Diet and Nutrition

Fiber Up for Diabetes

June 4, 2018   /

Reviewed and updated by Anne Danahy, MS, RDN, LDN 



The American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that individuals with diabetes eat a balanced diet that includes high fiber, complex carbohydrate foods. Not only does fiber help control blood glucose, but it also helps reduce cardiovascular disease risk by improving insulin and cholesterol levels.


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Fiber dietary guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating 14 g of fiber for every 1000 calories consumed, or about 21 to 25 g/day for women and 30 to 38 g/day for men. However, researchers who looked at studies done during the previous 25 years on diabetes and cardiovascular disease recommend that people eat 25 to 50 g of fiber/day.2 Because most Americans eat only half the recommended amount of fiber, aiming for at least 25 g/day is a step in the right direction. For those starting out with low-fiber diets, meeting the dietary guidelines amount is recommended as an initial goal. Make sure that you include high-fiber foods as part of your carbohydrate allotment in your eating pattern.

Studies have shown that soluble fiber (at least 6 g/day) is particularly important for improving blood glucose control. Oats, beans, barley, and many fruits and vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber. However, eating a wide variety of high-fiber foods—whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables—will help ensure that you get an adequate supply of all types of fiber.


NEXT: Ways to increase fiber in your diet