Fibre and Diabetes.

Fibre and Diabetes.

Fibre or Roughage as it used to be known has little or no nutritional value but has many health benefits. Fibre consists of the indigestible parts of plants so meat and diary products have none.

A high fibre diet is recommended for most people but is particularly helpful if you have diabetes.

Fibre slows down the rate sugar is absorbed into the blood, soluble fibre can also help reduce cholesterol levels.

Soluble & Insoluble Fibre

Fibre comes in two forms Insoluble Fibre and Soluble Fibre with most vegetables and fruits having some of both. While both types of fibre have benefits, soluble fibre is the form than can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

Fruit, vegetables, beans, peas, oats, barley and rye are all good sources of Soluble Fibre. Oats in particular are useful in reducing blood cholesterol levels. Watch out for saturated fat in products like oat cakes with added palm oil.

Insoluble fibre acts like a sponge holding water and it helps food move quickly and easily through the gut.


One of the other health benefits of fibre is in helping move food through the gut reasonably quickly.

Recommended minimum daily intake of fibre is about 20g to 35g per day. Current UK average is about 20g per day (25g is about 1oz).

If you increase the amount of fibre in your diet do it gradually or you run the risk of indigestion.

Without plenty of fluids a high fibre diet will not help relieve constipation. Drink plenty of fluids, at least 2 litres or 3½ pints per day. Water is best, with caffeine sources like tea and coffee limited to 3 or 4 cups a day.

Regular exercise will also help relieve constipation.

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Sources of Fibre.

Apples like most fruits are high in soluble fibre Peas (and beans) are high in soluble fibre Green Beans high in soluble fibre Bran Flakes (and cereals) are high in insoluble fibre

Ryvita's are also very high in fibre 16-18% on the product labels.

FruitFibreGrain & CerealFibreVegetables (Cooked)Fibre
1 med. Pear4gPorridge (½ cup)1.7gCarrots (½ cup)3g
1 med. Apple3.1g1 Slice Wholemeal Bread2gChick Peas (½ cup)15g
1 med. Orange2.4g50g All Bran6gBaked Beans (½ cup)7.5g
Raspberries & Blackberries (½ cup)4.5gBrown Rice (½ cup)2gGreen Peas (½ cup)4g
1 med. Banana2g2 Shredded Wheat1.2g1 med. Potato with skin3g
3 med. Prunes4g  Spinach or Broccoli (½ cup)2g