Fibre diabetes
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Expert-reviewed by Ashwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience
Fact-checked by Aditya Nar, B.Pharm, MSc. Public Health and Health Economics

You’ve already heard it too many times by now – oats are great for diabetes (they are loaded with fibre, which helps to keep your blood glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels in check [1]).  But what if you don’t like eating oats? Is it the only source of fibre you can have? Or are there any alternatives you can try? We find out.

First, why do you need fibre?

Fibre is found in plant-based foods. When you eat foods that are rich in their fibre content, it helps to slow down the rise in your blood sugar levels.

Fibre can be of two types – soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is considered especially beneficial if you have diabetes because it is not well absorbed by your body. As a result, it delays your bowel movements and does not cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, which helps to control the levels of blood sugar. [2]

Are there any fibre rich alternatives to oats?

The answer is – yes! There are many healthy and yet delicious alternatives to oats when it comes to finding a fibre rich food that you will love to try out.

1. Pulses:

Pulses are very commonly eaten/cooked in most Indian homes, and you can find a variety of dals to choose from. They score low on the glycemic index (GI) score and will help to control your blood sugar levels. Glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of the amount of carbohydrate in foods that can affect the blood glucose levels. For those with diabetes, foods with low GI score are always better. [3]

Instead of the regular dal chawal, give your pulses a twist with this healthy chana dal and cabbage tikki that can serve as the perfect evening snack.


Courtesy: YouTube/Tarla Dalal

2. Vegetable mix:

Here is a different way of eating vegetables that are rich in their fibre content. Try this delicious vegetable and basil soup recipe.


Courtesy: YouTube/Tarla Dalal

3. Pears:

These juicy fruits contain about 7 grams of fibre. You can munch on this delicious fruit as it is. But if you do not want to eat it just as a fruit, you can try having it in a very different way. You can eat it as grilled pear and add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar or rock salt for extra taste. [4]

You can check out this delicious dessert recipe that uses pears. Use a sweet alternative instead of sugar, such as stevia, jaggery, or raw natural honey.


Courtesy: YouTube/Chef Buck

4. Pumpkin:

Yet another very easily available vegetable that is high in its fibre content is a pumpkin. Both the vegetable as well as pumpkin seeds are a great source of fibre and can add extra taste to your meals and improve your health. [5]

Try this delicious pumpkin recipe that you can have with brown rice, chapatti, or as a side dish.


Courtesy: YouTube/ShowMeTheCurry.com

5. Spinach:

Spinach also contains a good amount of fibre and you can easily use this green leafy vegetable in a host of dishes. 1 cup of raw spinach has 3.5 grams of fibre, while ½ cup of cooked spinach has about 7 grams of fibre. [6]

Take a look at this spinach and chickpea curry recipe.


Courtesy: YouTube/Chef Ricardo Cooking

Now that we told you about more options in fibre rich foods, do tell us which is your favourite, especially if it is not here on the list.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

References:

  1. Vinik AI, Jenkins DJ. Dietary fiber in management of diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1988 Feb;11(2):160-73. Review. PubMed PMID: 2838232.
  2. Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health. Nutrients. 2010;2(12):1266-1289. doi:10.3390/nu2121266.
  3. Mudryj AN, Yu N, Aukema HM. Nutritional and health benefits of pulses. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Nov;39(11):1197-204. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2013-0557. Epub 2014 Jun 13. Review. PubMed PMID: 25061763.
  4. Reiland H, Slavin J. Systematic Review of Pears and Health. Nutrition Today. 2015;50(6):301-305. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000112.
  5. Kim C-J, Kim H-W, Hwang K-E, et al. Effects of Dietary Fiber Extracted from Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima Duch.) on the Physico-Chemical and Sensory Characteristics of Reduced-Fat Frankfurters. Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources. 2016;36(3):309-318. doi:10.5851/kosfa.2016.36.3.309.
  6. Bunzel M, Seiler A, Steinhart H. Characterization of dietary fiber lignins from fruits and vegetables using the DFRC method. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 30;53(24):9553-9. PubMed PMID: 16302776.

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Disclaimer: The information we share is verified by experts and scientifically validated. However, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Please always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested on this website.

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