Fiber Good, and Not Just for Your Gut
Studies Show Fiber Fights Heart Disease, Diabetes
Fiber Fights Diabetes in Overweight/Obese People continued...
What's going on? Cereal fiber is also called insoluble fiber. It can't be digested, but it does give bulk to the stool. That's good in and of itself. But Weickert suggests that increased insoluble fiber leads to more fermentation at the lower end of the bowels. This might set off a chain reaction that changes the way their body responds to insulin.
The molecular mechanisms leading to improved insulin sensitivity after consumption of insoluble cereal fibers are not clear at present," Weickert tells WebMD.
He's planning a larger clinical trial to answer this and other questions.
Weickert's study appears in the April issue of Diabetes Care.
Where to Find Fiber
People need both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, Bonci says.
"You have to mix it up. Don't put all your bran in one box," she says. "Foods tend to have both. Apples, for example, have insoluble fiber in their skins and soluble fiber in their flesh. So foods are a better way to get fiber than supplements. You get the whole package with foods."
Foods with a lot of soluble fiber include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Legumes (peas, beans, and lentils)
Foods packed with insoluble fibers include:
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain breakfast cereals
- Wheat bran
- Many vegetables, including carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, and tomatoes