Fiber Supplements Help Type 2 Diabetics

April 1, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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Fiber Supplements Help Type 2 Diabetics
If you are a diabetic, you may want to consider increasing your fiber intake with a fiber supplement. Eating a plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and complex carbohydrates will provide a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber and greatly benefit blood sugar. However, research supports adding a fiber supplement as an effective way of controlling blood sugar naturally in type 2 diabetics

Having type 2 diabetes reflects a metabolic struggle going on in the body. The need for fiber rises in proportion to metabolic problems like elevated cholesterol, increased blood sugar, and excess abdominal fat. Our government recommends consuming 25 grams of fiber per day, but Americans who eat a typical American diet only get about half that amount. Experts recommend even more (between 35-50 grams a day) to support weight loss, help clear fats and sugar, and aid detoxification. Getting adequate soluble fiber can go a long way toward breaking you out of this metabolic rut, manage cravings, and balance blood sugar levels.

Blood Sugar 101

When you eat a meal, sugar is released into the blood and blood sugar rises. Your pancreas releases insulin in response which helps transport sugar to your brain and all cells. Insulin transports some of those calories to your white adipose tissue for storage later.
When you lack dietary fiber at a meal it causes an excessive amount of sugar to dump into the blood stream and a spike in blood sugar occurs. This spike in blood sugar causes an excess surge of insulin and an excess production of fat. If you do this on a regular basis you develop insulin resistance and gain weight, often around the mid-section.

The greater the fiber content of your diet, the more controlled the process is. Fiber slows food movement out of the stomach and into the digestive tract. This results in a slower increase in blood sugar and a long-lasting full feeling.

Diabetes is an Inflammatory Disorder

Research just presented on March 20 at ENDO 2018, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago concluded that "An increase in dietary content of fiber, whether through food or a supplement, should be encouraged in order to reduce oxidative and inflammatory stress and hence, a tendency to induce insulin resistance." 

Reducing inflammation in diabetics and pre-diabetics is absolutely essential. For each tenth of a point increase in the A1C, there is a measureable jump in tissue inflammation from elevated blood sugar that especially affects the brain (known as type 3 diabetes or Alzheimer’s). If the inflammation continues, then damage to the insulin secreting beta cells of the pancreas occurs. Now you have a problem of insulin resistance (cells no longer respond to insulin) plus the pancreas can also no longer produce enough insulin to keep up, a mixture of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Fiber Up!

Start by following the 5 Rules of the Leptin Diet. If you snack between meals or eat too many carbohydrates, you are constantly dumping too much sugar into the blood and bombarding cells with insulin. This is a main problem leading to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. There is no quick fix or magic pill for diabetes, but getting adequate fiber is the foundation for healthy weight loss and blood glucose control.

Psyllium fiber, in particular, makes an excellent fiber supplement for diabetics. Supplementing with psyllium is associated with lower daily blood sugar levels, a lower surge of blood sugar following a meal, fewer hypoglycemic events, lower A1C levels, and lower insulin concentrations in people with type 2 diabetes.

Many fiber products taste awful, contain excess sweeteners to make them palatable, gum up in water making them hard to swallow, or cause excessive gas when consumed. High quality fiber products should contain no additives, mix well in water with no clumps, and naturally taste pleasant. We recommend a fiber combination of psyllium, oat beta glucan, and arabinogalactan. This is an easy way to increase high quality fibers in your daily diet.

A high quality fiber supplement is a helpful tool for anyone who wishes to lose weight, fight food cravings, and balance blood sugar. While you may not be able to feel when blood sugar levels are creeping up, an elevated A1C or fasting glucose score is a warning light that you need to make some changes before it’s too late. Start improving your health by following the Five Rules of the Leptin Diet, increasing your exercise, and adding a scoop of a high quality fiber supplement before each meal.

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