Fiber is an important part of a diabetic diet. I have been told this from many sources, but have never really understood why it was important or how it helps to lower blood sugar levels. Scientists have also known for years the importance of fiber, but have not fully understood how it works in the body. They do know that animals fed a fiber-rich diet become less fat and are less likely to develop diabetes than animals fed a fiber-free diet.

A recent study done by a team of French-Swedish researchers revealed the mechanism in the body that makes the breakdown of fiber so important.

Essentially, they found that the intestine is capable of several reactions caused by the fiber that trigger nerves that send a signal to the brain that cause a protective effect against diabetes and obesity. These include the sensation of hunger fading, energy expenditure at rest enhanced and, the liver produces less glucose. These protective functions of the body make fiber a great partner to other diabetes treatments in creating better control.

If you are like me, you have good intentions of adding in healthier items to your diet but have hard time executing. One of my problems is knowing what to look for when it comes to high fiber foods. It can also be difficult to change eating habits by adding in a lot of new food items to figure out how to prepare. I am not a nutritionist so I can’t give very good advice on what to include in your diet, but I can point you in the right direction. Here is a great list of some common food items that are high in fiber that would be relatively easy to add in to the average diet at Mayo Clinic.

The hardest part is getting started when changing food habits and lifestyle. So take a few minutes to evaluate your diet to make sure you are getting enough fiber. The great insights about fiber that researchers have found when looking deeper into the mechanisms in the body make it possible to create better nutritional guidelines to help treat diabetes. Now that we are able to understand a little bit better how fiber works, we can use it as a tool to help create optimal diabetes control.

To learn more on this topic:
After-Meal Blood Sugars: What's Food Got to Do with It?
Diabetic Diet: 5 Reasons Fruit Is A Healthy Choice
The 15 Benefits of High-Fiber Foods