How Xanthan Gum Can Be Important In The Keto Diet

As Americans have become more mindful of ingredient lists, there has been a gradual shift in their decision-making process. Keto dieters are no exception as they pay close attention to ingredients and nutritional values. That said, anyone who has been following a keto diet (or recently started it) has probably come across xanthan gum. It's natural to feel curious about this ingredient, as the word "gum" can raise a few eyebrows. Interestingly, xanthan gum is in more items than you'd think, like bakery products, ice creams, gluten-free foods, and even herbicides (via Healthline). 

As the FDA considers this food additive safe for consumption, per Healthline, the primary question is why it has become a popular ingredient in gluten-free products? Xanthan gum works as a thickener, stabilizer, or emulsifier by mimicking the sticky nature of gluten. For instance, it will prevent a baking product from crumbling or increase the thickness of keto-friendly ice cream. In other words, it's a versatile ingredient that was destined to be embraced by low-carb and gluten-free diets. 

Even if you're not following a keto or gluten-free diet, there are plenty of reasons to keep xanthan gum in your pantry. This flavorless food additive can provide thickness and help you achieve a particular consistency. You can use it in a variety of juices, sauces, and recipes.

The pros and cons of xanthan gum

As xanthan gum is a soluble fiber, it can enhance your health in several ways. Some of the potential health benefits include stabilizing blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol levels, treating cancer, treating dry mouth as a saliva substitute, and improving regularity (per Medical News Today). Anyone taking medication for lowering blood sugar levels, digestive issues, or gastrointestinal pain should avoid using it until speaking with their doctor. It's also worth noting that xanthan gum can cause some adverse reactions, such as gastrointestinal issues if one consumes over 15 grams a day (via RxList).  

What makes xanthan gum 100% keto-friendly is that the final form of powder doesn't contain net carbs despite being fermented sugar. Moreover, you can use it to make some delicious keto recipes and xanthan gum can also be used as an egg substitute, making vegetarians happy, too.

This keto-friendly food additive has played a pivotal role in the keto movement and might deserve a spot in your diet if you have embarked on a keto journey and are hoping to find a perfect alternative to carb or gluten ingredients.