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Diabetes Diet - Benefits of Fiber

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Benefits of Fiber for Diabetes Control

 By Nina Nazor

High Fiber Foods Help Control Diabetes

What is fiber?

Fiber is the undigested part of the foods we eat and can be classified in soluble or insoluble.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends an intake of 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day.

What is soluble fiber?

This type of fiber generally forms a gel. Foods high in soluble fiber help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the speed of absorption of glucose derived from food, helping control blood glucose levels.

Soluble fiber can be found in legumes (lentils, chickpeas and beans) as well as in oat bran and some fruits and vegetables, such as apples, oranges and carrots.

What is insoluble fiber?

Insoluble fiber, acts like a brush, speeding up the passage of feces through the intestines, helping bowel movements. Whole-grain cereals and most vegetables and fruits, contain this type of fiber.

Fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole-grain cereals are the best sources of fiber. All foods of plant origin contain both types of fiber. You should try to eat at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day plus whole grain cereals and breads to increase your fiber intake.

One note of caution, however, is that eating too much fiber (above 50 or 60 grams per day), may interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, so you must be careful especially if you want to use supplements.

Tips for increasing your fiber intake

·  Eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, and 6 to 11 servings of whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread, pasta or rice a day.

·  Eat legumes by preparing soups and other dishes with beans, lentils, chickpeas or peas.

·  Drink 8 glasses of water a day.

·  Eat whole fruits rather than the juice.

·  Add legumes, grains, vegetables and fruits to all your meals.

·  Eat snacks loaded with fiber.

Remember that half of your plate should be full of vegetables, and one quarter must contain other carbs, so count your carbs and enjoy the benefits of what nature so generously provides us.

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