|Updated: 4/11/2007 4:46 pm
||Published: 4/11/2007 4:46 pm
As part of a healthy, low-fat eating plan, fiber fights diabetes (die-uh-BEE-tees) in several ways. It helps you feel full sooner, aiding in weight loss. It can curb insulin resistance, allowing your body to better use the insulin it makes. Fiber also slows the absorption of carbohydrates, thereby reducing the surge in blood sugar that may occur after eating. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water; examples include oats, barley, fruits, and kidney beans. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water; common sources are wheat bran, whole grains, and many vegetables. While increasing total fiber to 25 grams a day is advised, soluble fiber in particular is thought to have the greatest benefit for diabetics. That's because soluble fiber is the most effective in maintaining a steady blood sugar level after a meal. To raise your fiber intake, choose whole-grain products like whole-wheat bread and brown rice, instead of refined products like white bread and white rice. Also, eat more fruits and vegetables. But start gradually: too much fiber at once can cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea. For more information on high fiber foods, consult a doctor in your area.