FIBER THE SILENT HERO
Every new food product in the market and every food advertisement on TV, paper, media etc. emphasize one thing in common, that is FIBER. This word has gained so much importance in the last few years that people, even without knowing what exactly it does to your body; want to purchase products which contain fibre. But that’s a good thing as fibre is like the precious gem amongst all the other food components, especially in the junk age we are living in and are lured by so many taste bud stimulating but unhealthy options. It is a savior, especially for diabetics with the most desirable impact on blood sugar levels.
Fibre is a non-nutrient nutrient with a twist. Yes, it does not have calories and is not digested by the digestive system, unlike other nutrients like proteins, fats and carbs. This would make you wonder, then why do we need it? Basically, fibre slows down the digestion of food in the stomach, which helps to release the glucose (after the breakdown of carbohydrates) in the bloodstream slowly preventing the glucose spike in the blood. This slow release of glucose signals the pancreas to release insulin slowly in the bloodstream, which is needed for the uptake of sugar by the cells. In a typical low-fibre meal, the blood glucose levels spike up telling the pancreas to release too much insulin which a person with diabetes cannot handle as they are resistant to insulin. A study published in the Journal of the American Board of the Family medicine states that involving fibre supplementation for type 2 diabetes mellitus can reduce fasting blood glucose and HbA1c. Fibre also keeps you full for a longer time as it slows down digestion, reducing the hunger pangs usually experienced in diabetes.
Apart from these benefits, fibre also helps to clear the bowels by preventing constipation, aids in weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels by absorbing and excreting the excess cholesterol thereby preventing heart problems and reducing the risk of cancers by eliminating the carcinogenic toxins from the system.
Adults need to consume 25-35gm fibre/day through fruits like apples, pears, papaya, guava etc, vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, bell peppers, etc, whole grains like oats, millets, barley, brown rice, quinoa and legumes like chickpeas, rajma, beans, sprouts etc.
Beware of all the unhealthy fibre rich foods the junk food industry tries to sell us like biscuits, bread, pasta, crackers etc. as these surely are rich in fibre but are also loaded wtih health compromising fatsm sugars, fillers and additives.
So un-tick the junk foods from your list and replace them with natural fibre-rich options to have a healthier control on your blood sugars as well your weight!