Carrageenan—A Natural Thickener

Natural Foods:  Carrageenan-A Natural Thickener
Well for Life

Carrageenan is a “natural” ingredient made from red seaweed commonly known as Irish Moss.  It is a dietary fiber used to thicken many non-dairy milks, shakes, yogurts, ice-creams, etc., because it gives a texture that is closer to a “whole milk” feel.  It is also used to keep products from separating and gives low-fat versions of food a better texture.  Why do you need to know?


Well, a number of people have discovered they are sensitive to this natural additive and need to avoid it.  Just as, many folks have gluten sensitivities, or lactose intolerance, carrageenan can be a problem for some people as they find it causes such symptoms as bloating and cramping.  Because it can cause inflammation in the intestines and bowel, it’s recommended that those with IBS or other inflammatory bowel disease eliminate carrageenan from their diet their symptoms to minimize and control symptoms.


There are a number of natural brands that do not use carrageenan.  Check out Organic Valley, Nancy’s Yogurts, Strauss, Three Twins Ice-Creams, and Daiya Cheeses, just to name a few.   Check out the ingredient labels to know what your eating.  Bon appetite!


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