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  • Meera Shah, MS, RD

Diabetes and Dietary Fiber

Updated: Oct 30, 2020


Hello friends,


This is the first blog post in my series of nutritional science posts, where my aim is to take major nutrition related peer-reviewed articles and summarize them so they are quick and easy to understand.


Article: Impact of Dietary Fiber Consumption on Insulin Resistance and the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Author: Martin O Weickert and Andreas FH Pfeiffer

Journal: The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 148, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 7–12, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxx008


This is a review article that summarizes potential ways that dietary fiber can decrease your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Before we discuss that, let's quickly review the two types of dietary fiber.


Soluble fiber: Found in fruits and vegetables. Examples include pectin and inulin. This fiber dissolves in water to make a thick gel-like consistency (similar to adding water to your oatmeal).

Insoluble fiber: Found in whole grains, skins of fruits, and nuts. Examples include cellulose and hemicellulose. This fiber does not dissolve in water (as if you were pouring water on a bowl of celery)


Back to the article. There is a lot of data that shows that Insoluble fiber can help reduce developing insulin resistance (which leads to Type 2 diabetes). The article explores some of the possible ways that happens:


  1. People with higher Insoluble fiber intake tend to do a better job losing weight and keeping it off. This probably explains a portion of the benefit, but not everything.

  2. A higher intake of Insoluble fiber may interfere with the absorption of dietary proteins. There have been reported associations with increased dietary protein intake and Type 2 diabetes risk. By eating more insoluble fiber with protein in take (i.e. getting more protein from plants which have fiber versus dairy or animal protein which does not have fiber), you can possibly lower that effect.

  3. There may be other potential effects on insulin resistance through effects on, gut hormones, adipokines, markers of inflammation, or on the composition of the gut microbiota.


So what does all of this mean? For diabetics and pre-diabetics, a diet rich in fiber, particularly Insoluble fiber, is very important.


It can be hard to increase your fiber intake with just the foods you eat, and adding over the counter fiber supplements may be something to consider!



More questions about fiber, diabetes, or your diet in general? Schedule a free 15-minute exploration session with Balanced Eats today!


Martin O Weickert, Andreas FH Pfeiffer, Impact of Dietary Fiber Consumption on Insulin Resistance and the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 148, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 7–12, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxx008

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