Soluble Fiber May Help Blunt Blood Sugar Spikes
Previous studies have linked dietary fiber with a reduced risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A recent study suggests that soluble fiber may help blunt blood sugar spikes that occur after eating among glucose intolerant people.
Participants in the study included 12 middle-aged Japanese people who were slightly overweight to significantly overweight, with BMIs ranging from 25.5 to 29.5. They were instructed to consume 6 grams of the soluble fiber product with three meals a day for 12 months. Other than the supplement, they were not asked to change anything about their diets, exercise habits, or lifestyle.
The researchers found that the soluble fiber supplement resulted in:
- Significantly reduced postprandial blood glucose levels of up to 50%
- Significantly lower postprandial insulin and triglyceride levels
- Lower LDL and higher HDL cholesterol levels
- Lower inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein
- Significantly lower body mass index, particularly in waist circumference.
Researchers from the Journal of Functional Foods conducted the study. It was published in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Functional Foods.
Fiber consumption has also been linked with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes.
Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.