When searching the web for low carb foods or recipes you'll probably see references to inulin powder. So, lets talk about it...
Inulin is a natural storage carbohydrate present in thousands of plants, including wheat, onion, bananas, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory. For these plants, inulin is used as an energy reserve and for regulating cold resistance. The main source of extraction for commercial production of inulin is chicory root or Jerusalem artichoke.
Inulin fiber is indigestible by human enzymes and as a result, when consumed it passes through the digestive tract intact. Only the bacteria in the colon can metabolize this fiber, it is not broken down into monosaccharides (sugars) hence it does not elevate blood sugar and insulin levels, therefore it can be helpful in the management of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Inulin is also considered a prebiotic fiber because it stimulates the growth of beneficial intestinal flora, and it also may inhibit activity of pathogenic bacteria. In some research it has also been reported to increase absorption of calcium in adolescents. Not bad, eh?
These benefits, combined with it's subtle sweet flavour, make inulin a safe sugar substitute for those looking to wean off sugar, reduce carbohydrate consumption while supporting gut health.
One tablespoon (8 grs) of inulin powder has 0 fat, 0 protein, and 8 gr of carbs of which 7 are fiber, resulting in only 1 gr of net carbs.
You can add inulin fiber to drinks, baked goods recipes, or mix into your favourite yogurt.