TOPIC 5 : Fiber fights diabetes

Fiber is the magic word in diabetes management. Fiber is commonly classified as soluble and insoluble.

After meals, carbohydrates are easily absorbed and hence cause direct spikes of blood glucose, raising concern. Fiber is not easily absorbed and hence the blood glucose is released slow and steadily in the system. The fact that soluble fiber could help improve blood glucose in two ways. One, the slowing down of passage through the digestive gives digestive hormones more time to act and two, by forming a gel with water, soluble fiber prevents carbohydrate from being quickly absorbed by the small intestine.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material and slows the movement of food from the stomach to the abdomen. 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 does not digest and adds bulk to stools relieving constipation. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables, such as cauliflower, and green beans are good sources.