Can you eat Weetabix with diabetes?
In this short article, we will answer the question “Can you eat Weetabix with diabetes?” and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of eating Weetabix with diabetes as well as what types of fiber rich foods are recommended if you have diabetes.
Can you eat Weetabix with diabetes?
Yes, you can eat Weetabix with diabetes. Cereals typically eaten for breakfast are a source of carbohydrates, which can make it challenging for people who use insulin to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar.
On the other side, cereals like Weetabix, Oatabix, and Shredded Wheat contain a high amount of fibers, as they are produced with whole grain cereals, such as whole wheat and whole barley (4).
Whole grains have, on the opposite of refined grains, beneficial effects on health, and may be consumed by diabetic individuals (1,3). In addition to a low glycemic rise upon their consumption, whole grain cereals favor the gut microbiota and prevent constipation (3).
Why can you eat Weetabix with diabetes?
You can eat Weetabix with diabetes because it contains whole grain cereals. Contrary to refined cereals, whole grain cereals do not result in the immediate increase of the glycemic levels in the blood.
Refined cereals do not have the protective layer of whole cereals, which delay digestion and prevent the immediate release of starch into the body. That means, whole grain cereals have lower glycemic index and therefore are considered safe for diabetics (1,3).
What are the benefits of eating Weetabix with diabetes?
The benefits of eating Weetabix when you have diabetes are due to the fact that these products contain a high amount of whole grain cereals and consequently a high amount of fibers. The possible benefits related to Weetabix are (1,3):
- The consumption of whole grain cereals reduces the glycemic response and the glycemic levels in the blood. Many studies report the reduction of the risks of developing diabetes related to the higher ingestion of whole grains. Although the mechanisms of this effect is not yet fully understood, it is clear that whole grains prevent diabetes.
- Whole grains contain phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants and help prevent oxidative stress in the body. Consequently, it reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases.
- Dietary fibers in whole grains are considered prebiotic foods, as they favor the growth of probiotic bacteria, which are related to several health benefits, including the improvement of the immune system.
- The consumption of whole grains reduces the risks of obesity and weight gain. Because fibers improve satiation, they can help in maintaining a healthy weight.
- The ingestion of high fiber foods can prevent constipation. The ingestion of fiber increases the stool volume and promotes intestinal motility.
What are the drawbacks of eating Weetabix with diabetes?
The drawbacks of eating Weetabix when you have diabetes are (2,5):
- Whole grains contain a high concentration of phytates. These phytochemicals, although having antioxidant effects, reduce the absorption of iron, zinc and other minerals. The impaired absorption can lead to insufficient intake from the diet.
- The excessive ingestion of fibers in the diet can lead to adverse gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, bloating, constipation and even gastric obstruction.
- The absorption of some vitamins, including vitamin C, can be reduced due to the excessive ingestion of fibers and whole grains.
What are other fiber-rich food options for diabetics?
Fiber-rich food options for diabetics are (1,2,4,5):
- Fruits, dried fruits and nuts
- Vegetables and legumes
- Breads produced with whole grain flour, such as wheat, rye and oats
- Whole rice types, such as wild and brown rice
- Food thickeners, such as pectin and gum guar
In this short article, we answered the question “Can you eat Weetabix with diabetes?” and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of eating Weetabix with diabetes as well as what types of fiber rich foods are recommended if you have diabetes.
- Belobrajdic, Damien P., and Anthony R. Bird. The potential role of phytochemicals in wholegrain cereals for the prevention of type-2 diabetes. Nutrition j, 2013 ,12, 62.
- Hunt, Janet R. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. Am J Clin Nutr, 2003, 78, S633-S639.
- Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients [Internet]. 2013;5:1417–35.
- Weetabix. Manufacturer’s website.
- Ioniță-Mîndrican, Corina-Bianca, et al. Therapeutic Benefits and Dietary Restrictions of Fiber Intake: A State of the Art Review. Nutrients, 2011, 14, 13.