For those that may not know, today happens to be the 10th anniversary of World Diabetes Day.
The United Nations actually passed a resolution for the designation of November 14 as the day meant to raise awareness of diabetes, prevention and management.
Diabetes care will always hold a special place in my heart because Diabetes Canada ( formerly known as The Canadian Diabetes Association) was actually my first place of employment following graduation.
6 Foods That Can Help You Better Manage Your Blood Sugar ( Glucose) Levels
My goal with today’s article is to provide some safe and generic advice out there for the benefit of anyone living with ( or who has a loved one living with) diabetes.
Diabetes management is obviously an extraordinarily complex issue, but whether you are living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can almost surely benefit from boosting your soluble fibre intake.
Soluble fibre is a component of certain foods that is considered to be particularly useful for diabetes management because it helps to control your blood sugar levels by slowing the release of glucose into your bloodstream after eating.
Soluble fibre also has the added benefit of aiding in blood cholesterol management as well, which is another important consideration for people living with diabetes as they tend to be at an increased risk of heart disease.
So what are 5 of my most highly recommended sources of soluble fibre?
1.Artichoke: There are a variety of vegetables that contain soluble fibre, but artichoke takes the cake. Although it may be an unconventional choice for some, a single medium-sized artichoke contains a whopping 10 grams of soluble fibre.
2. Avocado: Avocado is a double win for people living with diabetes. Not only does 1/2 of an avocado contain nearly 7 grams of soluble fibre, but it also a rich source of potassium and monounsaturated fats, both of which are incredibly important for the health of your heart.
3. All Pulses ( Lentils,Beans,Chickpeas): Pulses are the only group of foods mentioned specifically by name in the Diabetes Canada nutrition guidelines. That means you KNOW their good for you. These protein rich meat-alternatives are not only economical, but help you cut down your saturated fat intake relying less on animal products for your protein.
4. Pear ( with the skin): Available locally grown right now( & 5 months out of the year) while also containing 5 grams of soluble fibre, it’s safe to say that pears are easily one of the most underrated fruits out there. Just make sure you eat the skin!
5. Pumpkin + Sunflower Seeds: For all my school teachers out there who can’t bring almonds to school, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are an exceptional soluble-fibre rich alternative. Chia + Flax works too!
6. Bran & Bran-based Cereals: The bran is one of the healthiest parts of a cereal grain, it also happens to be the part removed during processing ( AKA white or refined grains don’t contain the bran). Unfortunately, the bran is an incredibly rich sources of soluble fibre which is why you should always eat whole grains and consider try consuming something bran-based at breakfast if your diet needs a jolt of soluble fibre.
Keep in mind that you could theoretically have an amazing, varied and balanced diet without ever eating these five foods. However, my selections today represent some of the richest sources of soluble fibre and are great selections for someone looking to take their blood sugar management to the next level.
If you know someone living with diabetes who could use a little boost to their diet, be sure to send this article their way. Please keep in mind that, just because a food contains soluble fibre, does not mean it should not be appropriately accounted for in your daily meal planning, especially for those on insulin and relying on carbohydrate counting.
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH
Loved this article so much that you’d like more soluble fibre-rich food inspiration? Check out my other article on the topic posted below!