Eating more fiber is a benefit for improved health. Besides preventing or relieving constipation, fiber offers a myriad of health benefits. Fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight while lowering your risk of heart disease and helping you control blood sugar levels. Many of the diabetes fiber friendly foods are delicious, too!
- Dietary fiber is predominantly found in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes gel-like. This type of fiber can help lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Examples include carrots, peas, barley and citrus fruits. Insoluble fiber moves material through your digestive tract to relieve or prevent irregular stools or constipation. Examples include whole grains, nuts, potatoes and green beans. Certain foods contain both insoluble and soluble fiber such as beans and oatmeal. Eat a variety of fiber-friendly foods for a well-balanced diet. These foods are also carbohydrates so watch portion size.
- Dietary fiber offers a myriad of health benefits. A high fiber diet regulates bowel movements and makes them easier to pass. It can reduce the risk of developing diverticular disease and hemorrhoids. It may also minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Research shows fiber can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and breast cancer as well as potentially protect against dementia. Fiber-rich foods are also tasty, satisfying and filling.
- Fiber helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and may help control blood sugar. Insoluble fiber may minimize the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. High fiber foods take longer to chew, digest and may make you feel less hungry. You can stay fuller for a longer period of time. This may help you avoid overeating. Eating fiber also helps burn calories so it is an excellent way to help maintain a healthy weight when you have diabetes. Try to eat 20-35 grams of fiber daily. Most Americans only eat 12 grams a day. Slowly increase your fiber intake to prevent GI distress.
- Apples and pears are good choices to bake into a fruit crisp, add to salads or top off cereal. Wash these fruits before eating them and include the skin for all the fiber, minerals and vitamins. Raspberries and blackberries are rich in fiber and low in calories. These dark fruits contain phyto-chemicals to boost your immunity. Make a low fat yogurt smoothie with these flavorful berries.
- Go nuts for almonds. They are a source of fiber and protein as well as magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Have a one-ounce serving and watch portion sizes because all nuts are high in calories. Add almond slivers to green beans, salads or your favorite cereal. You can also grab them straight out of the can.
- Oatmeal is great for breakfast or anytime of the day when you feel hungry. The best choice is steel cut or old-fashioned long cooking oats. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as magnesium which can help your body use glucose more effectively. Serve with protein in the morning and add slivered apple over the top of oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon.
- Lentils are grown in pods and are high in protein as well as B vitamins and folate. They make a yummy meatless meal when combined with wild or brown rice and some chopped vegetables. Make a hot lentil soup to warm you up on a cold winter evening.
- Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber with vitamin C, anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals to help boost your immune system. It can be washed and eaten raw in salads. Broccoli is also delicious sautéed in a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil with garlic served over low carb pasta.
Diabetes fiber friendly foods are the mouthwatering basis for a healthier diet. Chock full of nutrients, these high fiber foods also help boost your immune system so your body functions more effectively. Add foods with fiber to your daily diet to ward off hunger, help maintain a healthy weight and feel your best.