Ready to give your health a clean sweep? Then consider fiber — nature’s broom, says Toby Smithson, RDN, LDN, CDE, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies.
Found in plant-based foods, fiber is a carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, which helps slow the rise in blood sugar following a meal. There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble, and they’ve both got big benefits. “Foods high in soluble fiber become gummy or sticky as they pass through the digestive tract, helping to reduce the absorption of cholesterol,” Smithson explains. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve and promotes bowel regularity.
Other benefits include weight management, because fiber can help you feel more full and satisfied, and better regulation of blood sugar levels. And since people with diabetes are at double the risk for cardiovascular complications, fiber’s ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels is a great way to improve heart health. To get the recommended 20 to 35 grams per day, include these fiber-rich gems in your type 2 diabetes diet.