Fiber can play an important role in controlling and even preventing diabetes. It is classified as a carbohydrate but it does not raise our blood glucose levels like other carbohydrates do, instead it controls it.
Fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and thus lowering the need for insulin. This prevents sudden changes in your blood glucose. Another advantage for fiber is that it can also help improve cholesterol levels.
Fiber in food is usually mixed in with different components. The only pure fiber source would be from a fiber supplement, because nothing we eat is just fiber on it is own as we do not have the enzyme in our body to break it down. Even though supplements will have pure fiber, there actually is not much fiber in them, so it is always better to get it from a dietary source.
Fiber is only found in plant products. There is no fiber in fats, eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry, or seafood.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans have fiber and some have more than others.
It is recommended that we consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. On average research has shown that none of us consume this much fiber from out diets. SO in order to make that change and increase your fiber intake, you need to do it gradually to avoid intestinal distress.
Both types of fibers are needed for a healthy diet, but soluble fiber specifically has more benefits for people wit diabetes. Soluble fiber adds bulk and delays stomach emptying. It slows down the rate of digestion of sugars and starches, and by that avoids blood sugar level spikes, helping in blood glucose control. Another advantage of soluble fiber is that it lowers blood cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk for heart disease. The great thing about fiber is that it adds to the feeling of being full and fills you up without adding calories!
For people with diabetes, it is also good to increase the consumption of fiber found in dried fruits, seeds, and nuts. This is because studies have shown that fiber in those foods has a positive effect on lowering and controlling blood sugar levels, in addition to the many other advantages it has.
Some rich sources of fiber are; oats, oat cereals, fruits (apples, pears, berries, prunes, apricots, citrus fruits), vegetables (cabbage, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots), and dried peas and beans.
Kuwait diabetes team wish you a happy fiber hunting in your shopping for better blood glucose control and a better health.
Remember : increase your fiber intake slowly, to prevent stomach bloating, and to increase your water intake to prevent constipation.