Key to blood sugar & weight management
Michael R. Lyon, MD
Soluble fiber, in food or supplement form, slows digestion considerably and helps control blood sugar and weight management.
To your body, all carbohydrates equal sugar, so you may wonder, “If food turns into sugar in our bodies anyway, why are refined sugar and white flour so bad?”
The answer stems from simple sugars and low-fibre starchy foods requiring little digestion. When we eat sweet or low-fibre starchy foods, such as candy bars or white-flour bagels, the glucose level of the blood rises rapidly. Indeed, white-flour foods are at least equal to table sugar in their ability to raise blood sugar.
In response the pancreas secretes a large amount of insulin to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high. This large insulin response in turn tends to make blood sugar fall to levels that are too low. This occurs roughly 90 minutes to three hours after consumption. This may lead to an adrenaline surge, which can cause nervousness, irritability, a strong urge to eat, or feeling symptoms of hypoglycemia.
This reaction contributes to overeating, weight gain, and insulin resistance–also called syndrome X or metabolic syndrome–a condition where insulin works less efficiently with every pound of added body fat. Insulin resistance leads to further obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and blood vessel damage, inflammation, and other health conditions.
With more than one-third of North American adults, and far too many children, exhibiting some symptoms of insulin resistance, the key to preventing or reversing these health problems is to improve insulin sensitivity and normalize blood glucose balance.
This roller-coaster ride of glucose levels is not experienced after eating high-fibre carbohydrates within a balanced meal because the digestion and absorption processes are much slower. It is always recommended to consume foods that are in their most natural, highest fibre forms, whether starches or sugars; in other words, whole grain and fresh fruit instead of white flour and fruit juice.
It is important to note that soluble fibre, in food or as a supplement, can slow digestion considerably and is helpful for blood sugar and weight management.
There are many natural ways to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes. Investigate them for yourself and consult your health practitioner.