January is fiber focus month and here are a few tips to get you started. Some fibers tame blood glucose. Fiber is good for digestion and so much more. Individuals who consume a lot of fiber have a lower risk for developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and obesity. In fact, individuals with the highest fiber intake are 29 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intakes of fiber.
All fibers are not the same. We frequently talk about fiber as if it is a single nutrient, and we sometimes identify fibers as either soluble or insoluble. That’s even the way they are described on a food label. This classification, unfortunately, does not identify fibers role in the body. It’s better to classify fibers in terms of their viscosity and fermentability. The mechanism is not well-understood, viscous fibers, such as pectin’s, guar gum, beta-guans, agar, and carrageenan, help lower after-meal blood glucose. Pectin and guar gum are highly fermentable. Beta-gluacans, inulin, and oligofructose are also fermented in the gut. When these fibers reach the large intestine, colonic bacteria make a meal of them and, in the process, produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA). These SCFAs appear to improve insulin sensitivity. Fibers that are resistant to fermentation increase stool weight, decreasing transit time.
If you are looking for an ultra fast, high-fiber breakfast that will keep you full until lunch, consider Greek yogurt mixed with fruit and high-fiber cereal. Plain 0% Greek yogurt has half the sugar and double the protein compared to regular yogurt. It is 100 calories for a 6-ounce container. Another great choice is Damon Light and fit Greek yogurt. Stir in a high fiber cereal and add a fruit of your choice.
Information retrieved from Food and Health.com
For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.