Does Fiber Help Diabetic Patients?

Globally, we are experiencing an epidemic of diabetes due to rapid increases in obesity. Total deaths are projected to rise by more than 50% in next decade. It's important to remember diabetes can be prevented even if you're at risk because of family history. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of Type 2.

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  • 29.1 million people in US have diabetes
  • 86 million people (1 in 3 adults) have prediabetes
  • In 2005, worldwide 1.1 million people died from diabetes
    • Full impact of disease is much larger
    • People live with it for years but cause of death is often heart disease or kidney failure

Types

  • TYPE 1: lack of insulin production
  • TYPE 2: results from body’s ineffective use of insulin
    • Type 2 is more common / accounts for 90% of all diabetes worldwide
    • Reports of Type 2 in children have increased worldwide

Fiber is a critical part of a healthy diet, including a diabetic diet, but there's no research evidence that supports normal fiber intake with improved blood sugar control. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests a diabetic patient should consume 14 grams per every 1,000 calories per day, so in the range of 25-35 grams. 

This amount is about the same for a non-diabetic diet. Most people don't get enough fiber. The average intake is only around 14 grams per day. 

Increasing your fiber also helps control your cholesterol levels which is important since diabetes and heart disease often go together and high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Consuming just 25-30 grams of fiber is enough to help reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. 

THE THING ABOUT 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.

High-fiber foods are much richer in vitamins and essential nutrients that other food groups, an most definitely over fiber supplements. 

It's true that a simple high-fiber diet can provide immense health benefits and has proven to be easier to stick to when compared to other diets that require multiple changes in eating habits. 

Many people struggle with following complex dietary recommendations, eventually leading to falling off the wagon much sooner than they anticipated. A simple-to-follow diet that simply requires you to increase your fiber intake may be an easier alternative and a great starting point for those who have "tried everything" when it comes to losing weight.

What this study shows is that one small step can have a big impact in your battle with the bathroom scale