Know Benefits Of Fiber-Rich Foods for Diabetes - Sugar.Fit
Nutrition

Fiber-Rich Foods for Diabetes: Benefits and Recommendations

Fiber is a word a person with diabetes will hear a lot about throughout their management of diet and nutrition. The reason is that fibers are known to bring about several benefits and advantages to overall health. In today’s times of fast food and soft drinks, and the ease of access to these, it is not easy to follow a healthy diet plan. It gets tough to be able to maintain it as most often than not, we get swayed by the sight of a burger or a tempting cheese-loaded pizza or the look of a Starbucks coffee. However, having fiber rich food for diabetes is super important for long-term benefits. Not only will this help to avoid setting the pattern of unhealthy eating, but it will also be beneficial to prevent any complications that a poor diet could lead to. 

What is Fiber?

For a layperson to be able to identify fibrous foods, it would first be important to know what fiber is. It is a type of carbohydrate that is often prevalent in plant-based foods such as certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The basic nature of any carbohydrate is to break down into sugar molecules after consumption. Fiber, however, is not digested by the body. Instead, it remains and passes through the body undigested thereby regulating the blood sugar levels. This is one of the primary reasons why fiber foods for people with diabetes are highly recommended. 

Fibers are also of two different types:

  1. Soluble fiber – This fiber, as the name suggests, dissolves in water. It works well to reduce blood sugars and cholesterol. Examples – nuts, apples, lentils, oatmeal, etc
  2. Insoluble fiber – This fiber doesn’t dissolve in water but it helps move the food through the digestive system. They assist in helping your body stay regular and prevent constipation. Examples – Brown rice, tomatoes, legumes, cucumbers, whole wheat bread, etc. 

The several benefits that fibrous foods provide to people, overall, make us understand that is fiber good for diabetes. 

Benefits of Fiber for Diabetes

We have often heard of the benefits of high fiber foods for people with diabetes from experts like doctors and dieticians. But what exactly are the advantages? How does high-fiber food provide healthy and required nutrition? The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes above the age of 18 need about 22-35 grams of fiber every day. Tailored targets are set based on a person’s age, body weight, and sex. 

  • Several studies have shown how a high-fiber diet might prove to be good for a person with diabetes. It was directly linked to lower glucose levels in the blood. 
  • Additionally, even the overall HbA1c levels were lower if fibrous foods were consumed daily and were incorporated well into the diet plan. 
  • Studies in the UK also proved the consumption of fiber to be linked with reduced risk of cardio-metabolic diseases and cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Other diabetes-related issues like insulin resistance, obesity, and even colorectal cancer are something that fiber rich food for diabetes can get under control.
  • Overall, fiber reduces blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. 
  • Having a healthy diet plan that includes fibrous foods also helps manage the weight better. For anyone with diabetes, this would be an important aspect as increased weight leads to more insulin resistance. 
  • Since these foods are also low in fat and calories, one can easily consume them without worrying much about the insulin intake and bolus injections. 
  • Lastly, fibrous foods also take time to chew. This means that it gives our bodies time to understand that we are full, this prevents overeating. Not only this, but these foods remain in the stomach for a longer period of time preventing hunger pangs from getting us to eat every once in a while.
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Best Fiber Rich Foods for People with Diabetes

Now that we have understood the importance of fiber rich foods for diabetes, it is also important to have a list of what kinds of foods come under this category. There are different types of foods that contain varying amounts of fiber in them. Based on the amount of fiber, one can decide how they want to incorporate this particular food group into their meals. 

  • Whole grains like – oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc
  • Fruits 
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables 

All of these come under foods that are healthy and high in fiber. To understand what foods are high in fiber for people with diabetes, one can look at the following categories:

Snacks – Some snacks might help the person amp up their fiber levels:

  • Almonds- These dry fruits have good quantities of unsaturated fats and proteins. 4 gms of fiber can be obtained from 1 ounce of serving. Raw almonds, not salted, caramelized, or sugary ones should be opted for.
  • Air-popped popcorn - Plain kernels that can be popped in a cooker or a vessel are high in fiber. Do not choose the ones with unhealthy toppings like butter, salt, sugar, etc
  • Chia seeds – Put chia seeds in water, yogurt, milk, baked goods, etc and they will provide you 5 gms of fibers in every tablespoon
  • Hummus – Made with chickpeas, hummus will give you about 13 gms of fiber per cup. 

High Fiber Food Chart

In today’s fast world, people like to have a quick glance at everything and not spend too much time and energy gaining information. This chart should help you gain a strong and fast insight into the list of fiber foods for people with diabetes so that you can plan them for your meals.

This chart should provide you with a detailed understanding of how the carbs and fiber content works. It should also help you understand what are the healthier foods to opt for. It is important to maintain a good type 2 diabetes dietary fiber intake so that you do not aggravate the symptoms. Foods like bananas should be eaten cautiously because even though they are high in fiber, they are also high in carbs. 

Best Recipes for High Fiber Food

The list of fiber foods for diabetes is now made. Of course, you can add to it as and when you deem fit based on your research. However, this is how you can use these foods and incorporate them into recipes

  • Pasta – Use whole wheat pasta with a lot of vegetables. Use buckwheat which is gluten-free and high in fiber
  • Black-eyed pea supper – As interesting as it sounds, it is a vegetarian sausage that is protein-rich. Use tomatoes, onions, and green peppers to up the fiber level even more. 
  • Vegetable chili- Serve it as a main course or as a side dish. Include a variety of veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, kidney beans, etc to make it even more fiber-rich.

To make any dish richer in fiber, make sure to drink more water to keep things moving along within the digestive system. Get fiber from a variety of foods, and read the nutrition panel on the boxes.

Bottomline

Up your fiber intake to provide your body with the required amount of nutrition that you may need since you are living with diabetes. If you are unsure of what foods come under this category, you can check out this article and gain a detailed understanding of the carb contents per food. Also, find a few recipes that will help you cook the best and the healthiest meals. 

FAQs

Can a high fiber diet help treat type 2 diabetes?

While type 2 diabetes and its symptoms can be managed, a high-fiber diet can play a huge role in that. This diet helps keep the blood sugars under control providing exactly what is required. 

Is Rice high in fiber?

White rice has a very high carb content. Brown rice, on the other hand, that is unenriched has 1.8 grams of fiber.

Is egg high in fiber? 

Eggs are essentially low in fiber but packed with protein. Adding vegetables like spinach, broccoli, etc will add the fiber content to an extent.

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