The role of fiber in healthy diets is very important – it aids in digestion and keep your colon and other organs healthy and functioning properly. It is also a wonder element that should be a large part of any diabetic’s diet. You will reap many benefits from including fiber in your diet. If you are pre-diabetic it can assist in delaying the diagnosis of diabetes or if you are already diabetic it can help keep your blood glucose under control.
Fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer – it slows the conversion of carbohydrates in your body which in turn can keep your blood sugars stable. The type of fiber that a diabetic needs to eat to gain these benefits is soluble fiber (dissolves in water). Some good sources of soluble fiber include:
- Choosing whole grain or whole wheat products instead of white (flour, breads, and cereals)
- Eating fresh fruit and vegetables instead of processed or drinking them in liquid form
- Beans, use dried beans in your favorite recipes like chili for a wholesome, high-fiber meal
To ensure that you are getting the most benefit from eating increased amount of fiber, make sure that you are drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. Remember, this fiber dissolves in water and you need to stay hydrated for it to work properly.
If you are on a carbohydrate counting diet and are using 15 grams of carbohydrates for one serving you can increase the amount you are eating if that item has high-fiber content. You can subtract the number of grams of fiber in a serving from the number of carbohydrates. For instance if you are eating an item that has 20 grams of carbohydrates (over the one serving limit) but it has five grams of fiber you can subtract the five from the twenty and it is now only a 15 gram serving.