High-fiber carbohydrates break down slowly in your body and don't trigger high sugar peaks. As a result, they trigger a lower insulin response, and a much delayed hunger response.

Foods with complex carbs also provide you with steady energy for your working muscles throughout the day and they are crucial sources of vitamins. Whole-grain breads and high-fiber food won't make you hungry and can hold you for several hours because they break down slowly in your body and cause very little insulin to be released from your pancreas.

Benefits of Choosing High-Fiber, Low-Sugar Foods

Below are a list of proven benefits from selecting foods and beverages that are high in fiber and low in sugar.

  1. Stops the hunger cycle.
  2. Creates weight loss of up to a half pound per week (If you consume 35gm of fiber daily, you burn an additional 250 calories per day).
  3. Aids in long-term weight control.
  4. Can prevent or reverse heart disease.
  5. Helps you burn more fat at rest.
  6. Reduces stroke risk.
  7. Decreases cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood.
  8. Decreases fat absorption from the food you eat.
  9. Decreases sugar absorption from the food you eat.
  10. If you already have diabetes, consuming food that is higher in fiber content and lower in sugar, along with activity, helps you keep the fasting sugar levels below the recommended 110 mg/dl, brings diabetes under control and reduces the exhaustion to the pancreas’ capacity to produce insulin. This eventually may delay the need to use insulin later on.
  11. Helps you prevent diabetes complications.
  12. If you don’t have type 2 diabetes but are predisposed to getting it, consuming foods that are high in fiber and lower in sugar along with an active lifestyle, will help you prevent acquiring diabetes by making your pancreas get less exhausted in producing excess insulin.
  13. Makes you feel full.
  14. Keeps your bowels regular by its bulking effect (when drinking six to eight glasses of water daily).
  15. Reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Getting Enough Fiber

The daily fiber recommendations for good health is 35 grams. Currently most people are consuming on average about 10 to 14 grams of fiber daily. Remember that by increasing your daily fiber intake to about 35gm you will burn an additional 250 calories daily and you will get all the health benefits from fiber as discussed above. This is easily done. High fiber cereals such as Fiber One and Fiber Plus can provide you with up to 14 grams of fiber.

For lunch and dinner, eating high fiber carbs such as beans, brown rice or brown pasta (enough to cover a quarter plate) or two slices of whole grain bread will get you eight to 10 grams of fiber for each meal. Add on top of that five to 10 grams of fiber daily that you will get from the veggies and the fruits and you will be well over 35 grams of fiber daily. Don’t forget to consume five to seven cups of water, which helps fiber expand in your gut and exert some of its functions.

> Examples of high-fiber or complex-carb foods are:
>
> • Whole grain bread
> • Oat bran
> • Oats
> • All bean products
> • Lentils
> • Peas
> • Vegetables
> • Fruits

Pharmacist George Tohme, author of "Lifestyle Makeover for All Couch Potatoes."