How to Increase Fiber in the Meal Plan for Diabetes

Increasing fiber in the diet has many benefits including lowering blood cholesterol, helping to control blood glucose (sugar), preventing constipation, and aiding in weight management by helping you feel full longer. Start adding fiber to your diet slowly. A gradual substitution of high fiber foods for low fiber foods will allow the digestive tract to adjust. Most men under 50 years of age should aim to eat 38 g of fiber a day. Women should aim for 25 g. Over 50 years of age, most men need 30 g of fiber and most women need 21 g. Below are some suggestions for increasing fiber.

  • Try whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Look for words high on the list of ingredients such as whole wheat, whole rye, or whole oats.

  • Try baked potato with skin instead of mashed potatoes.

  • Try a fresh apple with skin instead of applesauce.

  • Try a fresh orange instead of orange juice.

  • Try popcorn instead of potato chips.

  • Try bran cereal instead of corn flakes.

  • Try kidney, whole pinto, or garbanzo beans instead of bread.

  • Try whole-grain crackers instead of saltine crackers.

  • Try whole-wheat pasta instead of regular varieties.

  • While on a high fiber diet, drink enough water and fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • Eat a variety of high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

  • Try to increase your intake of fiber by eating high fiber foods instead of taking fiber pills or supplements that contain small amounts of fiber. There can be additional benefits for long-term health and blood glucose control with high fiber foods. Aim for 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

SOURCES OF FIBER

The following list shows the average dietary fiber for types of food in the various food groups.

Starch and Bread / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Whole-grain breads, 1 slice / 2 g

  • Whole grain, ½ cup / 2 g

  • Whole-grain cereals, ½ cup / 3 g

  • Bran cereals, ⅓ to ½ cup / 8 g

  • Starchy vegetables, ½ cup / 3 g

  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils), ½ cup / 8 g

  • Oatmeal, ½ cup / 2 g

  • Whole-wheat pasta, ⅓ cup / 2 g

  • Brown rice, ½ cup / 2 g

  • Barley, ½ cup / 3 g

Meat and Meat Substitutes / Dietary Fiber (g)

This group averages 0 grams of fiber. Exceptions are:

  • Nuts, seeds, 1 oz or ¼ cup / 3 g

  • Chunky peanut butter, 2 tbs / 3 g

Vegetables / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Cooked vegetables, ½ to ¾ cup / 2 to 3 g

  • Raw vegetables, 1 to 2 cups / 2 to 3 g

Fruit / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Raw or cooked fruit, ½ cup or 1 small, fresh piece / 2 g

Milk / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Milk, 1 cup or 8 oz / 0 g

Fats and Oils / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Fats and oils, 1 tsp / 0 g

You can determine how much fiber you are eating by reading the Nutrition Facts panel on the labels of the foods you eat.

FIBER IN SPECIFIC FOODS

Cereals / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • All Bran®, ⅓ cup / 9 g

  • All Bran with Extra Fiber®, ½ cup / 13 g

  • Bran Flakes®, ½ cup / 4 g

  • Cheerios®, ¾ cup / 1.5 g

  • Corn Bran®, ½ cup / 4 g

  • Corn Flakes®, ¾ cup / 0.75 g

  • Cracklin' Oat Bran®, ½ cup / 4 g

  • Fiber One®, ½ cup / 13 g

  • Grape Nuts®, 3 tbs / 3 g

  • Grape Nuts Flakes®, ¾ cup / 3 g

  • Noodles, ½ cup, cooked / 0.5 g

  • Nutrigrain Wheat®, ¾ cup / 3.5 g

  • Oatmeal, ½ cup, cooked / 1.1 g

  • Pasta, white (macaroni, spaghetti), ½ cup, cooked / 0.5 g

  • Pasta, whole-wheat (macaroni, spaghetti), ½ cup, cooked / 2 g

  • Ralston®, ½ cup, cooked / 3 g

  • Rice, wild, ⅓ cup, cooked / 0.5 g

  • Rice, brown, ½ cup, cooked / 1 g

  • Rice, white, ½ cup, cooked / 0.2 g

  • Shredded Wheat®, bite-sized, ½ cup / 2 g

  • Total®, ¾ cup / 1.75 g

  • Wheat Chex®, ½ cup / 2.5 g

  • Wheatena®, ½ cup, cooked / 4 g

  • Wheaties®, ¾ cup / 2.75 g

Bread, Starchy Vegetables, and Dried Peas and Beans / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Bagel, whole / 0.6 g

  • Baked beans in tomato sauce, ¼ cup, cooked / 3 g

  • Bran muffin, 1 small / 2.5 g

  • Bread, cracked wheat, 1 slice / 2.5 g

  • Bread, pumpernickel, 1 slice / 2.5 g

  • Bread, white, 1 slice / 0.4 g

  • Bread, whole-wheat, 1 slice / 1.4 g

  • Corn, ½ cup, canned / 2.9 g

  • Kidney beans, ⅓ cup, cooked / 3.5 g

  • Lentils, ⅓ cup, cooked / 3 g

  • Lima beans, ½ cup, cooked / 4 g

  • Navy beans, ⅓ cup, cooked / 4 g

  • Peas, ½ cup, cooked / 4 g

  • Popcorn, 3 cups popped, unbuttered / 3.5 g

  • Potato, baked (with skin), 1 small / 4 g

  • Potato, baked (without skin), 1 small / 2 g

  • Ry-Krisp®, 4 crackers / 3 g

  • Saltine crackers, 6 squares / 0 g

  • Split peas, ⅓ cup, cooked / 2.5 g

  • Yams (sweet potato), ⅓ cup / 1.7 g

Fruit / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Apple, 1 small, fresh, with skin / 4 g

  • Apple juice, ½ cup / 0.4 g

  • Apricots, 4 medium, fresh / 4 g

  • Apricots, 7 halves, dried / 2 g

  • Banana, ½ medium / 1.2 g

  • Blueberries, ¾ cup / 2 g

  • Cantaloupe, ⅓ melon / 1.3 g

  • Cherries, ½ cup, canned / 1.4 g

  • Grapefruit, ½ medium / 1.6 g

  • Grapes, 15 small / 1.2 g

  • Grape juice, ⅓ cup / 0.5 g

  • Orange, 1 medium, fresh / 2 g

  • Orange juice, ½ cup / 0.5 g

  • Peach, 1 medium,fresh, with skin / 2 g

  • Pear, 1 medium, fresh, with skin / 4 g

  • Pineapple, ⅓ cup, canned / 0.7 g

  • Plums, 2 whole / 2 g

  • Prunes, 3 whole / 1.5 g

  • Raspberries, 1 cup / 6 g

  • Strawberries, 1 ¼ cup / 4 g

  • Watermelon, 1 ¼ cup / 0.5 g

Vegetables / Dietary Fiber (g)

  • Asparagus, ½ cup, cooked / 1 g

  • Beans, green and wax, ½ cup, cooked / 1.6 g

  • Beets, ½ cup, cooked / 1.8 g

  • Broccoli, ½ cup, cooked / 2.2 g

  • Brussels sprouts, ½ cup, cooked / 4 g

  • Cabbage, ½ cup, cooked / 2.5 g

  • Carrots, ½ cup, cooked / 2.3 g

  • Cauliflower, ½ cup, cooked / 1.1 g

  • Celery, 1 cup, raw / 1.5 g

  • Cucumber, 1 cup, raw / 0.8 g

  • Green pepper, ½ cup sliced, cooked / 1.5 g

  • Lettuce, 1 cup, sliced / 0.9 g

  • Mushrooms, 1 cup sliced, raw / 1.8 g

  • Onion, 1 cup sliced, raw / 1.6 g

  • Spinach, ½ cup, cooked / 2.4 g

  • Tomato, 1 medium, fresh / 1.5 g

  • Tomato juice, ½ cup / 0 g

  • Zucchini, ½ cup, cooked / 1.8 g