jams, jellos
- Gluten-free foods
Benefits of Xanthan Gum
As mentioned above, xanthan gum is not only a good partner in the kitchen. Aside from being a support in weight loss, xanthan also comes with some health benefits that a Keto dieter will also love.
- Lowers blood sugar
- Decreases blood cholesterol
- Aids in weight loss
- Promotes digestive health
- May fight cancer
- Thickens liquids
- Combats dry mouth
Is Xanthan Gum Safe?
Just like other substances, xanthan may also come with some drawbacks. However, research suggests that xanthan negative side effects only take place if one has used large amounts of gum.
Some of the reported side effects of xanthan include the following:
- Increased bowel movement
- Altered gut bacteria
- Increased intestinal gas
These possible side effects were reported when some individuals tried taking xanthan gum that are beyond 15 grams already.
This is why experts would always recommend that before including xanthan gum in the keto diet, one should first be familiar with the labels and with the right amount that is needed in preparing meals.
It is also important to keep in mind that one should get limit using foods or ingredients that already contain excess xanthan gum.
Xanthan Gum and Other Alternatives
Looking at other Keto-friendly additives, there are also a lot of alternatives for xanthan gum. Some of the alternatives one can consider are listed below:
- Guar Gum – considered as the major alternative for xanthan gum
- Gelatin – also considered as keto-friendly ingredients which also possess the same abilities as xanthan
- Agar Agar – this is more recommended for vegetarian dieters since Agar agar is plant-based
- Psyllium husk seeds – similar to xanthan, Psyllium doesn’t contribute to net carbs
- Flaxseeds – considered as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber which may also be used in Keto recipes
- Chia seeds – also considered as a soluble fiber which is also a perfect alternative for gluten in recipes
Xanthan gum is already proven safe since it has also proved its effectivity and benefits in the field of weight loss most especially in the Keto community.
However, one should be responsible to keep in mind that too much consumption of xanthan may also lead to some health concerns.
Experts suggest that one should not consume more than 2 teaspoons of xanthan per day.
But considering all the benefits and convenience xanthan could bring, this gum is no doubt, a great addition for every keto and low-carb meal.