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Soluble Fiber Helps to Control Diabetes

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that taking in extra soluble fiber helps to control diabetes. Now all diabetics should follow two dietary rules. First, they should restrict severely foods that cause a high rise in blood sugar: sugar-added foods such as soft drinks, pastries, cookies and so forth, all foods made from flour such as bakery products and pastas, and fruit juices. They should eat fruits and root vegetables such as potatoes with other foods to slow the release of sugar from these foods without eliminating their valuable nutrients. Second, they should eat plenty of the foods that are high in fiber: vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds, and fruits.

This study shows that foods that are high in soluble fiber help to prevent sugar from rising too high after meals by keeping food in the stomach longer, so the sugar is absorbed slowly, and by preventing free fatty acids and triglycerides from rising too high after meals. Free fatty acids bind to insulin receptors and prevent insulin from doing its job of driving sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include most whole grains, oat bran and oat meal; beans and other seeds; many fruits, including cantaloupe, grapefruit, orange, papaya and raisins; and vegetables such as lima beans, okra and sweet potatoes.
More on Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

NEJM, May 11, 2000

Checked 6/9/14

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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