How a Fiber-Filled Diet Helps Manage Diabetes

By

Chef Franklin Becker

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The Five Fat Challenge: Salmon-Avocado Caponata

This diabetes-friendly recipe has five essential fats.

This kale salad will put more fiber in your diet and put you on track to feeling great.
Beautiful Bell Peppers

Don’t think “cardboard” when you hear the word fiber. Think delicious roasted sweet potatoes, savory buckwheat soba noodles, and tangy Chinese cabbage salad. These and other fiber-rich dishes are popular with my restaurant customers, and they’re easy to make at home.


Why Fiber?

Fiber can help you manage diabetes in several ways. Foods with fiber have a lower glycemic index (a measure of how much a food raises blood glucose). Some research shows that a high-fiber diet leads to lower fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels (a blood test that measures diabetes control). Fiber also helps lower cholesterol.

This kale salad will put more fiber in your diet and put you on track to feeling great.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 16, 2015

2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

There’s another good side to fiber: It helps you feel full. Eating a fiber-rich diet helped me lose weight after I was diagnosed with diabetes.

Where to Find It

Good sources of fiber include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts. The American Diabetes Association recommends 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. It’s a good idea to increase your intake slowly. That helps avoid any stomach discomfort.

Here are some of my favorite ways to get more fiber:

  • Wake up with whole grains. Homemade bran muffins, whole grain toast, and oatmeal are simple options. If you’re adventurous, try a hot cereal of brown rice, quinoa, or amaranth topped with milk and fruit.

  • Do the “veggie sneak.” Load sandwiches with sliced vegetables such as cucumber or bell pepper. Tuck tomato slices or mild chili peppers inside a whole wheat cheese quesadilla. Add diced zucchini to marinara sauce, and dress up scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms.

  • Fiber up your salads. I’m known for my roasted beet salad, but that’s just one way to get more fiber. Enjoy a black bean, corn, and red pepper salad. Toss leftover whole wheat couscous with diced vegetables, chopped nuts, and a vinaigrette dressing.

  • Embrace the bean. Seasoned lentils make a great side dish. Have hummus (garbanzo bean dip) with whole grain crackers, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper slices for a light lunch. Or grab some roasted soybeans for a delicious, crunchy snack.

When you focus on healthy, unprocessed foods, getting more fiber in your diet can be simple– and delicious.

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Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jan 29, 2017

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults with Diabetes. Evert, A. B., et al. Diabetes Care. 2014;37;(suppl 1):S121-43. (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/37/Supplement_1/S120.full.pdf+html?sid=5d4c76e8-a72a-4663-9...
  2. Types of Carbohydrates, American Diabetes Association, February 28, 2014 (http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/types-of-ca...
  3. Chef Franklin Becker Talks Diabetes. T. Neithercott. Diabetes Forecast, April 2010 (http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2010/apr/chef-franklin-becker-talks-cooking-with-diabetes.html)
  4. Eating Right with Diabetes, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, November 2012 (http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=10748)
  5. Dietary Fiber for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis. Post, R.E., et al. Diabetes Care. 2012;25(1):16-23. (http://www.jabfm.org/content/25/1/16.full)

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