You’ve heard of bubble gum and tree gum, but what about xanthan gum? It is a popular food additive included in many pre-packed foods found on today’s supermarket shelves. This chemical compound is also used for different functions like diabetes medicines used to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels in diabetes patients. This is a serious disease that affects nearly 9% of the world’s population. Before buying store-bought food or diabetes medicines, it’s important to know facts like where to buy xanthan gum. This will help you to make the best decisions in terms of diet and health.
Today’s companies and consumers are looking for the best ways to sweeten foods. For example, many people are going on a no-sugar diet that ditches all table sugar, molasses, maple syrup, honey, and corn syrup. This is often done to reverse prediabetes or manage diabetes. There are other diets like Keto, Atkins, or Paleo that swap out all sugar for different reasons. They include going low-carb or because it’s a highly-processed food that wasn’t on the caveman diet. Regardless of the reason companies and shoppers are looking for different ways to sweeten food versus traditional white granules. One of the most common options is something called xanthan gum.
What in the World Is Xanthan Gum?
This is a type of sugar with bacteria that has various functions like food and medicine. First, what’s the name all about? It is based on the type of bacteria that are added during the fermentation process to produce the substance. If you want to impress your friends and family the name is Xanthomonas campestris.
Have you ever seen “block rot” on leafy veggies like cauliflower and broccoli? Well, that’s the bacteria used for this food additive. The idea of eating food that was made with bacteria might seem nasty at first. However, consider that foods like yogurt and miso soup are made using fermentation that involves good bacteria.
The bacteria make some slimy stuff that’s used to thicken or stabilize food. Fun Fact: xanthan gum was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Here’s the story. The USDA was running tests that involved sugars and bacteria to make a new thickening agent that functioned like other gums or corn starch.
The gum is used when food manufacturers want to make their food products thicker. It’s a gluten-free option for people who have health conditions like wheat allergies. The substance is also practical for people with immune system conditions like celiac disease.
Xanthan gum is used for different functions today. Besides as a food additive it’s also used to treat diabetics to lower their total cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It can also function for people who have constipation. The gum is also used for other products like toothpaste.
There are various other uses of the thickening agent. They include cosmetic products and even oil production. However, the main one in terms of health the main uses are as a food thickener and diabetes medicine.
Where to Buy Xanthan Gum
Here’s why the gum has become a go-to ingredient for Keto cooking. It’s gluten-free, which makes it a wise choice when you’re on a no-grain diet like Keto and Atkins. However, it still provides many of the same properties as gluten grains. It provides other benefits. For example, it can thicken recipes and even prevent ice crystals in ice cream.
If you’re looking for where to buy xanthan gum, the bad news is you might not find it at your local supermarket. Don’t worry! It’s been trending lately so it’s much easier to find now than in the past. It’s not just found in pre-packaged foods and diabetes products like in the past.
It’s not surprising that this food thickener has been trending. It’s been all the rage since it provides a wide range of benefits. The main one is as a food thickener. However, it can also benefit digestion. As a result, you can find it at several supermarkets and not just health food stores.
Today you can find xanthan gum at a wide range of retailers. They include big-box supermarkets and specialty stores. It’s not just an ingredient found mostly in drinks/powders sold at health food stores.
What if you can’t find xanthan gum for some reason? There are various substitutes you can use. Sometimes you’ll even find this substance sold under some exotic names. Make sure to research whether you’re getting the real deal.
One Plan B to consider is “guar gum.” This is extracted from guar beans rather than sugar. It’s low-calorie and high-fiber. You can find guar gum in many kinds of products including ice cream and rice flour.
There are other substitutes like ground flax/chia seeds and something called “psyllium husk powder.” All of these options are from seeds and can thicken foods and improve digestion like xanthan gum.
Low-carb Thickening Ingredients
1. Chia Seeds
This food has been a staple in the Americas for thousands of years. It’s now trending as a go-to ingredient for Keto-friendly recipes. It can also be swapped into recipes as an egg substitute for vegan baking. If you can’t find chia seeds then flax seeds will work just as well.
This is easily one of the healthiest thickening agents. The tiny seeds are loaded with fats and fiber and have rock-bottom net carbs when the fiber is subtracted. Chia seeds also soak up water well so they’re great for better digestion.
2. Guar Gum
This is a sugar that’s made of different molecules that get connected. Guar gum is found in various products like:
- Ice cream
- Kefir (fermented dairy)
- Salad dressing
It can easily absorb water so you can use this substance as a gluten-free thickening ingredient in many recipes. That said since it’s from a bean it’s a question mark for diets like Keto and Paleo.
3. Almond Flour
This is one of the go-to flours for Keto baking. One-quarter of a cup has just 3g of net carbs. This makes it a great option for muffins, cakes, pancakes, and mini cheesecakes known as Fat Bombs. It’s also a good option because you get lots of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
4. Glucomannan Powder
This one has a fancy name so what’s it all about? It’s a dietary fiber that’s taken from the root of a type of yam. Studies show that it moves quickly through the digestion system and colon bacteria make it highly-fermented. That adds good gut bacteria like other fibers.
Another plus of this powder is it takes in a maximum of 50x its water weight. That makes it one of the best fibers on the market if you can’t find where to buy xanthan gum.