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The Role of Fiber in Diabetes Management

With people who have diabetes, fiber can help play a major role in controlling blood sugar levels and live optimally. There are two types of fiber that we consume from our diets: Insoluble and soluble fiber. 

Insoluble Fiber is found in foods such as wheat, vegetables and whole grains. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to our stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines. 

Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and fruits such as citrus fruits and berries. 

Soluble fiber in particular can help slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. 

Adding fiber in your diet is not as complicated as it may seem! Here are a few tips: 

  1. When choosing bread, choose whole grain and whole wheat products.

  2. Include beans and legumes in your diet (examples: black beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, etc). 

  3. Incorporate more fruit into your diet (It may be hard to do during the winter time, but aim for citrus fruits, bananas or frozen berries). 

  4. Eat more veggies! Vegetables are a great source of fiber (ex. Broccoli has around 4g of fiber per 1 cup).

Daily recommendations for dietary fiber are as follows:

Men: 28g/day 

Women: 25g/day

 

Here is a great example of meals you can eat in a day that have a high fiber content:

Breakfast

½ cup Bran Flakes

¼ cup Blueberries

1 Orange 

___________

7g Fiber 

Lunch 

Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread 

¼ cup Almonds

Salad with ½ cup Shredded Brussel Sprouts 

______________________________

8g Fiber 

Dinner 

½ cup Whole-Wheat Pasta or Brown Rice Pasta 

½ cup Black Beans

1 cup Broccoli 

____________

10g Fiber 

Daily Total - 25g Fiber 

If you are having trouble being creative, here are some great high fiber recipes that you can make for you and your family.

 

Black Bean Wrap 

Servings: 6 Difficulty Level: Moderate Time: 30 minutes 

Dietary Fiber per Serving: 11g 

Ingredients 

1 ½ cups canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained 

1 ½ cups canned low-sodium corn kernels 

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 

2 tablespoons chopped green chili peppers (seeds removed)

4 green onions (diced, including stems)

1 small tomato (diced)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic 

6 whole-grain tortilla wraps 

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

¾ cup canned salsa

Preparation:

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the black beans, corn, cilantro, chili peppers, onions, tomato and garlic. Stir to mix evenly.

  2. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir and heat again for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat until the mixture is hot.

  3. Place 2 tortillas between paper napkins or paper towels and warm in the microwave for 20 seconds on high. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

  4. To serve, place about 1/2 cup bean mixture on 1 tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold in the sides and fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the filling, then roll to close. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and serve immediately

Recipe adapted from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/black-bean-wrap/rcp-20049847

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