What is FOS and Where Do You Get It?

Some High Fiber Foods Contain This Nutrient You Need Daily

Onions contain FOS

It's no secret that you need plenty of high fiber foods for optimal health.  Also, some fiber rich foods contain a substance that you should be sure to consume on a regular basis; FOS.  In this article you'll learn about FOS; what it is, where to get it, and why you need it daily.  First, it is important to remember that you need 25-35 grams of fiber every day, and that there are many different kinds of high fiber foods.

1. What is FOS?

FOS is the standard acronym for fructooligosaccharides. These are complex carbohydrates, or sugars that come naturally from high fiber foods such as garlic, onions, leeks, oats, barley, rye and chicory root.  One great thing about fructooligosaccharides is that they help the body make its' own beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.  This is what is referred to as a "pre" or "pro-biotic".  It's the opposite of an antibiotic, which not only kills the bad bacteria in the digestive system but may also destroy some of the healthy bacteria that you need.

The following is an excerpt from a web page at MedicinalFoodNews.com that describes in more detail why fructooligosaccharides perform differently than other high fiber foods once they start to work in the intestines:
 
  • "When the FOS reaches the large intestine and the colon, the bacteria that are found there start to break down the FOS. These bacteria have the enzymes needed to break down FOS...How exactly the FOS exerts its beneficial effects is not certain. However, increasing the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the lower intestine, changes in the pH balance of the intestinal contents, together with increases in enzyme levels that may be related to the detoxification of carcinogens in the diet all have been cited as reasons to increase the FOS levels..."
Most high fiber foods only brush the intestines, but FOS also aids digestion by helping to boost assimilation of nutrients through the intestinal walls. For example, when you consume enough friendly bacteria, then the body is able to produce an abundant supply of B vitamins.

2. Why do you need high fiber foods with FOS every day?

  • To absorb nutrients from food more efficiently.
  • To stimulate the growth of good bacteria, such as Acidophilus, Bifidus, and Faccium.
  • You may be able to reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels by trapping fat and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, so they can be flushed out more efficiently with other high fiber foods.
  • To assimilate complex carbohydrates better, making them longer lasting, which is good for energy as well as blood sugar regulation and the reduction of cravings for sweets.
  • To help minimize yeast infection, Candida, or bloating.
  • To naturally treat symptoms of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance.
Another thing to know about fructooligosaccharides is that they are being used in low calorie sweetener substitutes as a healthy replacement for artificial sweeteners and sugar.  
3. How do you obtain FOS in your diet?
  • Eat plenty of high fiber foods such as onions, leeks, barley, oats, rye, garlic and chicory root.

Unfortunately, these are not the kinds of foods that the average person will eat frequently enough to really experience the benefits of FOS. Fortunately, with  some innovative high fiber food formulas, there are ways to get fructooligosaccharides in their whole food form without eating so many fiber rich foods. Vitashake has FOS

  • You may want to investigate a natural fiber drink called VitaShake. It is one of the most reliable sources for FOS.  It helps people feel full and satisfied because it assists in the assimilation of complex carbohydrates. 
  • There is also a fiber rich food bar that includes FOS.

Sunbars Have FOSYou may have a hard time finding these FOS sources in typical retail supermarkets or health food stores, but they are readily available at an online health food store. If you want to investigate other ways you can add these kinds of fiber rich foods to your diet, then learn more about FOS, fructooligosaccharides, and discover how to get these important nutrients from high fiber foods.


Author Profile-Cliff Smith is a professional actor, voiceover artist, and a serious athlete who is constantly researching nutrition topics such as high fiber foods. He is an avid mountain biker who cycles hundreds of miles each month over rugged terrain in the southwestern United States.  Listen to Cliff's audio downloads on various health and fitness topics.  Find out what he chooses for maximum fitness, and how he stays in shape for the camera. 

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