High Fiber Foods for Diabetes

How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

Close-up of corn ear and loaf of bread
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Fiber is important for everyone, but it's especially helpful for diabetes. Not only does a high-fiber diet reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, it can also help you manage your diabetes. Choosing high-fiber foods might take some getting used to, but once you know what swaps to make, you should find that it's not only easy (and delicious) but that it's more filling.

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

Experts recommend that women consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day and men eat at least 38 grams. While that might sound like a lot, the key is to aim for higher fiber choices in all your meals and snacks.

Fiber-Rich Food Choices

  • Whole grain breads and cereals. Whole grains may be one of your first associations with fiber and with good reason. Refined grains strip out the bran (the part of a grain that contains fiber). Since many grain-based foods often have a "whole-grain" option, this is a good first place to start. Instead of regular bread, get 100% whole-wheat bread, instead of regular pasta, shop for whole-grain pasta. To make sure you're getting the highest-fiber product, read the label. A whole grain (e.g. whole wheat) should be the first ingredient. For example, a loaf of wheat bread should have whole wheat flour as its first ingredient.
  • Brown rice and other whole grains. While "processed" whole grains, such as bread and pasta, are easy choices, other whole grains might take more effort (i.e. buy them and cook them yourself). There are so many whole grains to choose from that the variety can be part of the fun. Brown rice, quinoa, oats, bulgur, and barley are just a few of the whole grains you can try. Cook them up as a side dish, or try them in a porridge or soup.
  • Dried beans and peas. Legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils are some of the highest-fiber foods out there. In fact, a half-cup serving of cooked beans delivers 8 grams of fiber! Canned beans are just fine, or cook them from dried. Whizz beans into a bean dip, such as hummus, or add them to beef dishes, such as sloppy Joes or tacos.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Adding fruits and vegetables to every meal and snack is probably the best way to get more fiber in your diet. For the biggest fiber boons, leave the skin on, whenever possible. Berries, studded with fiber-rich seeds are loaded with fiber - keep them in your freezer and you'll have them all year long.

Increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid discomfort. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day to keep things moving.

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