The Bottom Line On These Foods
The benefits of high fiber foods for people with diabetes are two-fold.
They can help keep you fuller longer and stabilize your blood sugars, which will result in better blood sugar management.
Managing blood sugar is important because it ensures that people with diabetes can live healthier lives and potentially reduce the risk of diabetes complications later in life.
Let me know in the comments if you incorporate these foods into your diet. Also check out some delicious, easy-to-make recipes!
Drink Water Instead Of Soda
Thirst can feel like hunger, and drinking water throughout the day can help a person feel full. Meanwhile, limit the intake of sodas, sweetened juices, and other sweetened drinks, as these can contain a lot of sugar. Coffee and tea are suitable in moderation, but adding cream, sugar, and other flavorings can increase the caloric content and elevate blood sugar.
People with diabetes may also benefit from opting for water instead of diet drinks with artificial sweeteners. While the Food and Drug Administration has deemed many of these sweeteners safe for human consumption, their overall health benefits remain invalidated by large-scale studies, according to a .
Two Types Of Fiber Both Are Important
Fiber is the part of plant foods that is non-digestible and there are two types: soluble and insoluble, said Shelley Wood, MPH, RDN, clinical dietitian at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Wood explained that both types of fiber are helpful for weight management and eating a high-fiber diet can reduce the risk for some cancers, such as colorectal cancer.
Soluble fiber is helpful in lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol. It also helps slow down digestion and can assist with controlling blood glucose in diabetics. You can find soluble fiber in foods such as beans, oats, and peas, said Wood.
However, insoluble fiber can prevent constipation and helps remove waste from the body. It speeds up the transit of food through your system and promotes regularity. Wood said you can find insoluble fiber in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits eaten with their skin.
Studies have shown that diets higher in fiber often result in a healthier weight, which by itself is helpful in preventing many chronic diseases, said Wood. Fiber is also essential for good digestive health because it acts as a laxative and fermentative agent as well as providing necessary food for our gut microbiota.
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How Fiber Can Enhance A Diabetes Diet
Just about everyone who has diabetes has heard about the dangers associated with carbohydrates and for a good reason. When you dont closely monitor your carb intake, it can seriously affect your blood glucose level. In turn, that could eventually make you more likely to experience severe complications of diabetes down the line.
But not all carbs have the same effects on your body. When consumed in reasonable portions, some carbohydrates play a vital role in maintaining your health. Fiber is a crucial carb for people with diabetes since it can actively make it easier to manage this condition. For much more information on fiber and diabetes, read on.
Why Fiber Is Important In A Diabetes Diet
Fiber is important for people with diabetes because it:
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for diabetes management.
- Stabilizes hunger hormones and leads to greater weight loss.
- It also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream. This means that less insulin is needed by the body.
- It reduces the risk of diabetes complications like high cholesterol and heart disease.
- Can be obtained from plant-based foods, which are also rich in vitamins and nutrients.
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A Word From Mantra Care
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Dry Fruits For Diabetics
As fruits are healthy for diabetics. Are dry fruits a healthy choice in diabetes, is a question for many patients. Diabetes is a condition marked by high blood sugar levels in the bloodstream.
Dry fruits are concentrated forms of fresh fruits, so they have sugar in concentrated form too. It is advised for diabetics to avoid dry fruits.
For example, raisins have 115 grams of carbs whereas grapes contain only 27 grams of carbs. The carbohydrate amount of raisins is almost triple that of fresh grapes, which is not good news for diabetics. The increased number of carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes which are not healthy for diabetics.
However, not all dry fruits are high in sugar. For instance, you can eat almonds, almonds are not high in sugar and are packed with other health benefits as well.
Diabetics should never eat dry processed fruits, should rather go for fresh, seasonal fruits with less carb amount.
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Be Careful With Dried Fruits
Drying fruit concentrates all of the yummy fruit flavor into one smaller bite, but it also concentrates many of the sugars. Even a small amount of dried fruit can put you over the edge.
Be careful to read dried fruit labels many of them pack on the added sugars. Some are even sweetened, making the sugar problem worse. If you must have dried fruit, keep the quantities small. Rose recommends dates, figs, and prunes because they are lower on the glycemic index.
The Best Fruits For People With Diabetes
Two to three servings of fruit a day is recommended, and that can is true for people with diabetes, too.
“If you combine fruit with a fat or protein, it will help you feel fuller and help with that portion control,” Fienman says.
Here are some beneficial fruits that are not only lower on the glycemic index, but also pack a punch with other vitamins and minerals:
- berries Both citrus and berries are recommended as superfoods by the American Diabetes Association.
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Tips For Increasing Your Fiber Intake
When you are first starting to increase your intake of dietary fiber, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends:
- Increasing your intake slowly to avoid gas or bloating
- Drinking more water to help keep things moving through your digestive tract
- Getting fiber from different types of food
- Reading the nutrition facts panel on food labels to find the highest fiber products
Diet plays a crucial role in diabetes management. A diet rich in fiber is especially important for controlling hunger and regulating blood sugar. If you have further questions about how to incorporate more fiber into your diet, ask your healthcare team or speak to an RDN. They can provide tailored recommendations for your specific health goals.
Understanding Fiber Values On Food Labels
According to the Food and Drug Administration , foods labeled high in fiber must contain at least 20% of a persons daily recommended value of fiber, or at least 5 g in the defined serving.
For a product to advertise a good amount of fiber, it must contain at least 10% of the recommended daily value of fiber, or between 2.5 g and 5 g in the defined serving.
Some snacks can help a person increase their fiber intake. The following snacks have good amounts of fiber, along with other nutrients.
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Healthy Ways To Eat Fruit
Small steps can make a big difference in your blood sugar levels. Be sure to:
- Watch your portion sizes, especially with dried fruit. Two tablespoons of raisins have the same amount of carbs as a small apple.
- Choose fresh or frozen fruit when you can. Processed fruits like applesauce and canned fruit in syrup or juice often have more carbs and can raise your blood sugar higher than fresh fruits.
- When you eat dried or processed fruit, check the label. Many have added sugar, and serving sizes can be very small.
- Go easy on the fruit juice. Itâs high in carbs: Eight ounces of apple juice has 29 grams of carbs. And it doesnât have fiber to slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes like whole fruit does. Research even links drinking lots of fruit juice with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Spread your fruit out over the day. Instead of two servings for breakfast, have one at breakfast and another at lunch or as a snack.
Health Benefits Of Fiber
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, fiber is your friend because it helps with blood sugar control and weight management. It can also lower your risk of heart disease and some cancers. Specifically, fiber can help:
- Control your blood sugar. Because the body is unable to absorb and break down fiber, it doesnt cause a spike in blood sugar the way other carbohydrates can. This can help keep your blood sugar in your target range.
- Protect your heart. Fiber prevents your body from taking in some fat and cholesterol, lowering your triglyceride and cholesterol levels to help reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Maintain your digestive health. Fiber acts like a scrub brush, cleaning your digestive tract. It helps clean out bacteria and other buildup to improve gut health and help reduce your risk of colon cancer.
- Keep you feeling full and help with weight management. Since fiber cant be digested, it moves slowly through the stomach, making you feel fuller for longer. And many foods high in fiber tend to be low in calories, which can help with weight loss.
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Which Foods Are Fiber
There are a number of great sources of fiber. Some options to try include:
- Whole grain products, such as brown rice and couscous
- Dried beans including kidney, black, and garbanzo as well as lentils
- Oats, which are found in oatmeal
- Apples and pears with their skins on
LuAnn Berry, RD, a certified diabetes educator at , also recommended some fiber-friendly choices.
- If you want a third cup of spaghetti, try a whole-wheat version instead.
- If you like eating muffins for breakfast, choose a small, two-ounce bran muffinif theres only a big one, have half, and save the rest for the next day.
- If you’re having a salad, add 1/2 cup of beans.
- If you want a late night snack, choose an apple or pear the size of a tennis ball, and leave the skin on. Or have three cups of plain popcorn.
If you’re curious about the fiber content of certain foods, the DGA has also offered samples of fiber-filled foods in standard and smaller portions.
Seven High Fiber Diabetes Friendly Foods
Foods that are high in fiber are good for everyone to eat, but are especially helpful when you have diabetes. The Journal of Nutrition suggests that increasing daily fiber is associated with decreased body fat especially around the middle stomach or middle fat is highly connected to insulin resistance, a problem with type 2 diabetes.
Fiber is a component of carbohydrate found in plants: fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes legumes include beans, lentils, and peas. Fiber is the part of the plant that the body does not use, digest or absorb. You should strive to include between 20-35 grams of fiber a day the average Americans intake is 12 grams a day. The many benefits of fiber include:
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What Are Some Ways People With Diabetes Can Increase Their Fiber Intake
- Include beans in your diet as a protein source.
- Add whole grains to dishes and meals. This is especially important if diabetes is coupled with high blood pressure or heart disease risks.
- Increase the amount of raw produce you eat rather than processed
- Eating more high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables
- Adding whole grains to meals, such as brown rice or quinoa at breakfast
- Changing up the type of bread used for sandwiches by using a higher fiber option instead of white bread.
You want most of your fiber intake to come from actual foods, rather than supplements because its easier for your body to digest and you also get the benefit of nutrients from the foods youre eating.
Eating A High Fiber Diet Can Help Manage Diabetes In An Unexpected Way
Weve known for a while that eating a high fiber diet is good for our bodies. Fiber is found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
It helps to keep us full, maintain healthy body weight, reduce chances of overeating, and potentially lower cholesterol and reduce risk for chronic diseases and cancer. Plus, it can support a healthy gut by helping waste pass through your digestive system efficiently.
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Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It’s time to upgrade your cooking oil. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which studies show can actually help lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. This is particularly important since diabetics have a higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. And get this: Snyder says losing just 7 percent of your body weight can result in significant health benefits for diabetics. Luckily for you, EVOO is rich in oleic acid, which a Journal of Lipid Research study found helps reduce lipogenesis, or fat formation.
High Fiber Foods And Type 2 Diabetes: What To Know
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the quality of food is as important as the quantity. Quality foods will be packed with plenty of nutrients, and a crucial nutrient to have in your diet is fiber.
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that generally comes from produce and whole grains. Researchers of a March 2018 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine review indicated that “people with type 2 diabetes should be encouraged to increase their dietary intake of foods that are rich in fiber.”
Additionally, the American Diabetes Association has recommended that people with diabetes eat at least 14 grams of fiber daily, which is the minimum amount suggested in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans .
Learn more about how to add more fiber into your diet if you have type 2 diabetes, including which high-fiber foods you should consider eating.
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What The Study Found
Researchers tracked the fiber consumption of 200 participants, average age of 50, with diabetes and hypertension. They were given diet prescriptions that included a detailed list of different foods and portion sizes. Health checks were performed at the beginning, then at 3 and 6 months into the study.
Ive done a lot of work in obesity and atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes and hypertension cases, so this time I wanted to see how dietary modifications, especially a high-fiber diet in this population, can help my patients improve their various cardiovascular risk factors, lead study author Dr. Rohit Kapoor, medical director of Care Well Heart and Super Specialty Hospital, told Healthline.
The participants consumed 1,200 to 1,500 calories and the recommended daily allowance for fiber in this group was about 30 grams. Their fiber intake was increased up to 25 percent, to about 38 grams, for this study.
Over 6 months, the high-fiber diet improved several cardiovascular risk factors:
- 9 percent reduction in serum cholesterol
- 23 percent reduction in triglycerides
- 15 percent reduction of systolic blood pressure
- 28 percent reduction of fasting blood sugar
The results were amazing! These findings underscore the importance of dietary counseling, as well as the role of dietitians and diabetes educators, said Kapoor.
He said foods high in fiber have long been associated with lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, improving blood sugar metabolism, and even helping with weight loss.
Can People With Diabetes Eat Fruit
“All fruits have healthy qualities, even if you have diabetes,” says Zoe Fienman, RD LDN CDE, a registered dietitian at OnPoint Nutrition. “They are filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals your body needs.”
What identifies a fruit as better or worse is really the amount of sugar that fruit has and where it lies on the glycemic index. An important tool for people with diabetes, the glycemic index refers to the rate at which food is digested and absorbed into the blood stream.
“If it’s higher, that means that food breaks down more quickly which can cause a spike in blood sugar more rapidly,” Fienman says. That being said, like with all foods, people may digest or react to something differently. One person with diabetes may be able to tolerate a banana without a major spike in sugars, and others may have to avoid them altogether.
Of course, always consult your doctor or a registered dietitian when figuring out a diet that is right for managing diabetes and your blood sugar.
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