June 17, 2008

Eat Even More Fabulous Fiber

Key learnings from my recent attendance at the American Diabetes Association meeting are sinking in. One clear take away on the nutrition front is the push to eat more fiber for all its health benefits including disease prevention, increased satiety, help with weight control and more. An astounding comment by Janet King, PhD, RD at University of California, Davis and chair of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee was “research suggests that sufficient intake of whole grains, legumes, nuts and vegetables can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%.”

Yet Americans, though we’ve been encouraged for years to EAT MORE FIBER, still eat a measly 10 – 14 grams /day. King, suggested that there be an even bigger push in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines to up the fiber recommendation beyond the current 25 – 38 grams/day.

But the challenge is how to increase the amount of dietary fiber you eat? Try these easy ways for starters. Learn more ways to fill up on fiber and generally eat healthier in my book Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy.

- Enjoy more peas and beans: toss them in green salads, enjoy a marinated bean salad, snack on garbonzos or wasabi peas

- Mix in a high fiber cereal: even if you can’t stand to fill your bowl with bran buds or flakes, mix in at least a few tablespoons of super high fiber cereal (>8g/serving) a few more mornings each week

- Bet on berries: use strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blue berries. Not only are they super healthy, but they are the fruit with the highest fiber count

- Buy whole grain bread that packs at least 3g/serving per slice