Use Natural Fiber to control blood sugar and win your battle with Diabetes.
What to eat and when to eat are important when trying to manage your Diabetes so… suggestions and tips for acquiring enough fiber in your diet to make a difference in how you control blood sugar and manage your diabetes are included here.
Tip: Foods rich in fiber have been shown to be very beneficial in helping to control blood sugar levels and therefore control diabetes.
One of the best ways to get enough fiber in your diet starts at the beginning of you day… by having a fiber rich healthy breakfast.
Suggestion: It is always important to stick to a schedule when eating if you have Diabetes… so: Start out your day with a high fiber breakfast..
The secrets to choosing a healthy breakfast cereal.
There are many boxed and quick fix cereals available, but the best ones with the most fiber and therefore “good” for you to eat are something like old fashioned oatmeal or even cream of wheat.
Here are a few suggestions taken from the USDA.gov Fiber Food List that will get you started.
Tip: Oatmeal (a whole grain), Plain Cheerios, and Raisin Bran in the box are listed.
Suggestion: Make pancakes or waffles with whole-grain or buckwheat flour and top with freshly chopped apples, raisins or berries or nuts to raise the fiber count.
Tip: It is better to leave the peel on apples for best fiber content.
Lunch… Your next chance to add fiber.
Lunch is your second meal of the day and often the most difficult to manage!. These suggestions and tips may help make some of these choices a little easier.
Suggestion: If you must “Eat Out” and can’t take your homemade food with you, then for sandwiches choose those made with whole wheat, oatmeal, oat bran or rye bread.
A lot of ethnic food establishments often have dishes with beans, peas and lentils which contain fiber and sometimes even extra protein because of using beans.
Tip: This means Taco Bell just might be on your list of “Fast Food” places!
Suggestion: Soups made with dried beans, lentils, bulgur and barley are superb additions to your high fiber menu. Look for dishes featuring brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
Tip: Check out Olive Garden for their Soup and Salad menu. Panera also might make the list as you can get 1/2 of a sandwich made with a high fiber bread along with soup or salad.
Suggestion: Monitor your choices. Most restaurants now have available “content” information listing calories, fat, fiber etc. contained in their menu offerings.
Salads reign supreme as a choice any time of day.. Raw fruits and vegetables have it all… high in fiber, good nutrition because of the “live” phyto nutrients and low in calories.
Tip: Watch your salad dressings and ask for olive oil and vinegar on the side to dress your salad or purchase and take with you one of those “mini” spritzer salad dressings that are almost zero calories, but high in flavor!
This Suggestion adds another meal or Mini Meal… your 3 O’clock Snack.
Here you can have fun! Adding this small meal keeps your metabolism working so blood sugar is kept level with fewer spikes and lows. This is your goal when trying to use food to manage diabetes.
Tip: Home made trail mix made with nuts, raisins, seed, other dried fruits and whole grains are great. Some dried fruits are high in sugar so measure and note the calorie count.
A great bar that is a perfect mix of protein, carbs and fat is the Zone Bar. If you are into Chocolate and Almonds this is a winner. Of course, because of the almonds and whole grains in the bar you get your fiber.
Tip: A safer choice might be an Apple with skin on and some almonds or sunflower seeds.
Suggestion: A small Orange, Blueberries, Strawberries or a Pear accompanied by cottage cheese or yogurt is another great way to add fiber and protein.
Dinner or “Supper” according to where you live in the world is often the dieters or diabetics downfall.
Something I haven’t emphasized so far, (but if you look back at the Tips and Suggestions you will notice it is there) is the inclusion of Protein in each meal and snack in addition to fiber.
We digest protein a little slower than the carbs in fruit, grains and vegetables so it is extremely useful in keeping our blood sugar waltzing along on an even keel. Of course the addition of fiber from your fresh fruit, vegetables and grains works with the protein.
What this means is that after our body has used up all the sugar in said carbs it is still working at extracting and transforming the protein into useable energy… so we don’t become afflicted with that “I’m Starving Cave” in our middle.
Dinner: Suggestions and Tips.
The new “plate” works great for dinner. It is laid out with portion suggestions from the 4 food groups that we need to eat to stay alive and healthy! Remember that old saying, “Eat to live, don’t Live to Eat?”
Best tip for Dinner that I can give you is to include a large part of your protein portion for the day in your dinner. This hopefully will stave off the munchies before bedtime.
Suggestions for Dinner protein include the standbys: Dried beans, peas and lintels-all high fiber foods and broiled or baked Chicken, Fish, Pork and Lean Red Meat (the last two aren’t recommended more than twice a week).
Tip: I absolutely love Fried Chicken so,,,, Oven Fry it. Bread it lightly with buckwheat flour with spices added, wet chicken then roll in crushed bran cereal (beat 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of water then roll chicken in it to make your breading stick). Spray your baking pan and both sides of the Chicken, then bake it.
Hard to detect it isn’t the old fashioned pot of grease Fried Chicken!
More off the wall recommendations: a medium baked potato with skin has enough fiber to put it in the acceptable category. (Much better than whole grain pasta and whole wheat bread which almost don’t get on the fiber content chart).
Tip: Dress your skin-on-baked-potato with fat free Greek Yogurt (make your own, buy the largest store brand container of fat free yogurt, place it in a coffee filter in strainer and let it do its magic). I leave it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes, drain and refrigerate to finish removing the liquid. As good as Sour Cream!
Fiber it up with Dinner. This is a great time to have a raw Vegetable Salad since raw seems to work better. Spinach, Dark Lettuce (iceberg is mostly water) and Celery are some of the standbys.
Great Tip: Create a salad base of bite sized or smaller chopped chunks of Broccoli, Cauliflower and Celery. Mix, cover and keep refrigerated.
The BCC mix can be made into a meal by placing some in a separate bowl, add raisins, almonds, trail mix and a dressing… A great no cook Dinner.
For a different taste, add loose leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onions and some lean Ham or boiled eggs and call it a “Chef’s” salad.
Tired of the Salad thing?
Suggestion: Invest in a good processor like VitaMix or one of those Ninja things and along with a cored unpeeled Apple, toss in enough of your BCC salad mix to make a nice Veggie Slurpee.
Tip: Raid your spice rack for flavors. Those dried spices and Garlic, Onion and Curry powder are almost calorie free but pack a punch. But you are now drinking your fiber and enjoying it!
Note: add spices to some of your home made Greek yogurt to make creamy salad dressings and dips.
Suggestion: For dinner… construct Soups with cooked dried beans as the base, adding barley, brown rice, pasta and some potatoes, onions, a carrot or two and any left over veggies. Chop a handful of spinach or kale, collards or turnip greens and add to the mix. To make things a little interesting I sometimes include chopped chilies and tomatoes.
Tip: Great tasting food is fun to eat, so you can add Celery Seeds, Garlic Powder, Curry Powder, Parsley Flakes, Ground Red Pepper or Thyme and if I’m in a Tomato mood and no fresh on hand use diced canned tomatoes or even V-8 juice at the end of cooking time (beans will never soften if tomatoes are added before they done).
This soup will be high in fiber and low in calories. In place of crackers I often make small “Corn Pones” from corn meal and “fry” them in a sprayed non stick pan (spray the tops before you turn them for a crunchy crust).
Finally one last Tip.
Thirty minutes before you go to bed, have a nice hot beverage… green tea, hot milk or what ever you like plus the other half of that Zone Bar you had for your 3 O’Clock snack. (I have to half the Zone Bars because I am on 1200 calories a day and some of the bars have 300+ calories).
Honey Grahams and hot milk are somewhat of a standby, but Ginger Snaps work as well.
Cadbury Cakes are great if you can find them… just make it a mix of a hot drink and some carbs… helps you to sleep. If you are keeping track of your calories you can be adventurous with your snacks. Most have the calorie count on the package.
Enjoy your new Healthy Fiber Diet.
Wikipedia has some good information on fiber, just do a search for Fiber wikipedia.