Updated: Jun 15, 2018
Global food sales amounts to $8.1 trillion at least $4 trillion are baked, processed and packaged foods with primary ingredients of flour, starch, sugar and high fructose corn syrup. One can no longer ignore the evidence that these high glycemic carbohydrates trigger a chain reaction of high insulin secretion, increased body fat, insulin resistance and the risk of death from non-communicable diseases, nevertheless the public is habituated to them. Rather than giving up bread, cakes, cookies and such, these things can be turned into a health benefit by replacing harmful ingredients with healing ones. Obviously removing the cause (i.e. chronic postprandial hyperglycemia) is going to be the most effective treatment and even better if you can replace them with foods known to have healing properties such as microbiota accessible carbohydrates better known as fibre which are chronically deficient in the Western diet. New research is revealing mechanisms of remarkable health benefits of fibre fermentation in the colon, in particular alleviation of diabetes, but average consumption of fibre is less than half recommended targets. Two recent studies were successful at alleviating diabetes with dietary fibre but supplementation was essential as intensive counselling to achieve minimum fibre consumption from “healthy foods sources” failed. The study supplementing with many different types of fibre was more effective than using oat fibre alone. However, supplements are expensive, they are certainly not enjoyable to eat, and they are not going to prevent blood sugar spikes from processed foods. We have developed very low carb basic ingredients with negligible glycemic response containing dozens of different fibres; soluble, insoluble and prebiotics at a fraction of the cost of supplements although it should be noted these ingredients can never compete on price with processed foods made with dirt cheap sugar and starch that got us into this mess in the first place.
The Good and Bad Carbohydrates
Cheap starches and sugars make up more than half of our food consumption and the tidal wave of insulin that comes with it is the root cause of obesity and diabetes. Many outcome studies have documented improvement and remission of type 2 diabetes with carbohydrate restriction. On the other hand, protection from diabetes has been documented with increased dietary fibre. Most subscribers to www.diabetes.co.uk are already aware of reduced mortality and diabetes risk from low carbohydrate diets and the plausible mechanisms to explain these findings, in spite of all this evidence inexplicably the NHS guidelines still recommend high starch foods make up at least 50% of a healthy diet for diabetics.
The Case for Fibre
What is the best macronutrient to replace carbohydrates? Protein, fat or fibre? The only one reliably associated with decreased risk of death and is chronically deficient in our diet is fibre. Protective effects of fibre go way beyond the simple concept of bowel regularity. Fibre feeds hind gut microbes which produce short chain fatty acids, acetate, propionate, butyrate and an acidic environment that inhibits pathogenic microbe growth. Butyrate provides colonic epithelial cells their main energy source as well as cell signaling effects that produce profound changes in the permeability and function of the whole gut. Free fatty acid receptors are widely distributed in nerve cells, immune cells, fat cells, insulin producing islet cells and colonic L cells. L cells on stimulation by SCFA proliferate and produce hormones GLP1 and PYY which both suppress hunger. GLP1 mimicking drugs are widely prescribed to treat diabetes and obesity and the remarkable cure rate of type2 diabetes with gastric bypass surgery is mainly due to increased levels of GLP1. Without serious side effects of drugs and surgery levels of SCFA and GLP1 were increased in diabetic patients consuming a diverse spectrum of fibres. Moreover, butyrate and propionate have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and reduce autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Increased gut permeability due to fibre deficiency may be a triggering event in autoimmune diseases such as colitis, arthritis, asthma, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes as well as increasing inflammation implicated in age-related diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and dementia.
After Gastric bypass surgery GLP1 levels are dramatically increased because of foods bypassing digestion to undergo fermentation in the hind gut. GLP1 mimicking drugs, Exenatide and Liraglutide are prescribed for diabetes and obesity. Dietary fibre increases GLP1 production and alleviates diabetes.
Carb to Fibre Ratio
Key to health consequences of foods
Note on terminology: fibre is also carbohydrate but is a poorly digested Microbiota Accessible Carbohydrate and differs from digestible carbohydrates such as starch and sugar, popularly called carbs. USA nutritional labeling list total carbohydrates comprising of sugar, starch and fibre where popular use of the term “net carbs” = total carbs minus fibre
The increasing ratio of carbohydrates to fibre best explains the diabetes epidemic.
The carb/fibre ratio is indicative of the glycemic response versus the prebiotic potential of foods. We know that post meal blood glucose spikes drive obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation and therefore can be considered the preemptive cause of diabetes. Fibre can be considered an antidote: by feeding symbiotic microbiota to increase short chain fatty acids and gut hormones (GLP1). It is easy to see why this is true from the table below where sugar, rice, flour and potatoes have orders of magnitude greater carb/fibre ratios than vegetables and fruits such as broccoli and avocado.
Turning Junk Food into Medicine
It is easy to maintain a healthy and weight reducing diet without giving up bread and baking with Fiberflour and Fibersugar ( www.lonjevity-foods.com) that can be used in breads and all sorts of baked goods and snacks that are not filler foods but nutritionally comprehensive functional foods making many pills and supplements redundant.
Fiberflour was designed with several goals in mind:
1. Negligible glycemic response and therefore associated minimal insulinemic response.
2. Contain a diverse spectrum of soluble and insoluble fibre to promote microbial diversity and increase colonic short chain fatty acid production
3. Provide as complete nutrition profile as possible from affordable whole food sources (oat bran & linseed)
4. Mirror the form, texture and taste of most baked goods
5. Provide an equally enjoyable if not improved palatability while offering multiple claims of nutritional and health benefits.
BASIC FIBERFLOUR INGREDIENTS: oat bran, golden linseed powder, wheat gluten, resistant wheat starch, inulin, resistant polydextrin, oat fibre, wheat fibre, guar gum, HPMC (soluble fibre), vitamin C (antioxidant)
Contains many different types of fibre of which 30% soluble, 70% insoluble. Also, high sources of protein, omega 3 oil, protein, beta-glucans and polyphenols.