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Friday, October 19, 2007

Psyllium, Fibre, Muesli and Nuts

Back when I started following Jennifer’s testing advice I gradually cut the starchy and high GI carbs in my daily menu significantly. I replaced them with other veges but on analysis I found I needed to add some fibre back into my menu. I found that the most readily available supplement to do that was psyllium husk; a food that is 80-85% dietary fibre.

If you do a little searching on psyllium you will find a lot of scientific papers on it’s various benefits. However, it’s not easy to eat the stuff directly. That’s why commercially available forms such as Metamucil have other flavours and ingredients added to make them palatable.

Separate to that, I also found that I could eat more carbs in the evening and that a small bowl of muesli at bedtime helped with my dawn effect numbers in the morning. Additionally, I try to eat some nuts regularly as part of my menu.

As a result of all those different factors I gradually developed this simple recipe for my bedtime snack.


750gm or 1 Kg (1 1/2 to 2 lbs) pack of Muesli from the supermarket.
For those who haven’t eaten Muesli, it is usually a mix of rolled oats, other grains, dried fruits
etc. High in whole grains and fruits, so high carb but also high fibre. Usually about 65% carb and 10-14% fibre.

400-500 gms of mixed nuts, roasted but not salted.

My usual mix is brazils, walnuts, almonds, cashews; I vary it occasionally with pecans or other real nuts. No peanuts.

200-250gm psyllium husks from the local health food store.

The result is roughly a 4:2:1 ratio of Muesli:nuts:psyllium.


I chop the nuts coarsely in a food processor, but not to the point where they are a powder. I like the crunch when I eat them. Then I just mix all the ingredients together and store them in a large air-tight container.


At bedtime I put two or three tablespoons of the mix in a bowl and cover it with enough whole milk to wet it; I experiment to find the quantity needed to overcome the psyllium's tendency to set the mix solid:-)

Occasionally I use water instead of milk, or a combination of both.

For my most recent mix I worked out the actual numbers (US style, subtract fibre) for a 40gm serve with 100ml whole milk. Obviously these numbers will vary according to your muesli ingredients and choice of nuts:

Calories ................ 220__cal
Protein .....................8__gm
Total Fat..................12__gm
Sat. Fat.....................3__gm
Mono. Fat.................5__gm
Poly. Fat....................3__gm
Cholesterol ..............13__mg

I eat that at bedtime 3-4 nights per week.

One other beneficial side effect was to improve my morning regularity.

Cheers, Alan

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.

A post-script, 16th May 2008.

This was brought to my attention today, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999:

Effects of psyllium on glucose and serum lipid responses in men with type 2 diabetes and hypercholesterolemia

"Results of this study suggest that the addition of psyllium to a standard diet for diabetes is safe, is well tolerated, and offers an additional dietary tool to improve metabolic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. "


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the very useful information

Take Care,


dae said...

hi alan, you might know me better as daeeee from the ADA message boards. I just came across your blog and thought I'd say hi! :)

Anonymous said...

you might enjoy shredded coconut as well. it is mostly fiber held together by medium-chain triglycerides (fat that you burn right away). as such, it is both healthy and satiating, and the taste is mildly sweet. I'm not diabetic though, so I don't know _exactly_ what it would do to your numbers.

Big_I said...

Thnaks Alan for the recipe for the physillum. My A1C and cholest is up again so I am trying my best to nip it in the bud. I am on oral meds now but the Dr. is threatening the insulin. I want to get into control again and if insulin is the next option, I will use it.
Diabeties runs rampet in my family mostly on mother's side but some on dad's side.
Thanks again for the recipe.
Ira the autoclaveman2000

Danielle said...

Alan, this is a great website. I tried eating a serving (1/2 cup) of Fiber One Cereal - "Original" only (USA) with some half/half about a one half hour before bedtime and my morning fasting numbers were fabulous! I maintained those numbers (and lower) throughout the day with no/low carb snack-like meals every three hours along with some light exercise. Here is the nutrition data for anyone interested: