Its been a while since I responded to any of your posts; hope you are well. Aside from PubMed Medline searches and diving into the papers, I find the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) helpful as a first pass for general topics. Though they do not go into as much detail as ConsumerLabs, I do like that CSPI, just like Consumer Reports does not accept advertisements to avoid conflicts of interest. Their advisory board membership is open to public, and to the degree they may have philosophical leanings, it is also helpful that they also have citations for most of their publications, permitting a 2nd tier of accountability provided you do the due diligence to assess the publications ( and any contradictory manuscripts / data) yourself.
Their Chemical Cuisine offers a decent overview of additives at https://cspinet.org/...hemical-cuisine
The following is an excerpt from that source:
"Gums are derived from natural sources (bushes, trees, seaweed, bacteria) and are poorly tested, though probably safe. They are not absorbed by the body. They are used to thicken foods, prevent sugar crystals from forming in candy, stabilize beer foam (arabic), form a gel in pudding (furcelleran), encapsulate flavor oils in powdered drink mixes, or keep oil and water mixed together in salad dressings. Gums are often used to replace fat in low-fat ice cream, baked goods, and salad dressings. Tragacanth has caused occasional severe allergic reactions. The FDA warns against giving a product called SimplyThick, which contains xanthan gum, to infants, since it may cause a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis. It is not clear whether the gum itself, bacterial contamination of the gum, or some other cause is to blame."
Now I don't source smoothies as a regular staple in my own diet ( https://nutritionfac...reen-smoothies/), but for those who do, including yourself I am curious: are there any natural sources that are high fiber that you can pulverize in a smoothie to give it that quality you seek? If so, I may gently steer individuals for whom the benefits of smoothies exceed the liabilities ( via food substitution) in that direction.
The reason I ask, is that it seems that on a variety of ways, pulverizing the whole food source in the smoothing process circumvents "nutritionism" and is closer to an ancestral nutrition which given the black box of nutrition science, which I regard to still be in its infancy, is more likely to the shift the benefit/risk ratio favorably by first principals alone. For example, the Jerusalem artichoke is particularly high in prebiotics, though from a palatability standpoint I cannot vouch for its use in a smoothie!
Such an approach does not involve a "zero calorie" thickener per se, but by substitution may also reduce the calorie/volume and calorie/gram ratios while potentially raising the nutrient/calorie ratio. Just as we are increasingly recognizing that many circumstances probiotics less than optimally reconsintute a microbiome in its diversity and complexity as an ecosystem with synergistic higher order benefits - so too for dietary fiber obtained directly from no or minimally processed primary food sources.
I realize of course psyllium and other fiber sources are natural and a variety of studies suggest potential benefit. I only question whether freshly smoothed vegetables may have qualities a factory powderized extracted fiber may not. With the complexity of food science, I treat the problem as a black box and would favor the former over the latter if possible.
I personally source my own general prebiotic, soluble/insoluble fiber, etc. in whole in natural states, and try to diversify fruit and vegetable food sources as much as possible, obtaining >100-200 grams of fiber ( soluble+insoluble) a day primarily from root vegetables, legumes, nuts/seeds, berries, green leafy and "chunky" vegetables. IIRC, though bulkage has been an issue for you in the past, and I can understand your motivation to to diversify other ways.
Hope that help, would be interested to hear what your experiments yield, and what works but for you.
Edited by Mechanism, 18 March 2018 - 01:00 PM.