Meet your new magical friend: FIBER.
Due to the body’s inability to breakdown fiber (indigestible), it has no negative effect on blood sugar levels.
Several studies have shown that the adverse metabolic effects of high-carbohydrate diets are neutralized when fiber and carbohydrate are increased simultaneously in the diet for diabetic patients.
While I don’t really recommend a high carbohydrate lifestyle for anyone, “neutralizing” the effect of carbs within our bodies sounds good to me.
So what does this mean?
When you consume fiber, it delays food digestion which consequently effects carbohydrate metabolism. For example, raspberries contain 15 grams of total carbohydrates and 8 grams of dietary fiber (per cup). Since fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, subtract the fiber count from the total carb count, which = 7 total impact carbs for 1 cup of raspberries. Pretty good!
FYI (in countries like UK or Australia, total carbs labeled do NOT include fibre, which means they already represent what is known as net carbs in the US.)
You may have heard that whole grain products are high in fiber. However, the starch in grains quickly turns to sugar and overwhelms any blood sugar-blocking effect the fiber would traditionally have! So when you see whole grain pasta, or whole grain bread…. It’s not really doing much when it comes to slowing digestion and avoiding a blood sugar spike. See it as an indulgence and not as a healthy alternative.
Keeping your blood sugar steady is an important tool for preventing insulin spikes, which can lock fat into your cells and prevent it from being used for energy.
The more blood sugar rollercoasters you find yourself on during the day by choosing unwisely, the greater risk you are for disease, excess body fat, mood swings, and depression.
HP TIP: You can blunt blood sugar-raising effects by increasing your consumption of whole, high fiber foods and decrease your consumption of starchy, sugary, refined foods.
HP ACTION STEP: A good way to ensure that you get enough fiber in your diet is to supplement some of these tasty foods into your day: Dark leafy greens, broccoli, red bell pepper, avocado, lentils, raspberries, artichokes, chia seeds, sweet potato, flax seed, and squash.