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Can Fiber Raise Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall. When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar. Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops. Glycemic index In the past, carbohydrates were commonly classified as being either “simple” or “complex,” and described as follows: Simple carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are composed of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas – which can have negative health effects. Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates have mo Continue reading >>

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 >>

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

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, vegetable 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 >>

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Part 1 of 8 What is blood sugar? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food you eat. Your body creates blood sugar by digesting some food into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use. Too much sugar in your blood can be harmful. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by having higher levels of blood sugar than what is considered within normal limits. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. The more you know about how eating affects blood sugar, the better you can protect yourself against diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to know how eating affects blood sugar. Part 2 of 8 Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs the food in its different parts. These parts include: carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and other nutrients The carbohydrates you consume turn into blood sugar. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the levels of sugar you will have released as you digest and absorb your food. Carbohydrates in liquid form consumed by themselves are absorbed more quickly than those in solid food. So having a soda will cause a faster rise in your blood sugar levels than eating a slice of pizza. Fiber is one component of carbohydrates that isn’t converted into sugar. This is because it can’t be digested. Fiber is important for health, though. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates. These components won’t affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Part 3 Continue reading >>

Understanding Fiber

Understanding Fiber

Fiber does not affect your blood sugar levels. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest, so you should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate. On Nutrition Facts food labels, the grams of dietary fiber are already included in the total carbohydrate count. But because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest, it does not affect your blood sugar levels. You should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate. Here’s the best advice about fiber: For people with diabetes that are treated with insulin, getting the most accurate carbohydrate count may help control blood sugars better. To summarize – you need to take the total amount of carbohydrate in a serving MINUS the carbohydrate in the fiber. Now, let’s practice using the sample food label: The dietary fiber is 5 grams per serving. Count this product as 5 grams of carbohydrate (10 grams total carbohydrate minus 5 grams dietary fiber equals 5 grams of carbohydrate). Self-assessment Quiz Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Understanding Carbohydrates, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information. 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 >>

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 >>

Fibre

Fibre

Fibre is the part of plants that our bodies cannot digest. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains contain fibre. Animal foods such as meats and eggs have no fibre. What is the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre? Soluble fibre is the soft fibre that helps control blood glucose (sugar) and reduces cholesterol. It also helps in managing diarrhea. Soluble fibre is present in oat bran, oatmeal, legumes (dried beans and lentils) and fruits such as apples and strawberries. Insoluble fibre is the bulky fibre that helps to prevent constipation. It also helps to prevent some types of cancers. It is present in wheat bran, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables. Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Why is fibre good for me? Fibre is important for your overall health. Some of its benefits include: Controlling blood glucose (sugar) Managing blood pressure Reducing blood cholesterol Increasing the feeling of being full Controling weight Regulating bowel movement Benefit for those with diabetes Soluble fibre in oat bran, legumes (dried beans of all kinds, peas and lentils), and pectin (from fruit, such as apples) and forms in root vegetables (such as carrots) is considered especially helpful for people with either form of diabetes. Soluble fibre may help control blood sugar by delaying gastric (stomach) emptying, retarding the entry of glucose into the bloodstream and lessening the postprandial (post-meal) rise in blood sugar. It may lessen insulin requirements in those with type 1 diabetes. Because fibre slows the digestion of foods, it can help blunt the sudden spikes in blood glucose (sugar) that may occur after a low-fibre meal. Such blood sugar peaks stimulate the pa 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

How Do You Do Fiber?

How Do You Do Fiber?

An article in the March/April 2009 issue of Diabetes Self-Management, entitled Counting Carbohydrates Like a Pro and written by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, has provoked a lot of comments and questions from readers. Many of the questions concern how to deal with fiber when counting the carbohydrate in a meal or snack. In the article, Scheiner recommends subtracting all the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate before calculating the carbohydrate grams (or choices, if you prefer) in a meal. But many readers have heard different advice on this, and they want to know why. One reader, for example, said she thought the correct thing to do was to subtract half the grams of fiber. Another reader said that a dietitian had instructed him to subtract only the amount of fiber over 5 grams. I found that the 2007 edition of Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes, published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), recommends subtracting half the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate when eating foods with more than 5 grams of fiber per serving. So if a serving of food contained 8 grams of fiber, you would subtract 4 grams. If the food contained fewer than 5 grams of fiber per serving, you would subtract none of them before calculating the carbohydrate grams or choices in your meal. Another consumer guide, the American Dietetic Association Guide to Eating Right When You Have Diabetes, published in 2003, says that you can subtract all the fiber from the total carbohydrate but that doing so may only be necessary if your meal contains 5 or more grams of fiber. It goes on to say, And it may only be necessary for those who are being precise with their carbohydrate intake and adjusting a rapid- or short-acting insulin based on how much carbohydrate they are eating. Similarl Continue reading >>

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