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Guar (Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus)

A variety of long, thin, green bean, eaten in India. They are also a source of gum, which is used as a thickening agent (E412) in such diverse items as soups and tooth paste.

Nutritionally, guar gum can contribute to weight loss, as it acts as a bulking agent in the digestive tract. This delays to much emptying and the passage of food through the intestines, promoting a feeling of fullness. The gel-forming guar gum also combines with fats and promotes their excretion - this can effectively lower high cholesterol levels.

Guar gum can also reduce insulin levels, so being beneficial to diabetics. It's available from health food stores. See 'Alternative Medicine'

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