Keeping things moving

Welcome to my first nutrient post! I’ve received tons of questions about fiber lately.

What is a good fiber supplement? Does it affect blood sugar levels? What’s the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

What is Fiber?

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that passes through your intestine with little to no absorption.

There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber CAN be digested by the small intestine. It takes on a gel texture when mixed with moisture and helps your food glide through your intestine. It’s great for the lining of your gut and is known to help with keeping cholesterol and triglyceride levels low. Examples of soluble fiber are: oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries.

Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the small intestine and moves into the large intestine in a bulky form. What’s great about this fiber is that it can pass through your intestine more quickly, scraping the lining of the gut to help EVERYTHING pass through (toxins, etc). Examples include: brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Does Fiber influence blood sugar levels?

Ever have a sugar rush? Have you ever heard of the glycemic index scale? This scale is based on how quickly/high your blood sugar spikes after eating a specific carb. The amount of fiber within that carbohydrate will influence that GI rating. The lower the number the less of a spike occurs.

Here are some examples from a Harvard Health article:

FOODGlycemic index (glucose = 100)
HIGH-CARBOHYDRATE FOODS
White wheat bread*75 ± 2
Whole wheat/whole meal bread74 ± 2
Specialty grain bread53 ± 2
Unleavened wheat bread70 ± 5
Wheat roti62 ± 3
Chapatti52 ± 4
Corn tortilla46 ± 4
White rice, boiled*73 ± 4
Brown rice, boiled68 ± 4
Barley28 ± 2
Sweet corn52 ± 5
Spaghetti, white49 ± 2
Spaghetti, whole meal48 ± 5
Rice noodles†53 ± 7
Udon noodles55 ± 7
Couscous†65 ± 4
BREAKFAST CEREALS
Cornflakes81 ± 6
Wheat flake biscuits69 ± 2
Porridge, rolled oats55 ± 2
Instant oat porridge79 ± 3
Rice porridge/congee78 ± 9
Millet porridge67 ± 5
Muesli57 ± 2
FRUIT AND FRUIT PRODUCTS
Apple, raw†36 ± 2
Orange, raw†43 ± 3
Banana, raw†51 ± 3
Pineapple, raw59 ± 8
Mango, raw†51 ± 5
Watermelon, raw76 ± 4
Dates, raw42 ± 4
Peaches, canned†43 ± 5
Strawberry jam/jelly49 ± 3
Apple juice41 ± 2
Orange juice50 ± 2
VEGETABLES
Potato, boiled78 ± 4
Potato, instant mash87 ± 3
Potato, french fries63 ± 5
Carrots, boiled39 ± 4
Sweet potato, boiled63 ± 6
Pumpkin, boiled64 ± 7
Plantain/green banana55 ± 6
Taro, boiled53 ± 2
Vegetable soup48 ± 5
DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES
Milk, full fat39 ± 3
Milk, skim37 ± 4
Ice cream51 ± 3
Yogurt, fruit41 ± 2
Soy milk34 ± 4
Rice milk86 ± 7
LEGUMES
Chickpeas28 ± 9
Kidney beans24 ± 4
Lentils32 ± 5
Soya beans16 ± 1
SNACK PRODUCTS
Chocolate40 ± 3
Popcorn65 ± 5
Potato crisps56 ± 3
Soft drink/soda59 ± 3
Rice crackers/crisps87 ± 2
SUGARS
Fructose15 ± 4
Sucrose65 ± 4
Glucose103 ± 3
Honey61 ± 3
Data are means ± SEM.* Low-GI varieties were also identified.† Average of all available data.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods

Carbs DO effect your blood sugar, but some effect it MUCH LESS than others.

Fiber Supplement Recommendation

This is my absolute favorite fiber supplement. It has one ingredient – acacia fiber. When mixed with water, it is tasteless and for the most part dissolves if you add enough water. You need to stir it or it will clump together and form a gel-like substance (can you guess what kind of fiber this is?)

You can find more Renew life fiber supplements here.

Am I getting enough fiber?

Here’s the deal. Most processed foods have little to no fiber. They are stripped of nutrients and the flour that makes up products like crackers, most breads, pancake mixes, processed rice, out-of-the-box cereals have been processed so much that they have no complexity – no fiber. This means they will cause a blood sugar spike (before even accounting for how much sugar is added in these things). In the end, you’ll be hungry in an hour. Especially if you didn’t pair it with a fat and protein source – which are both really satiating.

Sunbasket mean: Steak, Swiss chard and sweet potato – FIBER FIBER FIBER!

If you are consuming fruits, veggies, WHOLE GRAINS like quinoa or real oats and meat/fish/poultry then you absolutely are eating enough. KEEP IT UP!

If you have more questions about fiber, where to find it, how to make it taste good or other supplements you’ve found – HIT ME UP!

Thanks for reading xo

Crystal Dee

Sources:

Fiber – Harvard Health

Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar – Harvard Health

Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients. 2010;2(12):1266–1289. doi:10.3390/nu2121266

Glycemic Index for 60+ Foods – Harvard Health

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