Fibre is the part of plants that our bodies cannot digest. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains contain fibre. Animal foods such as meats and eggs have no fibre. What is the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre? Soluble fibre is the soft fibre that helps control blood glucose (sugar) and reduces cholesterol. It also helps in managing diarrhea. Soluble fibre is present in oat bran, oatmeal, legumes (dried beans and lentils) and fruits such as apples and strawberries. Insoluble fibre is the bulky fibre that helps to prevent constipation. It also helps to prevent some types of cancers. It is present in wheat bran, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables. Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Why is fibre good for me? Fibre is important for your overall health. Some of its benefits include: Controlling blood glucose (sugar) Managing blood pressure Reducing blood cholesterol Increasing the feeling of being full Controling weight Regulating bowel movement Benefit for those with diabetes Soluble fibre in oat bran, legumes (dried beans of all kinds, peas and lentils), and pectin (from fruit, such as apples) and forms in root vegetables (such as carrots) is considered especially helpful for people with either form of diabetes. Soluble fibre may help control blood sugar by delaying gastric (stomach) emptying, retarding the entry of glucose into the bloodstream and lessening the postprandial (post-meal) rise in blood sugar. It may lessen insulin requirements in those with type 1 diabetes. Because fibre slows the digestion of foods, it can help blunt the sudden spikes in blood glucose (sugar) that may occur after a low-fibre meal. Such blood sugar peaks stimulate the pa Continue reading >>
Delicious Fiber-rich Foods To Help You Manage Diabetes
As a group, Americans fall far short of the recommended amount of fiber people should eat every day. This deficiency can be especially harmful when you're trying to manage diabetes and possibly lose weight. “Fiber has a way of working magic in the body,” says Kelly Kennedy, RD, a nutritionist at Everyday Health. “It’s crucial for any healthy diet, but [fiber] can be especially helpful for those with diabetes. This is because fiber works in a number of ways. It can help to lower blood glucose levels — the main goal for those with diabetes.” According to a research review published in the January-February 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, a diet that’s high in fiber may help lower your A1C test results, which measures your average blood sugar control over two to three months. RELATED: 5 Small Steps to Help You Lower Your A1C Fiber can also help lower LDL, or "bad," cholesterol levels, which is a contributing factor to heart disease, notes Kennedy. “Those with diabetes are 2 to 4 times [more] likely to die from heart disease as those who do not have diabetes, so this is an important number to manage. In addition, fiber leads to satiety, or a feeling of fullness, which can make it easier to manage a healthy weight — important for bringing down blood sugar levels and heart disease risk alike.” The National Academy of Sciences recommends daily fiber totals based on age and gender: Men younger than 50 years old should get 38 grams (g) per day Men older than 50 should get 30 g per day Women younger than 50 years old should get 25 g per day Women older than age 50 should get 21 g per day The American Diabetes Association recommends a similar goal of consuming at least 25 g for women and 38 g of fiber for men per day. Dietitia Continue reading >>
6 Reasons A High-fiber Diet Is Insanely Healthy For Diabetes
Fiber directly improves insulin sensitivity iStock A number of studies have found that eating more dietary fiber for a period of weeks or months is linked to a reduction in biomarkers for insulin resistance. This may be due in part to dietary fiber’s anti-inflammatory effects—high-fiber diets have been associated with reduced blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for systemic inflammation—and also to the fact that the short-chain fatty acids that fiber produces when it ferments in the intestinal tract tend to inhibit the breakdown of the body’s fat stores into free fatty acids. This breakdown of fat stores appears to play a major role in creating insulin resistance in the skeletal muscles. iStock Soluble fiber’s general effect of slowing down the digestive process means that the carbohydrates we eat take longer to be broken down into glucose. As a result, the release of glucose into the blood after eating tends to occur more slowly over a longer period of time following a high-fiber meal. This means that glucose doesn’t rise to as high a peak after eating, putting less stress on the glucose metabolism process. iStock The same fermentation process that signals the body to become more responsive to insulin also suppresses glucose production in the liver—countering the liver’s glucose overproduction that occurs as the result of insulin resistance. Fiber makes you feel more full so it’s easier to eat less iStock A number of studies have found that people who eat diets high in fiber feel more full after eating and also feel less hungry between meals. For starters, dietary fiber is simply bulkier than other nutrients. This causes the stomach to become more distended when you eat fiber, which sends appetite-suppressing signals to the brain. Soluble fib Continue reading >>
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How To Prevent (and Even Reverse) Prediabetes
More than 25.8 million children and adults in the United States live with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and experts say as many as 79 million more have prediabetes—a condition where elevated blood glucose levels raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So how can you avoid or reverse prediabetes? Start by asking your doctor for fasting plasma glucose (FPG), A1C, and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT); then follow these expert recommendations for staying diabetes-free. Diabetes lifestyle educator Get moving. If you are overweight, have high cholesterol, or have a family history of diabetes, you’re at risk. You can lower that risk by up to 58 percent by losing 7 percent of your body weight, which means exercise is essential. Start with 30 minutes of brisk walking five to six times per week; then try low-impact workouts like biking or swimming. Eat better. Reduce sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) daily for women and less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men. People at risk for prediabetes should follow a reduced-calorie and reduced-fat diet. Avoid trans fats and regulate high-caloric healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and avocado. Make measureable changes. Wear a pedometer to calculate daily movement, start a food journal, and download online applications that track your weight-loss successes with graphs. –Jennifer Pells, PhD, Wellspring at Structure House, Durham, North Carolina Integrative physician Reduce stress. Chronic stress taxes the pancreas (the insulin-producing organ) and increases prediabetes risk. Honokiol, a magnolia bark extract, reduces stress and supports the pancreas by taming inflammation and oxidative stress. Take 250 mg twice per day with meals, for long-term use. Choose the right fiber. Fiber slows sugar’s release in Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Diabetic Eat?
Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing. Meal plans created by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provide about 45% of calories from carbs. This includes 45–60 grams per meal and 10–25 grams per snack, totaling about 135–230 grams of carbs per day. However, a growing number of experts believe people with diabetes should be eating far fewer carbs than this. In fact, many recommend fewer carbs per day than what the ADA allows per meal. This article takes a look at the research supporting low-carb diets for diabetics and provides guidance for determining optimal carb intake. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of fuel for your body's cells. In people with diabetes, the body's ability to process and use blood sugar is impaired. Although there are several types of diabetes, the two most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that allows sugar from the bloodstream to enter the body's cells. Instead, insulin must be injected to ensure that sugar enters cells. Type 1 diabetes develops because of an autoimmune process in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, which are called beta cells. This disease is usually diagnosed in children, but it can start at any age, even in late adulthood (1). Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is more common, accounting for about 90% of people with diabetes. Like type 1 diabetes, it can develop in both adults and children. However, it isn't as common in children and typically occurs in people who are overweight or obese. In this form of the disease, either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body's cells are resistant to insulin's effects. Therefore, too much sugar stays Continue reading >>
10 Fiber-rich Foods For Your Diabetes Diet
Focus on Fiber, Balance Your Blood Sugar Ready to give your health a clean sweep? Then consider fiber — nature’s broom, says Toby Smithson, RDN, LDN, CDE, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies. Found in plant-based foods, fiber is a carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, which helps slow the rise in blood sugar following a meal. There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble, and they’ve both got big benefits. “Foods high in soluble fiber become gummy or sticky as they pass through the digestive tract, helping to reduce the absorption of cholesterol,” Smithson explains. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve and promotes bowel regularity. Other benefits include weight management, because fiber can help you feel more full and satisfied, and better regulation of blood sugar levels. And since people with diabetes are at double the risk for cardiovascular complications, fiber’s ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels is a great way to improve heart health. To get the recommended 20 to 35 grams per day, include these fiber-rich gems in your type 2 diabetes diet. Continue reading >>
More Evidence That A High-fiber Diet Can Curb Type 2 Diabetes
People who ate more than 26 grams of fiber a day had an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate 19 grams a day or less Fiber may benefit diabetes by altering hormonal signals, slowing down nutrient absorption or altering fermentation in the large intestine, along with promoting feelings of satiety and weight loss The majority of your fiber should come from vegetables, not grains By Dr. Mercola In the US, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. One in two people with diabetes do not know they have it,1 which increases the odds of developing complications, which can be deadly. Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the best strategies to prevent, and treat, type 2 diabetes, and even more specifically, eating a high-fiber diet is emerging as a key strategy you can use to lower your risk. More Than 26 Grams of Fiber a Day May Lower Your Diabetes Risk US dietary guidelines call for adults to consume 20-30 grams of fiber per day. I believe an ideal amount for most adults is around 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. Most people, however, get only half that, or less. In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London, those who had the highest intake of fiber (more than 26 grams a day) had an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake (less than 19 grams a day).2 The fiber may benefit diabetes by altering hormonal signals, slowing down nutrient absorption or altering fermentation in the large intestine, along with promoting feelings of satiety.3 Eating a high-fiber diet is also associated with weight loss, and the researchers believe this may, in turn, lower diabetes risk. In fact, when the researchers accounted for participants' BMI, th Continue reading >>
How Fiber Helps Control High Blood Sugar
Are you filling up on fiber? If you have type 2 diabetes, you should be — including high-fiber foods in your diet is a healthy way to control high blood sugar. As an added bonus, you may be able to stay full longer on the correct portion sizes than you would if you were eating more refined foods. And eating lots of soluble fiber (the kind found in oatmeal, beans, and apples, among other foods) may help reduce dangerous visceral belly fat, according to a recent study. "Fiber promotes good bowel health, lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease, and also controls your blood sugar in a certain way," explains Amy Kranick, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with the adult diabetes program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. When fiber is digested, your body handles it differently than the way in which refined carbohydrates, such as white flour, are digested. A portion of the fiber simply passes through your digestive system intact. This difference means that eating foods rich in fiber is less likely to cause a spike in high blood sugar. "Fiber doesn't require insulin [to digest], so it isn't counted as part of your carbohydrates," says Kranick. As a result, when you are reading labels and budgeting daily carbohydrates, you can subtract half the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate count. At the same time, you should be keeping track of how much fiber you eat. Adults need at least 25 grams of fiber daily for best health outcomes, says Kranick. Other Benefits of Fiber Fiber may also help you manage your overall eating habits, says Kranick. Here are some of the additional benefits of eating high-fiber foods: Antioxidants. Many of the foods that contain fiber also contain antioxidants, which are generally good for you Continue reading >>
How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate (just like sugars and starches) but since it is not broken down by the human body, it does not contribute any calories. Yet, on a food label, fiber is listed under total carbohydrate. So this gets kind of confusing for people who have diabetes. Carbohydrate is the one nutrient that has the biggest impact on blood glucose. So, does fiber have any effect on your blood glucose? The answer is that fiber does not raise blood glucose levels. Because it is not broken down by the body, the fiber in an apple or a slice of whole grain bread has no effect on blood glucose levels because it isn't digested. The grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total grams of carb you are eating if you are using carbohydrate counting for meal planning. So, fiber is a good thing for people with diabetes. Of course, most of the foods that contain fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas) also contain other types of non-fiber carbohydrate (sugar, starch) that must be accounted for in your meal plan. The average person should eat between 20-35 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans eat about half that amount. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber a day — particularly soluble fiber — were able to control their blood glucose better than those who ate far less. So if fiber does not give us any calories, why exactly should you eat it? There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber keeps your digestive tract working well. Whole wheat bran is an example of this type of fiber. Soluble fiber can help lower your cholesterol level and improve blood glucose control if eaten in large amounts. Oatmeal is an example of this type of fiber. Another ben Continue reading >>
Getting To Know Fiber: Supplements
How are you feeling about fiber these days? Do you have a better understanding of what insoluble, soluble, and functional fibers are? And most importantly, do you think you’re getting enough fiber in your diet? That’s really the question, isn’t it? Remember that the average person gets about 13 grams of fiber each day. Yet we all need more than that (14 grams per 1,000 calories) and only 10% of Americans get the amount of fiber that’s recommended. Dietitians will tell you that it’s best to get your fiber from food sources. Why? Because high-fiber foods offer other health and nutrition benefits, of course! So, your diet should include whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Yet, as is the case with many nutrients, sometimes we fall short. It’s during these times when it seems so much easier to be able to pop a pill or gulp down a drink that gives us what we need. And just as there are pills and supplements for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, there are supplements that contain fiber. Are these any good? Do they actually contain fiber? Are they harmful in any way? Let’s look. Fiber Supplements Stroll down one of the aisles of any drugstore and you’ll see fiber supplements. They’re often in powder, pill, or even wafer form. They seem appealing, especially to the person who dislikes whole wheat bread, bran flakes, or the skin of an apple. And why not take one if you can’t get enough from food? Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular types of supplements. Psyllium. Psyllium is a natural (as opposed to synthetic) type of soluble fiber that offers the following benefits: Promotes regularity Relieves constipation Lowers blood cholesterol May lower blood glucose Metamucil. Metamucil is a psyllium-based supplement that has been Continue reading >>
The Facts About Carbs, Fiber, And Diabetes
When you watch your diet because you have diabetes, you'll want to pay special attention to carbohydrates, because they can affect your blood sugar level faster than protein or fat. You get carbs from sweets, fruit, milk, yogurt, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes, and other vegetables. It can help to count your carbs from things you eat or drink, and split them evenly between meals so that it’s in line with how much insulin is available from your body or from medicine. If you get more than your insulin supply can handle, your blood sugar level goes up. If you eat too few carbohydrates, your blood sugar level may fall too low. With carbohydrate counting, you can pick almost any food product off the shelf, read the label, and use the information about grams of carbohydrates to fit the food into your meal plan. Counting carbs is most useful for people who use insulin several times a day or wear an insulin pump, or want more flexibility and variety in their food choices. The amount and type of insulin you are prescribed may affect the flexibility of your meal plan. You don’t have to count carbs. You could use diabetes food exchange lists instead. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian for their advice on that. Fiber helps control blood sugar. It also helps you lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Most Americans need more fiber in their diets. The average American only gets about half the fiber needed on a daily basis. You get fiber from plant foods, so plan to eat more of these foods: Cooked dried beans and peas Whole-grain breads, cereals, and crackers Brown rice Bran products Nuts and seeds Although it’s best to get fiber from food sources, fiber supplements can also help you get the daily fiber you need. Examples include psyllium and methylcellulose. Incre Continue reading >>
If You Are Borderline Diabetic, How Much Sugar Can You Have Per Day?
Being borderline diabetic, known as “prediabetic,” means that you’ll want to carefully start monitoring your sugar intake. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, making it harder for you to manage your blood sugar level, which further increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Not all sugar-containing foods are equally problematic, however; it’s the foods with added sugar you want to limit. Video of the Day Sugar comes in two forms in foods: natural or added. Natural sugar, like lactose from milk, isn’t your big concern if you’re prediabetic. Foods with natural sugars also give you fiber, protein and other beneficial nutrients. It’s products that are full of added sugar that you want to avoid. These foods, including baked goods, don’t typically have much to offer other than a lot of sugar and a lot of calories. The sugar grams listed on the label include both natural and added sugar, however. Read through the ingredients list to figure out if sugars have been added. Sucrose, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup and maltose are just some of the added sugar terms you’ll see and should avoid. While no exact sugar recommendation for prediabetics exists, the World Health Organization recommends limiting your added sugar intake to less than 5 percent of your caloric intake. This means that if 2,000 calories a day is about your average, you shouldn’t have more than 100 calories from added sugar. Because carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, this amounts to a maximum of 25 grams of added sugar per day. Sugar, being a carbohydrate, takes up some of your total carb allotment for the day. While your specific carbohydrate needs may vary, generally getting 45 to 60 grams at each meal is a starting point for managing diabetes, the American Diabetes Ass Continue reading >>
Treating Diabetes With Fiber
I wrote last week about the amazing benefits of dietary fiber . But what is fiber? It comes in numerous forms. In this entry, well look at what type of fiber to eat, how much to have, and how to make it enjoyable and doable. Fiber is a catchall term for various kinds of plant matter. A common definition is this one from the Linus Pauling Institute: Dietary fiber is a diverse group of compounds, including lignin and complex carbohydrates, which cannot be digested by human enzymes in the small intestine. Because theyre not digested, they pass through into the large intestine. There they are colonized by bacteria and turned into short-chain fatty acids or SCFAs, which have wonderful effects on blood glucose, cholesterol, and the immune system. Scientists have classified fibers in several ways. One common classification is soluble versus insoluble. According to Amy Campbell, soluble fiber is the kind that turns into a gel in the intestines and slows down digestion. I think of it as being like cooked squash: a nice, soothing mush. Insoluble fiber doesnt break down as much. Its in things like carrots and oat bran. It helps to speed the passage of food through the digestive system and adds bulk to stool. If youre dealing with inflammatory bowel or irritable bowel , you want to maximize soluble and decrease insoluble fibers. But from a diabetes angle, it doesnt make much difference, because nearly all plant foods include both types, and both are good. Other terms used for soluble fibers are viscous and fermentable. All these terms are similar. They mean bacteria in the colon can ferment the fiber, and thats what we want. For the most part we can ignore these distinctions. The Institute of Medicine also classes fibers as dietary and functional. Dietary (or intact) fibers come f Continue reading >>
Nutritional Recommendations For Individuals With Diabetes
Go to: INTRODUCTION This chapter will summarize current information on nutritional recommendations for persons with diabetes for health care practitioners who treat them. The key take home message is that the 1800 calorie ADA diet is dead! The modern diet for the individual with diabetes is based on concepts from clinical research, portion control, and individualized lifestyle changes. It cannot simply be delivered by giving a patient a diet sheet in a one-size-fits-all approach. The lifestyle modification guidance and support needed requires a team effort, best led by an expert in this area; a registered dietitian (RD), or a referral to a diabetes self-management education (DSME) program that includes instruction on nutrition therapy. Dietary recommendations need to be individualized for and accepted by the given patient. It’s important to note that the nutrition goals for diabetes are similar to those that healthy individuals should strive to incorporate into their lifestyle. Leading authorities and professional organizations have concluded that proper nutrition is an important part of the foundation for the treatment of diabetes. However, appropriate nutritional treatment, implementation, and ultimate compliance with the plan remain some of the most vexing problems in diabetic management for three major reasons: First, there are some differences in the dietary structure to consider, depending on the type of diabetes. Second, a plethora of dietary information is available from many sources to the patient and healthcare provider. Nutritional science is constantly evolving, so that what may be considered true today may be outdated in the near future. Different types of diabetes require some specialized nutritional intervention; however, many of the basic dietary princ Continue reading >>
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High Fiber Foods For A Diabetic
Diabetics benefit doubly from a diet of high-fiber food sources that help to control both weight and blood sugar levels. Many diabetics must count and limit the amount of carbohydrates they eat in order to keep blood sugar levels within a safe range. Of the two types of carb foods, you can eat more of those with significant fiber content than those with greater sugar content, without an undue rise in blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Video of the Day Many high-fiber foods have naturally low sugar, fat and calorie totals as well, which help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for diabetes complications. The FDA recommends a 25 g average daily intake of dietary fiber for adults. Diabetic diets should limit high-sugar fruits, especially dried fruits, that have concentrated sugars. This still leaves high-fiber berries and citrus fruits as acceptable fruit food sources, the ADA relates. Domestic and Asian pears also contain moderate to high fiber. An Asian pear has 10 g of fiber, while 1 cup of fresh blackberries and raspberries have 7 g and 8 g respectively, according to the USDA Nutrient Database. Oranges and blueberries contribute moderate amounts of fiber. If you buy canned or frozen fruits, make sure they're packed without added sugar. Green vegetables are another value-added food source for diabetic diets, with very low calories and sugar, and extremely dense beneficial nutrients, including fiber. The USDA lists an abundance of choices with fiber contents of 5 g and up. In 1 cup, cooked collards, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach and artichokes each deliver high fiber content. Whole-wheat breads, pastas, brown rice and barley are food sources rich in fiber. Some ready-to-eat cereals have too many simple c Continue reading >>