February 02, 2009

Diabetes Talk: Dietary Fiber

I get these emails from a list I subscribe to. As far as I know they're not copyrighted, and the information is usually pretty good, so I'll pass it along here as often as I can.

Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate but since it isn’t broken down by the human body, it does not impact blood sugar the same way that other starches and sugars do. Starches and sugars are broken down by your body quickly and you will begin to see a rise in blood sugar 10 to 15 minutes after consuming these foods. Dietary fiber actually helps slow down how fast your body processes other starches and sugars. This can lead to more stable blood sugar levels, a reduction in cravings and may increase insulin sensitivity.

Dietary fiber isn’t packaged alone; most of the foods that contain fiber also contain other types of carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals and pasta all contain fiber but also contain sugar and starch. Because the non-fiber carbohydrate will raise your blood sugars quickly it is important to account for it in your meal plan. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that you consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume. This means an individual following a 2,000 calorie diet should consume an average of 28 grams of fiber per day.

Fiber Rich Foods: Mayo Clinic

-Raspberries; 1 cup; 15 grams carbohydrate; 8 grams fiber
-Pear with skin; 1 medium; 15 grams carbohydrate; 5.1 grams fiber
-Apple with skin; 1 medium; 15 grams carbohydrate; 4.4 grams fiber
Grains, Cereal and Pasta
-Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked; 1 cup; 45 grams carbohydrate; 6.3 grams fiber
-Oatmeal, regular or instant, cooked; 1 cup; 22.5 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fiber
-Popcorn, air-popped; 3 cups; 15 grams carbohydrate; 3.6 grams fiber
-Bread, whole-wheat; 1 slice; 15 grams carbohydrate; 1.9 grams fiber
-Split peas, cooked; 1 cup; 41 grams carbohydrate; 16.3 grams fiber
-Lentils; 1 cup; 30 grams carbohydrate; 15.6 grams fiber
-Black beans; 1 cup; 30 grams carbohydrate; 15 grams fiber
Low Carbohydrate Vegetables
-Broccoli, cooked; 1 cup; 10 grams carbohydrate; 5.1 grams fiber
-Turnip greens, cooked; 1 cup; 10 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber
-Carrot, raw; 1 medium; 5.9 grams carbohydrate; 1.7 grams fiber

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