Fiber Foods That Help Steady High Blood Sugar Levels

Fiber Foods That Help Steady High Blood Sugar Levels

Fiber is great for balancing high blood sugar levels, but which fiber foods are best—legumes or grains?

Pass the peas, please. In a study, a diet high in lentils, nuts, peas, and other legumes seemed to be more helpful than a diet high in wheat fiber when it came to tamping down high blood sugar levels.

A Hill of Beans
Mmmm. Love those legumes. And, lucky for lovers of legumes, beans are fiber foods that tend to have a low glycemic index—meaning they are digested slowly by the body and have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. So much so that when people with type 2 diabetes were told to emphasize legumes in their diet as part of a study, their average blood sugar over time was lower than that of the group who'd been directed to eat more whole grains.

Go for Balance
The difference was modest for the two study groups but was still significant enough to translate into better protection from heart disease. Researchers suspect that the difference was because the legume-laden diet had a lower glycemic index—and slightly more fiber—than the diet that emphasized grains. The legume eaters were also encouraged to eat high-fiber foods like fruits and veggies. Bottom line: A low-glycemic-index diet seemed to be best for controlling high blood sugar levels. To get there, you may need to trade that side of brown rice for an occasional bowl of beans. Try these other strategies for getting a firmer grip on blood sugar:

Medically reviewed in October 2018.

More On Diabetes Type 2

Ask Dr. Darria: How Can I Prevent Diabetes If I'm Prediabetic?

article

Ask Dr. Darria: How Can I Prevent Diabetes If I'm Prediabetic?
If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is high. In this video, Darria Long Gillespie, MD, an emergency roo...
How Type 2 Diabetes Can Change the Heart

article

How Type 2 Diabetes Can Change the Heart
The leading cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes is cardiovascular disease, an umbrella term for a number of conditions that affect the bo...
What Does an Insulin Response Test Measure?

article

What Does an Insulin Response Test Measure?
Functional Medicine Specialist and family physician Dr. Mark Hyman explains what an insulin response test measures. Watch Dr. Mark Hyman's video for i...
Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

video

Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Some patients with type 2 diabetes can reverse the disease, especially if they are overweight and lose extra pounds. In this video, Ronald Tamler, MD,...