The number of people battling high blood sugar and cholesterol increases by the day as many people do not meet the daily recommended amount of vegetables and fruits to reduce the risk of diabetes and other diseases.
The CDC reported that only one out of every ten adult Americans comply with the federal vegetable and fruit recommendations.
According to Healthline, the cholesterol level of many people dealing with high blood sugar is also high. DASH diet has been an effective eating plan that helps control blood pressure by reducing sodium intake and emphasizing magnesium, potassium, and calcium-rich foods.
In all, increasing your fiber or dietary fiber intake will greatly help control your blood sugar, cholesterol, and prevent other diseases. Here, you will see how fiber can help your blood sugar and cholesterol level. We will also give you the common natural sources of fiber.
What is Fiber?
Bulk or roughage, popularly known as fiber is parts of foods the body cannot digest, breakdown, or absorb. While the body digest and absorbs soft food diet and other food components like proteins, fats, or carbohydrates, it cannot break down fiber. Since the body cannot break down fiber, it is kept in the stomach before it’s dispatched out of the body.
Types of Fiber?
There are two categories of fiber, namely; soluble and insoluble fiber.
· Soluble fiber: Soluble, as the name suggests, are fibers that dissolve in water to produce a material that looks like a gel. They are good for glucose and blood cholesterol level control and can easily be found in peas, oats, apples, beans, citrus fruits, barley, psyllium, and carrots.
· Insoluble fiber: Unlike the first that dissolves in water, insoluble fiber enhances material movement through the digestive system and raises stool bulk to help resolve irregular stools or constipation. Insoluble fibers can be found in wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, beans, nuts, and vegetables like green beans, cauliflower, and potatoes.
Benefits of Fiber
As stated earlier, fiber has a lot of benefits. Below are some of these benefits:
· Helps to control or manage blood sugar levels
· Helps to reduce cholesterol levels
· Maintain bowel health
· Helps to maintain a healthy weight through hunger and portion control
· Helps to normalize bowel movement
· Can help one live long
How fiber helps blood sugar and cholesterol?
Every fiber (soluble and insoluble) helps blood sugar and cholesterol by slowing the breakdown and absorption of fat and sugar from your food and help stop spikes in blood fat and blood sugar that usually occurs after eating. They also stop the absorption of some cholesterol and fat, thereby lowering your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Best food sources of fiber
To raise your intake of fiber, avoid even the so-called “best healthy fast food” and go for the best health foods, including:
· Peas, Beans, Peanuts, and other legumes
· Whole-grains products
· Nuts and seeds
The amount of fiber you need
The minimum daily recommended intake of fiber for adults is:
· 50 years and below – Men: 38g and Women: 25g
· 51 years and above – Men: 30g and Women: 21g
There’s actually no better way to reduce the risk of diabetes and other related diseases than consumption of fiber. You really don’t have to wait until you are in your fifties before making fiber an important part of your diet. Right from now, start working towards being healthy in old age.