Fruits, vegetables & whole grains can help
What if making just ONE simple change to your diet could cut your risk for type 2 diabetes? Would you do it?
High Fiber Foods[/caption]
About 34 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes?
Left unchecked, type 2 diabetes can cause nerve damage, poor circulation, kidney failure, and vision loss.
It can increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke. It’s the primary cause of all limb amputations. And it’s among the top 10 leading causes of death.
Sounds pretty bad, right?
Wait…there’s more. About 88 million people have pre-diabetes, but most don’t even know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1
But here’s the most interesting thing about this. Diabetes is largely preventable with smart lifestyle habits such as:
- Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day
- Don’t smoke, or quit if you do
- Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Drink more water
And there’s at least ONE more thing you can do to prevent diabetes.
Eat. More. Fiber.
In two recent studies, researchers found that eating fiber-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) significantly lowers the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.2,3
Research shows that eating fiber-rich foods…
- Help you feel full sooner and longer
- Keep your blood sugar levels lower
- Slow down digestion, which gives your intestines more time to make the hormones that help you feel full.
- Help you naturally maintain your weight.
- Lower the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain types of cancer
How much fiber do you need?
The American Heart Association recommends adults eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. On average, most adults only eat about 15 grams of fiber per day. Which means…you can probably do better.
Feast on fiber: 15 food tips to help prevent diabetes
It’s easy to say you’re going to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber-rich foods. But if you’re not eating enough fiber right now, what can you do to change your eating habits? Here are some easy ways to eat more fiber:
1. Choose whole-grains…breads, cereals, and pasta instead of white bread and sugary cereals.
2. Leave the skin on potatoes, apples, and carrots. The outer layer is highest in fiber.
3. Go nuts. Snack on a handful of nuts, seeds, or raw vegetables instead of cookies or chips.
4. Add cooked beans and peas to pasta, soups, stews, casseroles, and salads.
5. Choose an orange or grapefruit instead of juice for breakfast. (Juice doesn’t have a lot of fiber.)
6. Eat fresh or dried fruit for desserts or snacks.
7. Make a smoothie with fresh fruit and toss in high-fiber foods like flaxseed, avocado, and leafy greens.
8. Choose high-fiber grains like brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, and couscous instead of white rice and white flour.
9. Puree vegetables and add to sauces and stews.
10. Replace white rice with chopped cauliflower (cooked).
11. Make pancakes with buckwheat flour instead of white flour or a packaged mix.
12. Add raw sprouts to sandwiches and salads.
13. Sneak in flaxseed meal with oats, smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods.
14. Drink plenty of water. The more fiber you eat, the more water your digestive system needs to break down food. If you don’t, you could end up with constipation.
15. Keep a food log and read food labels to track how much fiber you’re eating per day. Aim to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber. Keeping track will remind you to choose food high in fiber.
Get used to eating more fiber to prevent diabetes
If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet now, start by eating more fiber than you did yesterday. Then gradually eat a little more fiber each day. And keep track of how you feel.
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