Why Fibre is a Friend to People with Diabetes?
It is common knowledge that maintaining a strict diet plays a significant role in controlling or reversing diabetes. This is because components like starch and carbohydrates have a great impact on blood sugar levels in the body. As a diabetic, it is essential that you follow a healthy meal plan, specific portion sizes and give up on certain food for the greater good of your health. However, until and unless your diet does not incorporate super foods that directly help control diabetes, no matter how particular you are about your diet, you will scarcely get the desired results.
The one element that you need to introduce to your diet is fibre. As a diabetic, you are highly likely to develop cardiovascular diseases; hence it is crucial that you consume foods that help prevent reduce the pressure on the heart.
Here are all the reasons why introducing fibre to your diet is an important step to take towards tackling diabetes and its effects.
What are fibres and how do they help?
There are two kinds of fibres that a diabetic patient must consume — soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre includes pectin, mucilage and gums and is easily found in plants. Sources of soluble fibres include fruits, vegetables, flax seeds, oats, soy milk, lentils and peas, to name a few. Insoluble fibre on the other hand, includes lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses that are the main component of the structural parts of plant cell walls.
Sources of insoluble fibres include the bran of corn, wheat, rice along with nuts, seeds, wholegrain foods and skins of fruits. Evidently, there are several easily available foods that are a source of both, soluble and insoluble fibres. So incorporating fibre in your diet is extremely easy.
The consumption of fibres directly helps manage diabetes in several ways. Unlike other types of carbohydrates, our bodies are incapable of breaking down fibres, hence fibres do not get digested or absorbed in the blood stream of the body. They are simply passed through the digestive track, leading to several health benefits.
This helps maintain blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels. Fibres also help slow down the absorption of sugar and fall very low on the Glycaemic Index. Hence, they help maintaining weight and glucose levels in the blood. In fact, fibres stick themselves to cholesterol particles in the body and release them out of the body.
The combined effects of these benefits help reduce your risk of cardiovascular and cardio-metabolism diseases.
Intake of fibres also increases the bulk of waste matter, significantly improving bowel movement. They help fuel colon cells, allowing bowel movements to be regular and softer. In the long term, fibres also help reduce your chances of getting colorectal cancer.
In addition, fibres are also more filling and hence, a small portion can go a long way to cater for your hunger pangs. Since fibres do not get absorbed, they do not lead to fat in the body. For diabetics who are on the mission to lose weight, especially around the belly, consuming fibres is sure-shot way to reduce.
7 ways to incorporate fibres into your diet
Before you incorporate fibres into your diet, it is important that you consult your dietician or diabetes doctor to assert the degree to which you should introduce fibres into your meal plan. While fibres are beneficial to combat diabetes, an excess of it may be harmful to certain body types. Here are ways to increase your intake of fibres in your diet:
- Instead of snacking on high-protein foods, snack on high-fibre foods such as yogurt, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and nuts.
- Replace your breakfast cereal with oats. This high-fibre ingredient will not just prove beneficial for your diabetes but also keep your stomach full. This will in turn ensure that you have a light lunch and not indulge in unhealthy snacking in between meals.
- Include more wholegrain foods in your diet such as couscous and quinoa.
- If your diet includes a lot of pastas and bread, switch to whole-wheat pastas and brown bread.
- Increase your consumption of fibre-rich fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries. Remember to consume apples along with their peels, since peels are the main source of fibre.
- If you have a largely non-vegetarian diet, start by slowly incorporating vegetables in your meals. You can start by eating a bowl of salad before your main course and then slowly make at least two meals every day completely vegetarian.
- If you are used to consuming liquids, make the switch to high-fibre drinks such as coffee and fruit juices. Before you add these drinks to your diet, do consult your doctor since most drinks also contain sugar.
For diabetics, there is no better friend than a fibre-rich diet. It is truly a super-food that won’t just regulate your diabetes but also offer health benefits that will improve your quality of life in the long run