Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cooks Corner: Fiber and You: It Can be Delicious Too (Bean Spread with Shredded Wheat Cereal)


Recently, I received some material from a colleague on behalf of Post Foods and ShopRite regarding Fiber; I want to share the following information with you.  The benefits of a diet rich in whole grains and dietary fiber on type 2 diabetes management and prevention have been well documented.  For example, higher consumption of whole grains (1) and insoluble fiber has been  inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Whole grains and fiber may also have an impact on risk factors associated with the disease such as decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, weight management, and a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome (3).

It’s a challenge trying to manage diabetes.  That’s why adding more whole grains and dietary fiber to our diet is one simple step that can be recommended to make dietary management of diabetes simpler for anyone with diabetes.

I’m providing a brief review of recent research recommendations, and simple tips  regarding some health benefits of increasing intake of dietary fiber and whole grain.


    • MOST OF US:  DON’T
      • If you are trying to manage type 2 diabetes, adding more fiber and whole grains is an easy step to take for better health.  A diet high in fiber and whole grains may improve blood sugar control.  And even better news, as whole grain intake increases in older adults, fasting blood sugar levels and body mass index (BMI) can improve.
          • adults: at least 48 grams of whole grain each day (1)
          • women- 25 grams of fiber each day (2)
          • men- 38 grams of fiber each day (3)
  • What is fiber?

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that our  body can’t digest or absorb.  Unlike other food components such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates, which your body breaks down and absorbs, our body doesn’t digest fiber.  It passes through your stomach, small intestine, and colon as it makes its way out of our body.  Fiber plays several important roles in maintaining health.

Fiber helps us feel full longer, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and slows down digestion so that glucose and fructose, the sugars from plant carbohydrates, enter the bloodstream more slowly—moderating spikes and crashes in energy levels.

  • What is whole grain?

Wheat, rice, corn oats and barley are all examples of grains.  “Whole” grain means that nothing is removed from the grain during processing.  An easy way to tell if a product contains whole grains is to look at the Nutrition Facts label.  If the first ingredient listed contains the word “whole” such as “whole oats”, or “whole wheat”, the product is mainly whole grain.

Whole grains contain many nutrients (including fiber, vitamins B&E), minerals (including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron) and antioxidants.  These components of whole grains have many benefits that can contribute to your overall health and well-being.


  1. Sprinkle high fiber cereal like Grape-Nuts on unsweetened plain yogurt and add your favorite fruit.
  2. Snack on fresh fruits such as oranges, pears, apples and berries.  They are great sources of fiber.
  3. Eat nuts seeds and beans
  4. Take shredded Wheat cereal microwave a serving and add 2 tsp. of olive oil this and sprinkle with herbs and seasonings like oregano and creole.


Bean spread with Shredded Wheat Crackers

Photo: Copyright 2010 Spin A

Recipe Developed and Reprinted with permission by Anthony J Sepe


  1. 1 cup Greek-style low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt or light sour cream
  2. 2 whole cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  4. 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (save some for garnish)
  5. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  6. 2 teaspoons water
  7. 1/4 tsp. Salt 
  8. 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  9. 1/4 tsp. creole seasoning
  10. 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans or northern beans rinsed and drained (or 1 cup dried beans cooked in 3 cups water)
  11. 4 Tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) that have been rehydrated in hot water and then drained
  12. 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers
  13. 1 box of Shredded Wheat Cereal (or multi-grain pita chips)


  1. In a food processor place yogurt, garlic, onion,chopped parsley, lemon juice, water, beans and herbs and creole seasoning; blend and and cover until it’s a combination chunky and smooth mixture.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to let flavors meld.  can be served now if time is an issue or
  3. Bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Spread on your spreadables of choice i.e. Shredded Wheat Cereal or pita chips. 
  4. Place on a serving platter garnished with springs of parsley.
  5. Enjoy!



(1) Fung,TT, Hu FB, Pereira MA, LiuS, et al. Wole-grain intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study in men.Am J Clin Nutr 2002:75:535-540.

(2)Schulze MB,Schulz M, Heidemann C, Schienkiewitz A et al.Fiber and Magnesium Intake and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Study and Meta-Analysis. Arch Intern Med 2007: 167:956-965.

(3)Position of the American Dietetic Association:Health Implications of Dietary Fiber.JAmDiet Assoc 2008:108:1716-1731.

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