How Dietary Fiber Prevents Diabetes

January 20, 2021

Diabetes is non communicable disease characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Glucose plays a role in providing energy for our body cells, but over consumption may lead to damage to organs and tissues.

Glucose comes from the foods and drinks that we consume. Therefore, the number one thing we should do to control our glucose levels is to control the type and amount of food we eat. Physical activities can be a solution too, because the more active we are physically, the more glucose is used as our energy source, and the lower our glucose level becomes.

Aside from our food and physical activities, other factors determining the glucose levels include a hormone called insulin which is produced in the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce sufficient amount of insulin or fails to produce it at all so they’d need insulin injection. Meanwhile, people with type 2 diabetes has reduced insulin sensitivity that should be treated with oral medicines.

Aside from medical treatment, the right diet choices and physical activities are incredibly important for diabetic patients. As recommended by PERKENI (Perkumpulan Endokrinologi Indonesia or Indonesian Society for Endocrinology), a diet for diabetic patients should include 45-65% of carbs, 20-25% of fat, 10-20% of protein, and 20-35% of dietary fiber per % calories per day. However they should pay close attention to the carbs, because not all types of carbs are allowed in their diet.

According to The British Diabetic Association, 50% of their energy should come from foods or drinks with low glycemic index and high complex carbohydrates such as dietary fiber and resistant starch.

Foods rich of dietary fiber and resistant starch are good for people with diabetes as they’re unable to be absorbed by the body, thus won’t increase the glucose levels. Additionally, both types of food increase insulin sensitivity. Research show that dietary fiber and resistant starch will be fermented to form short chain fatty acid (SCFA) including acetate, propionate, and butyrate that help increase insulin production and lower down glucose levels.

Dietary fiber and resistant starch are naturally found in abundant in rice bran, whole grain, and nuts. But, the rapidly-evolving F&B industry allows us to get them more conveniently from ready-to-consume products. Those products can come in the form of fiber-fortified drinks, whole-grain biscuits, or multi-purpose creamer FiberCreme. Made with dietary fiber oligosaccharide extracted from tapioca starch, FiberCreme can be easily mixed in any foods or drinks to enhance the flavor while keeping them healthy.

References:

Anonim, 2015. Konsensus Pengelolaan dan pencegahan diabetes militus type 2 di Indonesia 2015.PB. Perkumpulan Endokrinologi Indonesia (PERKENI), Jakarta.

British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), 1990. Complex carbohydrates in foods. The report of the British Nutrition Foundation’s Task Force, Chapman and Hall, London.

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