Fiber for Stable Blood Sugars
What exactly is fiber and how does it affect your blood glucose levels?
Fiber is made up of non-starch polysaccharides, such as cellulose, dextrins, inulin, lignin, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, waxes and oligosaccharides. There are two types of fiber that we can consume.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and it changes as it goes through the digestive tract. As it absorbs water, it becomes gelatinous.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and does not change its form.
Both are present in all plant foods.
So what are the benefits of fiber for someone living with diabetes?
Soluble fiber binds with fatty acids, and slows down the time it takes to empty the stomach and the rate of sugar absorption by the body. It also reduces cholesterol and regulates your sugar intake.
Insoluble fiber promotes regular bowel movements, speeds up the elimination of toxic waste through the colon and controls pH levels in the intestines.
A high fiber diet is shown to contribute toward your body weigh control. Fiber fills you up without adding calories and also keeps you fuller longer. People with diabetes who eat a high fiber diet tend to need less insulin than those whose fiber intake is low.
The average recommended daily intake for fiber is 20-35 grams a day. Good examples of fiber to add into your diet are whole grains, oatmeal, legumes, vegetables and fruit. Leave the skin on veggies and fruits for extra fiber benefits!