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How does soluble fiber affect the glycemic index to help with diabetes?

Janis Jibrin, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Soluble fiber, the type of fiber found in oats, barley, psyllium, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables, lowers the glycemic index (GI) of a food in a few different ways. When it mixes with liquid and with your own digestive juices, it forms a gel which slows the rate at which your stomach empties. Once in the small intestine, that gel forms a protective layer around starch particles, making it difficult for enzymes to penetrate. In studies in which people with diabetes took in 10 to 20 milligrams of soluble fiber daily for weeks, their average blood sugar was lowered slightly. After the soluble fiber makes its way to the large intestine, it becomes a meal for friendly bacteria, which convert dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids that appear to help your blood sugar in two ways. Their presence sends a signal to the liver to stop making glucose and they also appear to increase insulin sensitivity.
The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

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The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.