diabetestalk.net

How Does Fiber Help Regulate Blood Sugar?

Effects Of Dietary Fiber And Carbohydrate On Glucose And Lipoprotein Metabolism In Diabetic Patients.

Effects Of Dietary Fiber And Carbohydrate On Glucose And Lipoprotein Metabolism In Diabetic Patients.

Abstract Dietary recommendations for the treatment of diabetic patients issued by national and international diabetes associations consistently emphasize the need to increase carbohydrate consumption. However, these recommendations have been questioned on the basis of growing evidence that, in both insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients, a high-carbohydrate diet does not offer any advantage in terms of blood glucose and plasma lipid concentrations compared with a high-fat (mainly unsaturated) diet. It has been shown repeatedly that a high-carbohydrate diet increases plasma insulin and triglyceride levels and can deteriorate blood glucose control in the postprandial period. However, much of the controversy between advocates and detractors of dietary carbohydrate can be settled by taking into account dietary fiber. Several studies have shown that the adverse metabolic effects of high-carbohydrate diets are neutralized when fiber and carbohydrate are increased simultaneously in the diet for diabetic patients. In particular, these studies demonstrated that a high-carbohydrate/high-fiber diet significantly improves blood glucose control and reduces plasma cholesterol levels in diabetic patients compared with a low-carbohydrate/low-fiber diet. In addition, a high-carbohydrate/high-fiber diet does not increase plasma insulin and triglyceride concentrations, despite the higher consumption of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, dietary fiber represents a heterogenous category, and there is still much to understand as to which foods should be preferred to maximize the metabolic effects of fiber. There are indications that only water-soluble fiber is active on plasma glucose and lipoprotein metabolism in humans. Therefore, in practice, the consumption of legumes, Continue reading >>

How To Get More Fiber If You Have Diabetes

How To Get More Fiber If You Have Diabetes

Even dressed up, 50 grams of daily fiber is a lot to pack away.(ISTOCKPHOTO)If youve got type 2 diabetes, the quality of food is as important as the quantity. And fiber is the best stuff around. Fiber itself doesnt raise blood sugar because it can't be digested, and that's good. But even better, it can blunt the impact that carbohydrates have on blood sugar. The reason? The intestines take a bit more time to digest fiber-rich foods, and that slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream. You need to check labels and add more fiber A 2000 study of 13 patients showed that patients with diabetes who consumed 50 grams of fiber each day lowered their glucose levels 10% and insulin levels 12% more than those who consumed 24 grams of fiber a day. The problem is that 50 grams of fiber per day is a lot of fiber. Most Americans consume only 15 grams every day, according to the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes eat 25 to 50 grams daily. While its tough to consume that much, its not impossible. "Check nutrition labels to see how much fiber there is in the foods you eat," says LuAnn Berry, RD, a certified diabetes educator and diabetes specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Then go back to the ones with the most grams of fiber per serving." Good sources of fiber include: Whole grain products, such as whole wheat bread Dried beans, including kidney, black and garbanzos, lentils Oats, which are found in oatmeal Apples and pears with their skins on Berry says you can eat the fiber-high foods alone or add them to recipesfor example, put beans in a salad. However, dont forget to calculate how much carbohydrate you are adding. A half-cup of beans, for example, has the same carbohydrate count as Continue reading >>

Nutrition And Healthy Eating

Nutrition And Healthy Eating

Eat more fiber. You've probably heard it before. But do you know why fiber is so good for your health? Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber isn't difficult. Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add them to meals and snacks. What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. Fiber is commonly classified as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn't dissolve. Soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber. Most plant-based foods, such as oatmeal and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, the amo Continue reading >>

How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?

How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate (just like sugars and starches) but since it is not broken down by the human body, it does not contribute any calories. Yet, on a food label, fiber is listed under total carbohydrate. So this gets kind of confusing for people who have diabetes. Carbohydrate is the one nutrient that has the biggest impact on blood glucose. So, does fiber have any effect on your blood glucose? The answer is that fiber does not raise blood glucose levels. Because it is not broken down by the body, the fiber in an apple or a slice of whole grain bread has no effect on blood glucose levels because it isn't digested. The grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total grams of carb you are eating if you are using carbohydrate counting for meal planning. So, fiber is a good thing for people with diabetes. Of course, most of the foods that contain fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas) also contain other types of non-fiber carbohydrate (sugar, starch) that must be accounted for in your meal plan. The average person should eat between 20-35 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans eat about half that amount. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber a day — particularly soluble fiber — were able to control their blood glucose better than those who ate far less. So if fiber does not give us any calories, why exactly should you eat it? There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber keeps your digestive tract working well. Whole wheat bran is an example of this type of fiber. Soluble fiber can help lower your cholesterol level and improve blood glucose control if eaten in large amounts. Oatmeal is an example of this type of fiber. Another ben Continue reading >>

The Super Fiber That Controls Your Appetite And Blood Sugar

The Super Fiber That Controls Your Appetite And Blood Sugar

IMAGINE EATING 12 POUNDS of food a day — and still staying thin and healthy. That may sound crazy, but it’s exactly what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate for millennia! And they didn’t have any obesity or chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or dementia. Of course, I wouldn’t advise anyone today to eat 12 pounds of food, because the food in our society lacks one major secret ingredient that our ancestors ate in nearly all their food — fiber! Fiber has so many health benefits that I want to focus on it in this blog. I’ll explain some of its benefits and give you 9 tips you can begin using today to get more fiber in your diet. I’ll also tell you about my favorite “super-fiber” that can help you increase your total fiber intake overnight. But before I tell you about what fiber can do for you, let’s a look a little more at the history of fiber. Why Bushmen are Healthier than the Average Westerner Dr. Dennis Burkitt, a famous English physician, studied the differences between indigenous African bushmen and their “civilized” western counterparts. The bushmen seemed to be free of the scourges of modern life — including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Dr. Burkitt found that the average bushman had a stool weight of 2 pounds and the “civilized” men had a stool weight of only 4 ounces – that’s 87.5% smaller! The difference was in the amount of fiber they ate. Today, the average American eats about 8 grams of fiber a day. But the average hunter and gatherer ate 100 grams from all manner of roots, berries, leaves and plant foods. And the fiber is what helped those ancestors of ours stay healthy. Just take a look at all the good things that fiber can do for your body. You need fiber to keep healthy from top to bottom Continue reading >>

Fiber

Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day. Great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Fiber comes in two varieties, both beneficial to health: Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, can help lower glucose levels as well as help lower blood cholesterol. Foods with soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries. Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation. Foods with insoluble fibers include wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. The best sources of fiber are whole grain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Some tips for increasing fiber intake: Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products. For breakfast, choose cereals that have a whole grain as their first ingredient. Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars. Substitute beans or legumes for meat two to three times per week in chili and soups. Fiber and disease Fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation. Despite these benefits, fiber probably has little, if an Continue reading >>

6 Reasons A High-fiber Diet Is Insanely Healthy For Diabetes

6 Reasons A High-fiber Diet Is Insanely Healthy For Diabetes

Fiber directly improves insulin sensitivity iStock A number of studies have found that eating more dietary fiber for a period of weeks or months is linked to a reduction in biomarkers for insulin resistance. This may be due in part to dietary fiber’s anti-inflammatory effects—high-fiber diets have been associated with reduced blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for systemic inflammation—and also to the fact that the short-chain fatty acids that fiber produces when it ferments in the intestinal tract tend to inhibit the breakdown of the body’s fat stores into free fatty acids. This breakdown of fat stores appears to play a major role in creating insulin resistance in the skeletal muscles. iStock Soluble fiber’s general effect of slowing down the digestive process means that the carbohydrates we eat take longer to be broken down into glucose. As a result, the release of glucose into the blood after eating tends to occur more slowly over a longer period of time following a high-fiber meal. This means that glucose doesn’t rise to as high a peak after eating, putting less stress on the glucose metabolism process. iStock The same fermentation process that signals the body to become more responsive to insulin also suppresses glucose production in the liver—countering the liver’s glucose overproduction that occurs as the result of insulin resistance. Fiber makes you feel more full so it’s easier to eat less iStock A number of studies have found that people who eat diets high in fiber feel more full after eating and also feel less hungry between meals. For starters, dietary fiber is simply bulkier than other nutrients. This causes the stomach to become more distended when you eat fiber, which sends appetite-suppressing signals to the brain. Soluble fib Continue reading >>

The Facts About Carbs, Fiber, And Diabetes

The Facts About Carbs, Fiber, And Diabetes

When you watch your diet because you have diabetes, you'll want to pay special attention to carbohydrates, because they can affect your blood sugar level faster than protein or fat. You get carbs from sweets, fruit, milk, yogurt, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes, and other vegetables. It can help to count your carbs from things you eat or drink, and split them evenly between meals so that it’s in line with how much insulin is available from your body or from medicine. If you get more than your insulin supply can handle, your blood sugar level goes up. If you eat too few carbohydrates, your blood sugar level may fall too low. With carbohydrate counting, you can pick almost any food product off the shelf, read the label, and use the information about grams of carbohydrates to fit the food into your meal plan. Counting carbs is most useful for people who use insulin several times a day or wear an insulin pump, or want more flexibility and variety in their food choices. The amount and type of insulin you are prescribed may affect the flexibility of your meal plan. You don’t have to count carbs. You could use diabetes food exchange lists instead. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian for their advice on that. Fiber helps control blood sugar. It also helps you lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Most Americans need more fiber in their diets. The average American only gets about half the fiber needed on a daily basis. You get fiber from plant foods, so plan to eat more of these foods: Cooked dried beans and peas Whole-grain breads, cereals, and crackers Brown rice Bran products Nuts and seeds Although it’s best to get fiber from food sources, fiber supplements can also help you get the daily fiber you need. Examples include psyllium and methylcellulose. Incre Continue reading >>

Treating Diabetes With Fiber

Treating Diabetes With Fiber

I wrote last week about the amazing benefits of dietary fiber . But what is fiber? It comes in numerous forms. In this entry, well look at what type of fiber to eat, how much to have, and how to make it enjoyable and doable. Fiber is a catchall term for various kinds of plant matter. A common definition is this one from the Linus Pauling Institute: Dietary fiber is a diverse group of compounds, including lignin and complex carbohydrates, which cannot be digested by human enzymes in the small intestine. Because theyre not digested, they pass through into the large intestine. There they are colonized by bacteria and turned into short-chain fatty acids or SCFAs, which have wonderful effects on blood glucose, cholesterol, and the immune system. Scientists have classified fibers in several ways. One common classification is soluble versus insoluble. According to Amy Campbell, soluble fiber is the kind that turns into a gel in the intestines and slows down digestion. I think of it as being like cooked squash: a nice, soothing mush. Insoluble fiber doesnt break down as much. Its in things like carrots and oat bran. It helps to speed the passage of food through the digestive system and adds bulk to stool. If youre dealing with inflammatory bowel or irritable bowel , you want to maximize soluble and decrease insoluble fibers. But from a diabetes angle, it doesnt make much difference, because nearly all plant foods include both types, and both are good. Other terms used for soluble fibers are viscous and fermentable. All these terms are similar. They mean bacteria in the colon can ferment the fiber, and thats what we want. For the most part we can ignore these distinctions. The Institute of Medicine also classes fibers as dietary and functional. Dietary (or intact) fibers come f Continue reading >>

Getting To Know Fiber: Supplements

Getting To Know Fiber: Supplements

How are you feeling about fiber these days? Do you have a better understanding of what insoluble, soluble, and functional fibers are? And most importantly, do you think you’re getting enough fiber in your diet? That’s really the question, isn’t it? Remember that the average person gets about 13 grams of fiber each day. Yet we all need more than that (14 grams per 1,000 calories) and only 10% of Americans get the amount of fiber that’s recommended. Dietitians will tell you that it’s best to get your fiber from food sources. Why? Because high-fiber foods offer other health and nutrition benefits, of course! So, your diet should include whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Yet, as is the case with many nutrients, sometimes we fall short. It’s during these times when it seems so much easier to be able to pop a pill or gulp down a drink that gives us what we need. And just as there are pills and supplements for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, there are supplements that contain fiber. Are these any good? Do they actually contain fiber? Are they harmful in any way? Let’s look. Fiber Supplements Stroll down one of the aisles of any drugstore and you’ll see fiber supplements. They’re often in powder, pill, or even wafer form. They seem appealing, especially to the person who dislikes whole wheat bread, bran flakes, or the skin of an apple. And why not take one if you can’t get enough from food? Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular types of supplements. Psyllium. Psyllium is a natural (as opposed to synthetic) type of soluble fiber that offers the following benefits: Promotes regularity Relieves constipation Lowers blood cholesterol May lower blood glucose Metamucil. Metamucil is a psyllium-based supplement that has been Continue reading >>

More Evidence That A High-fiber Diet Can Curb Type 2 Diabetes

More Evidence That A High-fiber Diet Can Curb Type 2 Diabetes

People who ate more than 26 grams of fiber a day had an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate 19 grams a day or less Fiber may benefit diabetes by altering hormonal signals, slowing down nutrient absorption or altering fermentation in the large intestine, along with promoting feelings of satiety and weight loss The majority of your fiber should come from vegetables, not grains By Dr. Mercola In the US, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. One in two people with diabetes do not know they have it,1 which increases the odds of developing complications, which can be deadly. Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the best strategies to prevent, and treat, type 2 diabetes, and even more specifically, eating a high-fiber diet is emerging as a key strategy you can use to lower your risk. More Than 26 Grams of Fiber a Day May Lower Your Diabetes Risk US dietary guidelines call for adults to consume 20-30 grams of fiber per day. I believe an ideal amount for most adults is around 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. Most people, however, get only half that, or less. In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London, those who had the highest intake of fiber (more than 26 grams a day) had an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake (less than 19 grams a day).2 The fiber may benefit diabetes by altering hormonal signals, slowing down nutrient absorption or altering fermentation in the large intestine, along with promoting feelings of satiety.3 Eating a high-fiber diet is also associated with weight loss, and the researchers believe this may, in turn, lower diabetes risk. In fact, when the researchers accounted for participants' BMI, th Continue reading >>

Does Taking Fiber Help Regulate Blood Sugar?

Does Taking Fiber Help Regulate Blood Sugar?

Dietary fiber, the undigestible component of plant foods, improves digestive health by preventing constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Because it expands in your digestive tract, fiber slows digestion, which makes you feel full longer so you're less likely to overeat. Fiber also lowers cholesterol levels by preventing cholesterol from being absorbed, and slows the absorption of glucose, reducing your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Various forms of fiber have different effects on the digestive process and offer different blood sugar-management benefits. Beta-Glucan and Post-Meal Blood Sugar Reduction A form of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, found in barley and oats, reduced post-meal blood sugar spikes in a study published in the December 2012 issue of "European Journal of Nutrition." Scientists fed laboratory animals diets containing barley flour for six weeks. Results showed lower levels of glycated hemoglobin -- a blood marker that indicates blood sugar levels for two to three months prior to the test -- in the beta-glucan-supplemented group compared to a control group. The treatment group also had higher levels of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat cells that promotes energy burning and glucose utilization. Peas and Glucose Tolerance The outer seed coats of peas might lower blood sugar by improving glucose tolerance -- the ability of cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream -- according to an animal study published in the August 2012 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition." Supplementation with pea coats improved absorption of glucose by muscle cells and decreased fasting blood sugar and insulin secretion. Additionally, the size of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas decreased by 50 percent, indicating less demand placed on Continue reading >>

Soluble Fibre And Diabetes

Soluble Fibre And Diabetes

Soluble fibre can help to slow rises in blood sugar Soluble fibre is a form of water soluble carbohydrate that cant be digested by the body. Soluble fibre dissolves in water which can have beneficial effects on digestion, metabolism and longer term health. Soluble fibres in our diet include pectin, psyllium, beta-glucans and gums such as guar gum. Fruits and berries, particularly apples, strawberries and blueberries When soluble fibre interacts with water it forms a gel. In this gel form, the emptying of the stomach, the passage of digestion and the absorption of glucose are slowed. Research studies have found that even modest increases in soluble fibre intake helps to lower blood glucose levels. The fact that soluble fibre could help improve blood glucose in two ways. The slowing down of passage through the digestive gives digestive hormones more time to act and by forming a gel with water, soluble fibre prevents carbohydrate from being so quickly absorbed by the small intestine . Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000 compared a moderate fibre diet (24g of total fibre including 8g of soluble fibre) with a high fibre diet (50g of total fibre including 25g of soluble fibre) over 6 weeks. The high fibre diet saw a reduction in pre-meal blood glucose levels by 0.7 mmol/l compared to the moderate fibre diet as well as reducing triglyceride levels and post meal blood glucose levels. Soluble fibre also helps to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol . Research has found that soluble fibre in the diet results in bile being excreted from the body. Bile is produced from cholesterol and bile acids. When more bile is excreted and therefore less bile is reabsorbed by the body, it can therefore help to regulate cholesterol as the Continue reading >>

How Fiber Helps Control High Blood Sugar

How Fiber Helps Control High Blood Sugar

Are you filling up on fiber? If you have type 2 diabetes, you should be — including high-fiber foods in your diet is a healthy way to control high blood sugar. As an added bonus, you may be able to stay full longer on the correct portion sizes than you would if you were eating more refined foods. And eating lots of soluble fiber (the kind found in oatmeal, beans, and apples, among other foods) may help reduce dangerous visceral belly fat, according to a recent study. "Fiber promotes good bowel health, lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease, and also controls your blood sugar in a certain way," explains Amy Kranick, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with the adult diabetes program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. When fiber is digested, your body handles it differently than the way in which refined carbohydrates, such as white flour, are digested. A portion of the fiber simply passes through your digestive system intact. This difference means that eating foods rich in fiber is less likely to cause a spike in high blood sugar. "Fiber doesn't require insulin [to digest], so it isn't counted as part of your carbohydrates," says Kranick. As a result, when you are reading labels and budgeting daily carbohydrates, you can subtract half the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate count. At the same time, you should be keeping track of how much fiber you eat. Adults need at least 25 grams of fiber daily for best health outcomes, says Kranick. Other Benefits of Fiber Fiber may also help you manage your overall eating habits, says Kranick. Here are some of the additional benefits of eating high-fiber foods: Antioxidants. Many of the foods that contain fiber also contain antioxidants, which are generally good for you Continue reading >>

Nature's Best Sugar Blockers

Nature's Best Sugar Blockers

You may have heard that whole grain products are high in fiber. However, the starch in grains quickly turns to sugar and overwhelms any blood sugar-blocking effect the fiber might have. Of course, all fruits and vegetables contain sugar; that's what makes them carbohydrates. Nevertheless, most contain proportionately more soluble fiber than sugar, so they don't raise blood sugar as much as grain products and other refined carbohydrates do. Keeping blood sugar steady is an important tool for preventing insulin spikes, which can lock fat into your cells and prevent it from being used for energy. The substance in our diet that's most responsible for these blood sugar surges is starch. But the good news is you can blunt the blood sugar-raising effects by taking advantage of natural substances in foods—like fiber in fruits and veggies—that slow carbohydrate digestion and entry into the bloodstream. You can tell which fruits and vegetables have the best balance of fiber to sugar by looking at their glycemic loads (Not sure what that means? See Glycemic Impact 101.). All of the carbohydrates that have been associated with increased risk of obesity or diabetes have glycemic loads greater than 100. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables with glycemic loads less than 100 have been associated with reduced risk. Thus, you should avoid fruits or vegetables with glycemic loads higher than 100, even though they contain soluble fiber. Fruits and vegetables whose glycemic loads are between 50 and 100 are themselves acceptable to eat, but they release enough glucose to nullify their usefulness as sugar blockers. The best fruit and vegetable sugar blockers are those with glycemic loads less than 50. It takes about 10 grams of fiber to reduce the after-meal blood sugar surge from a s Continue reading >>

More in diabetes