Fibre: Your Best Friend in the Battle to Lower Blood Sugar 

We’ve all heard about fibre, but mostly in terms of it’s benefits for our gut health. But did you know fibre can play a really valuable role in supporting our health beyond our gut – including contributing to healthier blood sugar levels?

What is Fibre?

Fibre (also known as dietary fibre) is a term used to describe a type of carbohydrate that our body cannot digest or break down. Fibre is not a single compound, but a complex group of many different compounds found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and pulses.

Some of the common different forms of fibre you might come across are:

  • Soluble fibre: forms of fibre that dissolve in water, such as pectins and beta glucans. Commonly found in fruits and oats.
  • Insoluble fibre: forms of fibre that do not dissolve in water, such as cellulose. Commonly found in wholewheat foods and nuts.
  • Resistant starch: forms of fibre that are highly fermentable. Commonly found in bananas, potatoes, grains, and pulses.
  • Prebiotics: forms of fibre that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Commonly found in onions, garlic, asparagus, and bananas.

How can fibre support lower blood sugar?

In multiple studies, eating more fibre has been shown to help support lower blood sugar levels and improved diabetic health. But why?

When we eat fibre, it passes through our digestive system without being absorbed by our body until it reaches our large intestine. In the process, it has a number of effects that can support your efforts to lower your blood sugar:

1. It reduces blood sugar spikes

Since our bodies can’t break down fibre, unlike other forms of carbohydrate it doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes after eating. But fibre also attracts water into our gut, slowing down the digestion process and the absorption of other sugars in our food. This means that meals rich in fibre help to reduce the spikes in blood sugar you normally see after eating, and therefore also help reduce the spike in insulin levels – decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

2. It improves insulin sensitivity

Diets rich in fibre also help to improve insulin sensitivity, meaning our cells become more responsive to insulin when it is released into the blood following eating. This allows them to take up and use more sugar from our blood, reducing both our blood sugar level and the amount of insulin our pancreas needs to release into the blood.

3. It supports weight loss

Fibre helps to keep us feeling fuller for longer, which naturally reduces the amount we eat, helping you to achieve and maintain a healthier weight. Feeling full for longer can also help reduce the desire to snack, which is really important since regular snacks lead to more regular blood sugar spikes, which can lead to increased insulin resistance. 

4. It supports a healthy microbiome

Fibre reaches our large intestine, where it can be fermented by good gut bacteria. This both helps to support the growth of good bacteria and suppress the growth of bad bacteria, helping us to develop a healthier microbiome in our gut! This leads to the generation of healthy byproducts (called short chain fatty acids, or SCFAs), which enter our bloodstream and influence the way our body uses up glucose to help boost our health! 

Fibre also supports health more broadly

Eating more fibre isn’t just good for supporting your efforts to manage your blood sugar levels. It’s also associated with a range of other health benefits, including: 

All these health benefits are reason enough to eat more fibre every day. But do you know how much fibre should you eat and how can you add more of it to your diet? 

So how much fibre do you need?​

In the UK, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends a daily dietary intake value of 30g of fibre for adults. 

However, according to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), most people aren’t eating enough fibre. Their studies show that on average, UK adults eat just 20g of fibre per day – meaning many of us are leaving health benefits on the table.  

Did you know: one bowl of SmarterNaturally SuperSoup contains 20g of fibre, getting you two-thirds of the way towards your daily goal in one easy step!

How to add more fibre to your diet

There are several easy ways to increase your daily dietary fibre intake. Here are some tips that will help you reach the 30g per day recommendation:

  • Choose wholegrain products over their refined white versions
  • Include vegetables (raw and/or cooked) in every meal
  • Choose beans and pulses as side dishes or meat substitutes
  • Choose fruits, nuts and/or seeds as your go-to snack options
  • Stop peeling your fruits and vegetables (skin contains lots of fibre)
  • Consider adding a fibre supplement or high-fibre products like SmarterNaturally SuperSoup

Increase your fibre intake slowly

Even though eating more fibre will be beneficial for your health in many ways, dramatically changing your diet in a short space of time can cause minor side effects. Read on to learn more about what you might experience when increasing your fibre intake, and what to do if you do see some changes in your bowel movements.

1. Bloating and gas

Adding a big dose of fibre to your diet can cause bloating and gas if your body isn’t used to it. Though this can be unsettling, it’s nothing to worry about – it’s caused by the good bacteria we mentioned above fermenting the fibre into things that boost your health!

2. Looser poos

You might also find that initially your trips to the toilet become more frequent, or that your poos feel a little looser than you are used to. In some cases, people even feel like they are experiencing diarrhoea and worry that eating more fibre is making them ill! Again, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about – it’s the result of fibre drawing more water into your gut, which actually helps improve the health of our bowels.

3. Constipation

Paradoxically, another side effect of suddenly adding lots of fibre to your diet might be experiencing constipation. This is usually caused by eating a lot of fibre without drinking enough water or other fluids. Therefore, one of the most important pieces of advice when adding more fibre to our diet is to drink plenty of water and to keep physically active, so you can keep your bowels moving!

If you’ve experienced any discomfort or distress after changing your diet to include more fibre, rest assured that eating more fibre isn’t making you unwell In fact on the contrary, it’s doing you the world of good!

First of all, don’t be alarmed and stop your new diet. Instead, simply take a step back and increase your fibre intake slowly and gradually, so that your gut has time to adjust. Drinking plenty of water and staying active is a good idea too! 

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after eating your first bowl of our SuperSoup, it’s probably just because each bowl contains so much fibre. it can be a bit of a shock to your system!

To manage this, we recommend splitting each sachet into two or even three smaller portions and eating them over the course of one or several days. This will give your body more time to adjust to your new higher intake of fibre, and before you know it you’ll be feeling right as rain after eating a whole bowl – and all the healthier for it!

Make friends with fibre

Meet our SuperSoup: 20g of fibre in every bowl

Try it today and discover start feeling the benefits within 12 weeks.

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