Manage Weight, Blood Sugar and Diabetes – Coconut Fiber

Today we have so many more choices  available in almost every aspect of our lives. That has led to bigger waistlines and butts all over north america. It’s not like any of us set out to become a bigger versions of ourselves – it just happens because of the choices we make.

A big part of the why of this blog is to share choices that make it easier to not be that bigger version of ourselves. I am finding coconut to be a really easy to incorporate choice. You can throw coconut flour, shredded coconut and coconut oil in of almost anything you are making with out really doing anything other than make that food taste richer and creamier. It is one of those no brainer solutions.

The Mediterranean Wellness shakes I mentioned earlier this week already taste so good but adding shredded coconut to it is a great and simple way to increase your fiber intake.

I have to chuckle at my husband. He has a really sweet tooth and loves his coffee. Sometimes it is hard to get him to eat enough real food because he is full of his overly sweet coffee. He is not big on fresh veggies unless we grow them. Making sure that he gets good fibre and quality nutrition in the winter is a bit of a nightmare but he does love a good smoothie. So Wednesday, I make a double batch of the Mediterranean Diet shakes as smoothies because it is going to be a busy day. That takes getting lunch together off the schedule – so I think – and it did,  but he liked it so much, he would happily have drank my lunch too.

Typically – he thinks most of my health solutions taste like crap. So him sneaking the Truffles and offering to drink my smoothie if it is too much for me or volunteering to go get our vitamins (daily complete) – is such a hoot.

He has no idea how good for him any of these are and I AM NOT GOING TO TELL HIM. But I am sure going to continue to enjoy a private chuckle knowing that he is making a far healthier choice because he really likes the taste.

He is a great guy but very much his own person and has a very healthy skepticism so this is too funny. Maybe next winter he won’t accrue that seasonal spare tire that disappears during the summer.

It’s like my oxygen spa – he wouldn’t go near it. After he had a really bad bout of muscle spasms, it cleared them up pouf.  He felt so good afterwards, he is in it all the time now. Another one of those things that I tried to tell him would be good for him – but he had to be difficult about.  I would love to be able to say I told you so but I just bite my tongue and chuckle to myself.

The following is a great article that explains the what and how of cocnut fiber an its’s afects to Manage Weight, Blood Sugar and Diabetes.

Weight Management

Since you cannot digest dietary fiber, you do not derive any calories from it. Dietary fiber is calorie-free. You can eat as much as you like without worrying about gaining weight—good news for those who are concerned about their weight.

Fiber absorbs water like a sponge. For this reason, it aids in filling the stomach and producing a feeling of fullness. It provides bulk without supplying fat-promoting calories. Fiber also slows down the emptying of the stomach, thus maintaining the feeling of fullness longer than low-fiber foods. As a result, less food and fewer calories are consumed.

Studies have shown that consumption of an additional 14 grams of fibre a day is associated with a 10 percent decrease in calorie intake and a loss in body weight. The observed changes occur both when the fiber is from high-fiber foods, like fresh vegetables or coconut, or when it is from products made with high-fiber flours, such as coconut flour.

When you eat high-fiber foods that are generally low in calories, you crowd out higher calorie foods. Simply adding high-fiber foods into your diet will lower your calorie intake even if you eat the same volume of food as you normally do.

Blood Sugar and Diabetes

Blood sugar is an important issue for anyone who is concerned about heart disease, overweight, hypoglycemia, and especially diabetes because it affects all of these conditions.

Carbohydrates in our foods are broken down in the digestive tract and converted into glucose

(blood sugar). Meals that contain a high concentration of carbohydrates, particularly simple carbohydrates such as sugar and refined flours, cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Since elevated blood sugar can lead to a coma and death, insulin is frantically pumped into the blood stream to avoid this. If insulin is produced in adequate amounts blood sugar is soon brought back down to normal. This is what happens in most individuals. However, if insulin is not produced quickly enough or if the cells become desensitized to the action of insulin, blood glucose can remain elevated for extended periods of time. This is what happens in diabetes.

Dietary fiber helps moderate swings in blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. This helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels under control. Coconut fiber has been shown to be very effective in moderating blood sugar and insulin levels. For this reason, coconut is good for diabetics.

Diabetics are encouraged to eat foods that have a relatively low glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how foods affect blood sugar levels. The higher the glycemic index, the greater an effect a particular food has on raising blood sugar. So diabetics need to eat foods with a low glycemic index. When coconut is added to foods, including those high in starch and sugar, itlowers the glycemic index of these foods. This was clearly demonstrated by T. P. Trinidad and colleagues in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2003. In their study, both normal and diabetic subjects were given a variety of foods to eat. Some of the types of food included cinnamon bread, granola bars, carrot cake, and brownies—all foods that a diabetic must ordinarily limit because of their high sugar and starch content. It was found that as the coconut content of the foods increased, the blood sugar response between the diabetic and non-diabetic subjects became nearly identical. In other words, coconut moderated the release of sugar into the bloodstream so that there was no spike in blood glucose levels. As the coconut content in the foods decreased, the diabetic subjects’ blood sugar levels became elevated, as would normally be expected from eating foods high in sugar and white flour. This study showed that adding coconut to foods lowers the glycemic index of the foods and keeps blood sugar levels under control. Sweet foods such as cookies and cakes made using coconut flour do not affect blood sugar levels like those made with wheat flour. This is good news for diabetics who want a treat now and then without adversely affecting their blood sugar.

(The same goes for the rest of us too – so if like us you have a sweet tooth – maybe coconut in it’s various forms will help you satisfy the sweet tooth without adding to that spare tire syndrome epidemic that is having such a detrimental affect on so many of our lives.)

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4 thoughts on “Manage Weight, Blood Sugar and Diabetes – Coconut Fiber

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