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I won’t try and convince you that the “F” word doesn’t fit the frustrations of diabetes management because there are times!!! But here’s an alternative “F” word that might reduce your need to resort to the one you try not to use around children – fiber. Watch this video to see how that might help.
An Important F Word – Fiber
I’m glad you are here because we are going to talk about an important F word… that is a food topic…fiber.
Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of consuming fiber: It helps steady blood sugar; lower cholesterol levels (that’s when you include soluble fiber); helps lower blood pressure; it increases the frequency for bowel movements; increases the absorption of minerals in your intestinal tract and increases satiety- which means it helps you feel fuller. Often, you will hear me put an emphasis on higher fiber foods, and a big reason to pay attention for us that have diabetes is that it helps slow down the absorption of carbs and helps you feel full.
Ok, you are probably wondering, how much fiber do I need to eat? The Dietary Guidelines state 14 grams per 1000 calories eaten. So that typically comes out to be about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men (the recommendations are reduced to 21 grams and 30 grams after age 50). If you are like most people, you probably think you are doing ok with your fiber intake. Chances are, sorry to say; you’re probably not. A recent evaluation of the nutrition intake of adults in the US found only 7% getting the daily recommended dose of fiber…..that is 7%…..seven out of every 100 people. And, I am compelled to point out that women did much better than men.
Before I list the foods that are high in fiber or at least a good source of fiber, I do need to point out that fiber comes from plant-based foods and foods that contain carbohydrates. And just because you are eating a food that is high in fiber doesn’t mean that you don’t have to count those carbs or calories you are eating. Check out my video on net carbs, which is a term used a lot on food labels.
Be Sure to Check Out – Diabetes and “Net Carbs”
Best Fiber Food Choices
Ok, I’m going to offer you some of the best fiber food choices, most of which contain at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving:
- Apple with skin – 3.7 grams
- 1 cup Blueberries – 4 grams
- Medium pear – 4 grams
- 1 cup raspberries, I need to give raspberries an honorable mention because they contain 8 grams of fiber.
- 1/3 Avocado – 3 grams
- ½ cup green peas – 4 grams
- A medium potato with skin – 5 grams
- Medium Artichoke – 6 grams
- ½ cup Bran flakes cereal (16 grams carb, 6 grams fiber);
- 1 packet Instant Oats (19 grams carb, 3 grams fiber);
- ¼ cup dry Steel Cut Oats (27 grams carb, 4 grams fiber),
- ½ cup whole-grain cooked spaghetti (24 grams carb, 3.5 grams fiber);
- 3 cups popped popcorn (14-18 grams carb, 3 grams fiber);
- ½ cup cooked pearled barley (22 grams carb, 3 grams fiber);
- ½ cup cooked bulgur ( 17 grams carb, 4 grams fiber);
- ½ cup quinoa an interesting nutrition note here is that quinoa has 3 grams of fiber and is a source of plant-based protein with 4 grams. (20 grams carb, 3 grams fiber plus 4 grams of protein).
- ½ cup pinto Beans or ½ cup lima beans have 7 grams of fiber. Beans rank higher in fiber and are a source of protein too!
- 1-ounce almonds – 4 g fiber, Almonds have the highest fiber content per ounce in the nut catergory.
- 49 Pistachios – 3 g fiber.
Be Sure to Check Out – Diabetes & Managing Portion Size – Dogs Can’t, How About You?
Make sure to write down some of your favorite fiber foods to include in your daily eating plan. It really is worth it to make fiber a focus. And stay tuned; I will be doing a video soon on some sample high fiber meals.
Until next time, cheers to your health.
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