Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods to Control Diabetes

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What should you eat when you have diabetes?

Let’s start with the foods you should avoid. Foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates that digest quickly and cause rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. Some examples include: soda and juice, white bread, white rice, candy and treats, and a long list of processed foods made from refined grains.

Does that wipe everything on your favorite food list? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of healthy and delicious food you can eat, even if you have diabetes.

But there’s at least one type of food you should be eating...foods high in fiber. In a new study published in the journal Science, researchers found that eating fiber-rich foods, along with taking medication for diabetes, may help:

  • Improve gut health
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Control appetite
  • Promote weight loss

What fiber-rich foods did people in the study eat to achieve these results? Whole grains and traditional Chinese medicinal foods. Some examples include:

  • Whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas
  • Brown rice
  • Cauliflower
  • Bok choy
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Green peas
  • Asian tubers
  • Edamame

If you want to manage diabetes, control blood sugar levels, or simply eat healthier, adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet is a good idea.

How much fiber should you eat per day? Health experts recommend around 25 grams of fiber per day for women, and about 38 grams of fiber daily for men.

And if your diet looks anything like the typical American’s you’re probably not getting enough. The average adult only eats about 15 grams of fiber per day, according to the American Heart Association.

Not sure how much fiber you’re getting? Read food labels, or use a nutrition tracking tool like MyFitnessPal to keep track of your calories and macronutrients. Then adjust your food choices to make sure you’re getting enough fiber.

You’ll find nearly 100 meals on our Diabetic-Friendly menu, many with high-fiber foods, that you can enjoy for breakfast lunch or dinner.