Dietary Fiber Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetes

Diabetes and high blood sugar levels
Diabetes is caused by higher than normal blood sugar levels that continue to exist for extended periods of time in the body. If the diabetic condition is not brought under control, diabetes can become a life-shortening disease that cannot be cured, even in this miracle age of medicines and medical procedures. Diabetes has been a recognized health condition for thousands of years but today in America and in other parts of the world, it is reaching epidemic proportions according to national health-care authorities.

The human body needs sugar to fuel the activities of the body’s cells, but when diabetes is present, the process that enables the cells to take up the sugar, in the form of glucose, is impaired and the glucose stays in the blood where it can cause damage to other organs and systems in the body.

A major factor leading to diabetes is body weight. Most Americans are overweight to some extent and many are obese, these people are the prime candidates to develop diabetes and pre-diabetes, a related condition. Everyone with diabetes faces a diminished quality of life and the potential development of dangerous health complication unless existing higher than normal blood sugar levels are brought under control.

The need for diabetes-fighting food items in the daily diet
To control and manage blood sugar levels effectively usually requires a change in diet where it is necessary to cut down on the consumption of foods that have a high simple sugar content, such as pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits and other carbohydrates from which much of the sugars in the body are derived. There are plenty of more nutritious foods to satisfy the appetites and tastes of everyone and many of those can help to lower blood sugar levels – that’s good for the diabetic but also good for everyone whether diabetic or not.

Add foods that contain plenty of dietary fiber
Recommended for good nutrition for all, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds also provide the benefits of dietary fiber, and are a good choice for the diabetic food list. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that an amount of 20 to 35 grams of fiber should be eaten each day by all adults. However, the typical American diet usually provides much less than that. The ADA also says that up to 50 grams of daily fiber can improve blood sugar control and help reduce cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.

If just 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily can help control blood sugars levels, it seems common sense to make the effort to add food items to the diabetic diet that can provide that necessary amount. But keep in mind that some of the best sources of dietary fiber are also fruits which themselves provide an amount of simple sugar in the form of fructose. So it may be necessary to space those foods gradually throughout the day. There’s no point in solving the sugar level problem while, at the same time, cre ating another with too much fructose intake. For example, that might require eating half of an apple instead of a whole apple, delicious as they may be.

An added intake of fiber requires an increased water intake and fiber should not be eaten in excess, just like any food, because to do so might cause problems.

For more information on the diabetic diet, foods and diabetes in general, visit Diabetic Food List and also Normal Blood Sugars, where a List of Topics is provided.

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