Monday, June 15, 2009

Search for Diabetic Snacks Means “High in Fiber”

Who wouldn’t want a biscuit? Not a diabetic or anyone else fearing a high-glycemic response. Not more than one or two at least. But will a patented, highly viscous fiber blend change how we enjoy starchy-tasting snacks?

Croatian food scientists who have been studying the fiber blend reported that, when included as an ingredient in biscuits, it was successful in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels (1). The researchers tested the fiber biscuits on a small number of healthy and diabetic participants in a small randomized, controlled, single-blind, four-arm crossover trial published in 2008 (1).

The biscuits included 10 grams of the fiber blend and 50 grams of carbohydrates. They were compared in the study to 50-gram carbohydrate biscuits alone, white bread alone containing 66.8 grams of white flour, and of white bread with 12 grams of margarine (1).

Each participant was given each treatment after a 12-hour overnight fast (1). Finger-prick blood samples were then taken in four 15-minute intervals and one after 90 minutes (1). At least three days occurred between testing sessions (1).

The testing confirmed that there was no difference in palatability from including the fiber blend in the biscuits, but that gastric emptying was delayed effectively lowering the glycemic response of the biscuits significantly (1). In contrast, the 12 grams of margarine on the white bread had no effect on glycemic response (1).

The study reported that the results suggest the fiber blend could be used to “replace fiber depleted high fat snack foods” (1). The low-glycemic index snacks would then meet the needs of those with type 2 diabetes mellitus and those with cardiovascular disease (1).

The fiber blend was reported to be more effective in lowering glycemic response than other soluble fibers including psyllium hulls, glucomannan alone, beta-glucan, guar gum, pectin and ground flax seed (1).

Reference List

1. Jenkins AL, Jenkins DJ, Wolever TM et al. Comparable postprandial glucose reductions with viscous fiber blend enriched biscuits in healthy subjects and patients with diabetes mellitus: acute randomized controlled clinical trial. Croat Med J 2008;49:772-82. Available at: Accessed on 15 June 2009.