Increasing fiber in meals and snacks can improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes. High-fiber diets also lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and other chronic illness. In our latest Dignity Health YRMC Your Healthy Kitchen video, we take a closer look at the benefits of fiber, where to find it, and how to increase your intake while making a delicious, high-fiber version of one of the world’s best comfort foods.
Fiber reduces blood sugar spikes after meals by slowing down the digestion and absorption of sugars and other carbohydrates. A high-fiber meal also helps you to fill up faster, reduce calories, and maintain a healthy weight.
In addition, good research suggests that:
- Consuming whole, intact grains can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Whole grains may reduce blood pressure and help with weight loss.
- Fiber lowers blood cholesterol and insulin resistance.
- Increased fiber from all foods reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and colon cancer.
- Through the effect on gut microbial populations, fiber may also significantly reduce inflammation and improve immune function.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends taking in 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories you eat, or over 25 grams of fiber daily for most adults. Try tracking your fiber intake to see where you land. If you need more, add a small portion of a new, high-fiber food to your meals each day until you reach your goal. Be sure to drink lots of water, too—64 ounces is usually a good goal.
Remember to check out all our instructional videos and delicious, high-fiber recipes at yrmchealthconnect.org. You can also follow me on Facebook, where I post photos and videos of the meals I make in my kitchen, plus links to my favorite food and gardening destinations on the web.