From Fresno, California, USA:
I am Type 2, 47 years old, diagnosed 5 years ago. I have good control of blood sugars (last A1c was 7.0), but having a hard time controlling my lipids. I was eating a bowl of hot oat bran every morning, but found it really elevated my blood glucose. I tried oatmeal, which didn't elevate my blood glucose but is not as effective against high cholesterol. Why is oat bran so high on the glycemic index and oatmeal so low? It just doesn't make sense to me. I'd be happy to hear from anyone about this.
I talked to one of our nutritionists, and we agreed that there are probably two separate processes that contribute to your observation that the glycemic index of oat bran is higher than oatmeal.
Oat bran, I was told, was much more finely ground than oatmeal and this would make the starch more easily hydrolysable in the upper bowel and facilitate its absorption as glucose.
There is also the effect of the fiber content. Fiber will adsorb both water and a number of other water soluble small molecules like glucose and to some extent fatty acids; but for glucose to be available for this process the fiber must be saturated with water. Bran is usually eaten without being soaked in water whereas oatmeal is usually briefly expanded in boiling water. This means that the fiber in oatmeal is more ready to adsorb glucose in the upper small bowel than bran. For the same reasons, the latter is better able to alleviate constipation.
Original posting 29 Jul 97
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