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When we consume carbohydrates, our body breaks it down and converts into sugar (glucose). This is an important function of the body. Glucose is what propels our body with energy.

The problem is when conversion from Carbohydrate to Sugar happens too fast, sugar levels in our body spikes. This causes stress on our system. If this problem is sustained over a period of time, it can cause irreparable damage leading to diabetes among many other things.

We want the carbohydrates to be digested slowly enabling the nutrient absorption. If carbohydrates are digested slowly, conversion of carbs to sugar (glucose) will also happen slowly. This is possible if we consume food that is rich in fiber.

Given the prelude, let us talk about fiber.

Fiber is a carbohydrate but, body cannot digest it and hence it cannot be converted into sugar. So, there is almost no calorie associated with this. Fiber cannot be digested by the body. It passes through the body undigested.

There are two types of fiber existing in the food that we consume.

Type 1 – Soluble Fiber – If we put this fiber in water, it will dissolve in water hence the name soluble. This type of fiber, slows down the carbohydrates from getting converted to glucose and hence regulates the sugar while enabling better absorption of the nutrients.
Fiber can pervert the sudden spike of sugar. It will also make us feel full for longer time and hence reduce the hunger. It can keep blood sugar in control.

Type 2 – Insoluble Fiber – This fiber cannot dissolve in water. – The main job of this fiber is to transport the food through digestive system. Main benefit - prevents constipation.

We can get sufficient fiber (both types) from our regular daily foods such as wholegrains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits such as apple (with outer skin), oatmeal lentil, quinoa, brown rice, legumes, leafy greens.

Anything refined such as polished/processed rice, multipurpose flour such as maida is not going to help as the process of refining essentially removes the fiber.

Always check the labels for the Dietary Fiber content. Fiber is not the nutrient known for its taste. But will help to increase days of our lives and can add values to those days.

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