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Eat. Pray. Learn.

Glycemic Control and Fiber Intake

“Glycemic index (GI) ” is a very popular term used by those with Diabetes, and this term unfortunately puts foods into the category of “good” carbs and “bad” carbs.

Glycemic response to a particular food varies among individuals and can also be affected by the overall mixture of foods being consumed, making this an extremely confusing and unreliable phenomenon. Low GI diets may improve glycemic control in Diabetes in the short term, however, there is a lack of evidence on long-term adherence to low GI diets. The obsession and confusion over GI can be avoided by simply increasing the intake of one simple nutrient: fiber.

The result of high fiber foods on glycemic control has been continuously studied, and it has shown to achieve adequate glycemic control. Fiber alone has additional health benefits as well such as the ability to lower BMI, lower waist circumference, lower HbA1c levels, decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and increase levels of HDL cholesterol.

Evidence shows that dietary fiber from whole foods or supplements may reduce the risk of diabetes and improve glycemic response. Fiber has proven to decrease the GI of foods, which leads to a significant improvement in glycemic response, fasting blood glucose, postprandial plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. In addition, increasing fiber consumption while decreasing calorie consumption is an appropriate strategy to reduce body weight and promote adequate blood glucose control.

It is extremely important for those with Diabetes to have adequate control over their blood sugar levels for various reasons. Those who do not control blood sugar levels can suffer from cardiac, pulmonary and renal complications. Increase your fiber intake by incorporating beans, whole grain bread, brown rice, and bran cereals into your daily routine, so that you can reap the benefits of these nutritious foods while achieving glycemic control.

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