Almost all diabetic patients have heard that eating more coarse grains helps lower blood sugar. Therefore, there is a “coarse grain product” that is necessary for diabetic patients on the table. The so-called coarse grains are essentially one of the high dietary fiber foods. It is currently recommended that diabetic patients should consume 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day to achieve the goal of suppressing postprandial hyperglycemia.
Dietary fiber can be divided into two categories: soluble fiber and non-soluble fiber. The soluble fibers commonly found in foods are pectin, algin, and soybean gum, which are mainly present in the intercellular substance. Pectin is derived from fruit, algin is derived from seaweed, and soybean gum is a polysaccharide in which certain plants are stored in seeds as an energy source. Soluble dietary fiber is commonly used in the food industry to make jelly, jam and food thickeners. Common non-soluble fibers are cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, etc., which are components of plant cell walls, derived from the outer skin of cereal and legume seeds, and the stems and leaves of plants (ie, coarse grains).
Dietary fiber can’t be digested in the human small intestine, so it can’t be absorbed, providing nutrients and calories, but it can be broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. Decomposes to produce hydrogen, carbon dioxide and small molecules of organic acids. Energy is also produced when decomposed, but humans rarely use it. In the past 20 years, after extensive research, the functions of dietary fiber are:
• Enhance gastrointestinal motility, absorb water, facilitate stool discharge, and treat constipation.
• Increases bile acid excretion in the feces and lowers blood cholesterol levels.
• Delay the digestion and absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract, control the increase in blood glucose after meals, improve glucose tolerance, especially soluble fiber.
However, dietary fiber is not much better, especially for elderly friends. The gastrointestinal motility function is weakened. If excessive intake, it may affect the absorption of some B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. In particular, the dietary fiber of coarse grains is easy to swell, difficult to defecate or cause diarrhea when eating too much, so it needs to be used in moderation. It can be eaten once a day and served with soluble dietary fiber such as fruit and seaweed.
Dietary fiber should be supplemented by eating natural foods. Try not to use dietary fiber supplements and eat them with high-carbohydrate foods. For example, oatmeal rich in dietary fiber, coarse grains such as soba noodles, kelp, konjac and fresh vegetables can be added to the meat diet. At the same time, increasing the amount of dietary fiber should be gradual, especially for elderly patients. For those who inject insulin, they should observe the changes in blood glucose at any time to prevent hypoglycemia.
Suggestions on the application of dietary fiber in life:
• Choose whole grain, whole wheat food for breakfast.
• Replace some white and white rice with some coarse grains and taste good.
• Add appropriate amounts of legumes such as red beans and mung beans to the food.
• You must eat vegetables every day.
• To maintain maximum dietary fiber, do not peel the leaves, stems and fruits of vegetables.