Eating More Fiber Could Keep Diabetes at Bay

What’s the key to staying type 2 diabetes-free? A new study suggests that increasing one’s daily intake of fiber could play an important role.

The study involved a thorough examination of data collected through the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–otherwise known as EPIC. This involved 350,000 participants, of which about 12,400 represented verified cases of type 2 diabetes. Another 16,835 participants were chosen randomly to act as a control group.

The research showed that the participants who ate more than 26 grams of fiber every day were 18-percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who consumed less than 20 grams of fiber each day. Interestingly, the research showed that cereal fiber was more effective in staving off type 2 diabetes than the fiber found in vegetables.

Furthermore, the research showed that people who regularly consumed lots of fiber were more likely to have a normal body mass index (or BMI), meaning they’re more likely to have a healthy body weight.

Unfortunately, researchers still don’t know for certain why consuming more fiber helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. “We are not certain why this might be, but potential mechanisms could include feeling physically full for longer, prolonged release of hormonal signals, slowed down nutrient absorption, or altered fermentation in the large intestine,” noted Dagfinn Aune, one of the researchers who worked on the study.

“As well as helping keep weight down, dietary fiber may also affect diabetes risk by other mechanisms–for instance improving control of blood sugar and decreasing insulin peaks after meals, and increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.”


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