For all of November, our blog will focus on diabetes prevention and awareness. One way to reduce your risk for diabetes is to increase the amount of fiber rich plant foods you eat, especially when that means you cut down on processed, high fat and sugar foods. Higher fiber meals not only stabilize blood sugars but also help to fill the stomach with low calorie, nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes. Fiber takes time to digest keeping us fuller longer. Bacteria in our gut use fiber to create short-chain fatty acids that are critical to our immune system, gut health, and diabetes control and prevention.
Studies that compare a variety of fiber intake and blood sugar outcomes show improvements in control when greater than 35 grams are consumed in a day. This may sounds like a lot when the average American gets somewhere around 15 grams, but you can slowly work up to a higher fiber diet. Try to make sure you have a fruit or vegetable at every meal, and make sure lunch or dinner contains a large, veggie filled salad- 2+ cups! Switch to whole grain bread and cereals, like oatmeal at breakfast. Aim for 2 or more meatless meals a week, where the focus is on protein from beans and grains, think black beans and quinoa, three bean chili, or grilled veggie tacos with non-fat refried beans.
Try out this super simple veggie soup as a weekly addition to boost your fiber and prevent diabetes!
Quick Veggie Soup
- 1 onion, diced
- 2- 3 large carrots, diced
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced
- ¼- ½ head of cabbage, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28 oz can of low sodium diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 15oz can low-sodium garbanzo beans
- 1 32oz box low-sodium vegetable broth or broth of choice
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- A handful of chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion and garlic in a large pot over medium-low heat until softened. Add a tablespoon of water if they start to stick or burn. Add carrots, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Let cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add tomato paste, broth, water, and bay leaves. Stir up and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and throw in fresh parsley. Serve up with a dash of salt and pepper. Enjoy!