4 Reasons to Add Fiber to Your Diet


Fiber benefits

Fiber is a macronutrient that mostly comes from plants.

This means that fiber must be a carbohydrate

The only other two other macronutrients are protein and fat.

Though it is considered a carbohydrate, your body mostly doesn’t break it down into glucose like other carbs; fiber mostly passes intact through the gastrointestinal tract.

There, it feeds and maintains the gut’s bacteria, which improves glucose and insulin levels.

It also keeps gut inflammation down, protects the gut’s mucus membrane, and slows glucose absorption.


Soluble vs Insoluble (not soluble) Fibers


There are two primary forms of fiber—soluble and insoluble—both have unique health benefits, so it’s important to make sure your diet includes both.

Soluble fiber helps maintain good fiber-digesting organisms in the gut microbiome.

Insoluble fiber, in high amounts, has been linked to lower insulin resistance.

Most fibrous foods like fruit and berries contain both types of fiber, and they work together to control the way your body processes glucose.

Eating both kinds makes you feel full longer, helping cut cravings for more food.


1 – Fiber Fuels the Gut


Many of the organisms that live in the gut like protozoa, fungi, and viruses feed on fiber. So, when you eat a diet rich in fiber, these organisms thrive, helping to maintain a balanced gut.

Why is this important?


A balanced gut allows all these organisms to live in harmony. If you have too much yeast or fungi in your gut for example, it can show up in yeast infections.  Let’s keep everyone in balance.


Oftentimes, a woman taking antibiotics will get a yeast infection because of this upset.  The bacteria is killed off in the gut, causing an imbalance and the yeast go crazy!


2 – Fiber suppresses appetite


Fiber produces a product called butyrate which suppresses appetite.

Studies have found that people with Type 2 diabetes typically have lower concentrations of butyrate-producing bacteria in their gut compared to people without diabetes.

Another product produced in your gut by fiber-eating bacteria is called propionate.

Both butyrate and propionate stimulate gut hormones which suppress appetite.

Why is this important?

Because some of the most popular diabetes drugs are called GLP-1 agonists.  This means that they make more butyrate and propionate in your gut, which you could get naturally by eating enough fiber. Never quit your medications without talking to your doctor first.

You feel full and do not eat.


3 – Fiber reduces inflammation


Why is this important?

Because inflammation “swells” the gut and does not allow it to work properly.

The typical American diet is high in fat and sugar and low in fiber which causes an upset in the gut.

Adding fiber to the diet acts to reduce inflammation.  Prebiotics will also feed the bacteria in the gut.  Probiotics will add new bacteria.

Your gut bacteria are important to you and how you react to food.  So getting your gut right means getting your metabolism, and your energy, set up in the best possible way.


4 – Fiber also protects your gut


Why is this important?

Because a gut full of bad bacteria not only causes inflammation it can make the lining of your gut “leak”.  This means that a “leaky” gut cannot regulate insulin and send misleading signals to your cells and tissues.

This can lead to insulin resistance.

The biggest advantage is that fiber delays the sugar from getting dumped in the blood all at once so this reduces glycemic response and probably insulin resistance.


Caution when Adding Fiber


But adding too much fiber too quickly can cause severe bloating.

Also, adding too much fiber as supplements can be bad for diabetics unless you check the labels.

Most fiber supplements have sugar as one of the main ingredients.

Always check labels and find both soluble and insoluble fibers. Metamucil Orange has 16 grams of added sugar in just two tablespoons! So beware!


Here’s a short list of foods that are high in fiber, but again, always check your sugars before and 30 minutes after you eat any food.

  • Berries, guava, pears, grapefruit, and durian, are some of the most fibrous fruits.
  • Acacia fiber supplements are the soluble fiber that will help you stay regular and are prebiotics that feeds the good organisms already in your gut.
  • Chia: Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 11 grams of fiber and just 2 grams of carbs.
  • Flaxseed: The same amount of ground flaxseed contains barely any carbs and packs almost 4 grams of fiber
  • Avocado: A little more than half of a large avocado (100 grams) contains 6.7 grams of fiber and 8.5 grams of carbs.
  • Beans and lentils: Navy, lima, small white and yellow beans, and lentils are also high in fiber but lower in carbs than other beans.


4 Best Practices to Add Fiber


  1. Get at least 25 grams of fiber in your diet.
  2. Check to see if supplements raise your sugars just like you would check the food.
  3. Add fiber slowly and work with a practitioner to determine the best options and approach.”
  4. Use continuous glucose monitoring to determine your response to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.


More Easy-to-Understand Simple Information?


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About the Author

Do you feel frustrated with your medical care? Do doctors spend 5 minutes with you, push you out of the office, with you wondering what's going to happen? Does your insurance deny paying? You're not alone. I'm frustrated, too. This is a growing trend in healthcare. Having seen pre-insurance medicine (yes, my dad was an old country doctor), I grew up watching him spend time with his patients, giving them the best care he had to offer. I saw families trust him to help them through hospitalizations and the next crisis. As a patient advocate, my job is to see that you get the right diagnosis, the right treatment plans, and the right supplies and education to make good decisions about your health. More importantly, I will teach you the tricks of the healthcare trade. We need more healthcare consumer protection, especially for chronic illnesses like diabetes. This is what I am passionate about. I make it happen every day with thousands of patients who now know what I know about beating the healthcare system and getting the best patient care...Patient Best.

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