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Jul 3, 2007 01:19 PM

Guar and Xanthan Gum- any nutritional value

I see Gaur Gum and Xanthan Gun in so many product ingredients and have been using it in some of my own cooking as a thickening agent. I try and be a very healthy eater overall- a lot of fruits/veggies, good fats and only whole grain complex carbs (no HFCS, trans fats and simple sugars) Is there any nutritional value to Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum, are there any negatives to them from a nutritional standpoint and/or are there any more nutritional alternatives?

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  1. technically xanthan gum is a highly complex carbohydrate, but so little is in food serving that it has no nutritional effect:

    Guar gum & locust bean gum are and have similar properties.

    These are refined products, but do not have any notable negatives. They might actualy be good for keeping your gut healthy:

    1. like the other poster said, in my mind, so little is used for each of these in any cooking application that it would negate any tangible health benefits that they would have. I think the important thing is whether it is bad for you or not. Since Guar is a natural bean-based product, I only use that. Personal choice is all. But I like knowing it isn't a chemically derived substance.

      1 Reply
      1. re: adamclyde

        Not meant as a criticism, more of "gee" -- I think that marketers take advantage of people's fear of chemically correct name. Buy a package of organic cookies and it will list "sun dried cane juice" in the ingredients. Those made by Nabisco will 'sugar'. Buy 'em made by some no-name contract baker run by immigrant engineers and it'll say sucrose. Folks all of it is THE SAME:
        α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-fructofuranose --

        I think too many people believe that anything with a chemical name comes from outer space or raw materials that are pumped out of oil wells. Get real. When I said that guar gum is "highly refined" I meant it. Just like sugar is highly refined. That doesn't change the fact that the initial source is generally cane or beets (and not some mine in the badlands).

        The vast majority of texture modifiers start as seaweed or the husks of seeds or other near worthless plant matter and are then highly refined...

      2. I'm allergic to xanthan gum. Causes me instantaneous digestive troubles. Look on the web and see all the negative effects people are having from its consumption.

        It's hard to avoid in gluten free products and I'm especially devoted to hot sauces where xanthan gum presence is ubiquitous. Fortunately Tabasco and other better bottled hot sauces choose to keep their ingredient list simple.

        Whole Foods puts xanthan gum in anything it can so be sure to read their labels.