Focus On Fiber To Enhance Overall Health And Diabetes Care

One of the best things we can do for our overall health, and diabetes care, is make sure our diet provides plenty of fiber.

Fiber makes us feel satisfied after eating, it eases elimination, and is associated with less risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Small and Large Benefits

In our small intestine, fiber creates a sense of fullness, it traps fats and cholesterol, and slows down the absorption of sugars. This facilitates weight control, glucose management, and protects cardiovascular health.

In our large intestine, the fermentation of fiber creates and feeds the healthy gut bacteria that support our infection-fighting immune system. Adequate gut bacteria have also been associated with better mental, and emotional health.

To maximize these fiber benefits, women need at least 25 fiber grams per day, and men need 38 grams, but most Americans consume only half those amounts.

Getting Enough Fiber

Since most of us do not bother counting the grams of fiber we consume, an easy way to get 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily is to remember the numbers 3-3-2:

  • Eat at least 3 vegetable servings every day.
  • Eat at least 3 whole grain servings every day.
  • Eat at least 2 fruit servings every day.

And, here are 10 fiber-full tips to keep in mind while grocery shopping, or meal planning:

  1. Eat more legumes, such as black beans, garbanzo, and kidney beans, peas, and lentils.
  2. Eat more berries (e.g., blueberries, raspberries): sprinkle them on cereals, and salads, or enjoy a small handful as a snack.
  3. Forget the iceberg lettuce, and buy dark, leafy greens such as romaine, arugula, butterhead, green leaf, and spinach.
  4. Snack on a cup or two of popcorn.
  5. Choose high-fiber, whole grain breakfast cereals, such as oatmeal, or Grape Nuts.
  6. Eat the skin of fruits and veggies, such as apple, potato, and carrot skins.
  7. Buy dried fruit - with little or no added sugar - to use as cereal toppings, or as part of a snack.
  8. Cook with brown rice instead of white.
  9. Eat whole fruits and veggies instead of drinking fruit or vegetable juice.
  10. Buy (or bake) 100 percent whole-grain breads.

If our fiber intake has been low, it’s best to increase it slowly. For instance, we might add one fiber-rich food to our daily diet for a week, then add a second high fiber food the next week, and so on.

Also, keep an eye out for recipes that incorporate fiber-rich foods, such as this easy seven ingredient dish.

Quick Black Beans and Rice

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice


  1. Heat oil on medium-high in a large saucepan. Add onion; cook and stir until tender.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, oregano, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Cover, and reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

The recipe makes 4 servings, and each contains approximately: 270 calories, 48 g total carbs (11.9 g fiber, 5.7 g sugars), and 12.4 g protein.

University of Nebrask-Lincoln
; BRGHealth; Michigan State University; Web MD; Recipe Calculator/sparkpeople; All Recipes
Photo credit: bob

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

Get free diabetic supplies delivered to your door. You will get a free glucose meter, lancing device, 100 test strips, 100 lancets, control solution and carrying case. Just pay shipping.

More Articles

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.


It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

More Articles

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...