Diabetes and Fibre- How fibre is essential for managing blood sugar?

Why do nutritionists keep telling me to eat more fibre? How do I increase my fibre intake? Can fibre actually help me manage diabetes? And what in the world is fibre, exactly?

If you have thought about any of these questions, you are at the right place. In this short guide to dietary fibre, we’ll be covering,

  1. What is fibre?

  2. How can fibre help in managing diabetes?

  3. What are some sources of fibre?

  4. 5 high-fibre Indian recipes to try

What is fibre?

Dietary fibre is a type of complex carbohydrate that can not be digested by the human body. Unlike sugar, fats, and protein- which can be broken down and absorbed by our body- fibre can’t be digested by our body.

As per the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN),

For adults, the daily recommended amount of fibre is at least 30 grams.

Commonly, there are 2 types of fibre-

  • Soluble fibre

This kind of fibre dissolves in water and may help in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Oats, beans, fruits such as apples and oranges are good sources of soluble fibre.

  • Insoluble fibre

This kind of fibre does not dissolve in water and promotes the movement of food along the digestive tract. It is crucial for good digestion and also helps in relieving constipation. Insoluble fibre is found in whole wheat flour, bran and vegetables such as beans and potatoes.

How can fibre help in managing Diabetes?

Research shows that,

Consuming high amounts of dietary fibre may help in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, for people with type 2 diabetes,

increasing daily fibre intake may reduce the fasting blood glucose level

Evidence suggests that increasing your daily fibre intake reduces the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and more.

Fibre-rich foods are usually filling and lower in glycaemic index (GI), which can help in managing appetite and blood sugar level.

ALSO READ- 10 diabetes-friendly snacks you must try today

What are some sources of fibre?

Dietary fibre is usually found in plant foods. Animal products such as milk, meat, eggs do not contain much fibre.

Some good sources of fibre are-

1. Whole-grain foods

Foods such as whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole-grain bread and cereals, and oats are good sources of fibre.

2. Fruits

Fruits such as apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, oranges are all good sources of fibre.

3. Vegetables

Most vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, beets, corn contain decent amounts of dietary fibre.

4. Beans, peas and other legumes

Kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, and lentils (arhar, masoor, green lentils) are packed with fibre.

5. Nuts and seeds

Almonds, pistachios, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds are a good source of fibre and healthy fats. Include a wide variety to get the maximum benefit.

5 high-fibre Indian recipes

If you’re looking for recipes that are both delicious and packed with fibre, give one (or all) of these a try. These recipes have been curated by our nutritionists and are Sova-approved.

  1. Oats Matar Dosa

  2. Flax seed Raita

  3. Green peas dhokla

  4. Minty couscous

  5. Jowar upma

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