Effects of Fiber on Glycemic Index
Soluble Fiber and Glycemic Index
Fiber content affects the glycemic index value of foods in various ways. The fiber coating around (eg) beans, and the cellulose in the walls of plant cells (eg. cabbage, broccoli) reduce the access of digestive enzymes to the starch inside. Beans (and grains, like oats) contain soluble fiber that makes the content of the stomach and intestines more viscous, which retards digestion of starch.
Insoluble Fiber and Glycemic Index
Insoluble fiber, such as the fiber in whole wheat, also affects glycemic response. If wheat grains are whole, this acts as a physical barrier to digestion. Whereas if whole wheat grains are finely milled, digestion and glycemic response is more rapid. Thus whole wheat bread has roughly the same glycemic index value as regular white bread. (See also GI of Carbs)
Whole Wheat Flour - Better Nutrition but Equal Glycemic Response
There are definite advantages to using whole wheat flour over white flour. Whole wheat flour is richer in vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the insoluble fiber it contains increases intestinal bulk, thus increasing the feeling of fullness. But, despite these nutritional advantages, finely milled whole wheat flour provokes a similar glycemic response to that of regular white flour.
Related Glycemic Index Links
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