Fiber is the part of plant foods that human body can’t digest. It has a number of health benefits, including lowering the risk for high cholesterol and heart disease and helping you control your weight. When diabetic patients consume a diet high in fiber, they are better able to keep their blood glucose and cholesterol levels under control. Some foods are better sources of fiber than others and that’s the essence of this write-up. To educate you on how to know the best sources of fiber that can help you put your blood sugar levels under control.
The Dietary Reference Intake for fiber is at least 38 grams per day for men aged 50 and under and at least 25 grams per day for women aged 50 and under. However, consuming even more fiber than this may be beneficial for diabetics, notes a study published in 2004 in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” which found that diabetics who consumed between 21 and 50 grams of fiber per day had the best cholesterol and blood glucose results.
Foods High in Fiber
If a food has at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, it is high in fiber, and foods that contain at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving are also good sources of fiber. Beans, whole grains, nuts and fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain peels and seeds that you eat, are all good options for increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, whether or not you are diabetic.
The glycemic index is a scale used to measure how quickly a particular food increases your blood sugar levels. Foods are compared to either white bread or glucose, since these are two foods that quickly cause blood sugar levels to spike. Diabetics may find it easier to control their blood sugar if they consume foods that are low on the glycemic index, including beans, fruits, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains, all of which are also good sources of fiber.
Baked foods that are high in sugar are still likely to be high on the glycemic index even if they contain whole grains. Processing, long cooking times and the ripeness of fruits can make them easier for your body to break down, decreasing the amount of time before the food causes your blood glucose levels to increase and giving them higher ratings on the glycemic index.
For best results, diabetics may want to follow a diet that is mainly plant-based, notes a study published in 2011 in “Endocrine Practice,” which found that this type of diet improved insulin sensitivity the most when compared with other common diets. Since animal foods do not contain fiber, it is also easier to consume large amounts of fiber if you follow a plant-based diet.
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