- Healthy breakfast ideas for diabetics include avocado toast, oatmeal, and an egg sandwich.
- If you have diabetes, make sure that breakfast has a combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Breakfast is especially important with diabetes as it can help control blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day for people with diabetes as it can help stabilize blood sugar levels, which are highest immediately upon waking up. It can also prevent large blood sugar fluctuations for the rest of the day.
But there’s a difference between including breakfast in your diet and creating a balanced breakfast that suits you best, says Kara Wood, RD, a nutritionist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Some breakfast ingredients and options are healthier than others.
How Do I Build a Diabetes Friendly Meal?
Breakfast with diabetes is all about balance. According to Vanderwall, a healthy morning meal should consist of the following three food groups:
- carbohydrates:: Aim for high-fiber carbohydrates like tomato or whole grain bread and avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice. Dietitians who specialize in diabetes will often teach you to cycle on carbohydrates, Wood says. This explains how many carbohydrates you need to consume with each meal to keep your blood sugar levels in balance.
- Healthy fats:: Eating fats with your carbohydrates like avocado or olive oil slows digestion and the release of glucose into your bloodstream, says Vanderwall. When you eat a banana, your blood sugar rises quickly. However, if you add peanut butter to the banana, the glucose will move more slowly into the bloodstream.
- protein:: Protein is a filling part of your breakfast and will not affect your blood sugar levels. It also slows digestion. This makes eating protein such as eggs or Greek yogurt a good compliment to your morning carbohydrate intake.
Here are six easy breakfast ideas for people with diabetes.
1. A breakfast sandwich
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This sandwich gives you the carbs you need while the protein keeps you full without raising blood sugar levels. A 2018 study found that people who ate an egg every day lowered their fasting blood sugar levels.
Medical term: The fasting blood sugar level relates to your blood sugar right when you wake up.
How to do it: Main ingredients include a whole grain English muffin, an egg, a slice of cheese, and an ounce of meat of your choice, Wood says. You can also add ¾ cup of blueberries for fiber or avocado slices for heart-healthy fats.
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Oatmeal contains carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. A large 2015 study found that oats were beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes due to its effect on lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
How to do it: With one cup of cooked oatmeal, add eight ounces of unsweetened almond milk, one tablespoon of chia seeds, three tablespoons of walnuts, two tablespoons of peanut butter powder, and one cup of strawberries.
3. Avocado toast
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The healthy fat from the avocado slows digestion and prevents carbohydrates – which are normally processed quickly by the body – from being quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, says Cassandra Vanderwall, RD, clinical nutritionist at UW Hospitals and Clinics.
How to do it: Vanderwall suggests a piece of whole wheat toast, a sliced half avocado, and an egg for breakfast.
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If you have diabetes, you can still have cereal for breakfast, but opt for a high-fiber whole grain cereal instead of a sugary, sweetened one, Wood says. Whole grains can help control blood sugar levels by making glucose release much slower due to their fiber content.
How to do it: Include additional food groups like a hard-boiled egg or peanut butter in the meal to increase the protein boost.
5. Perfect yogurt
According to Wood, natural yogurt is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, so the blood sugar level does not rise like other carbohydrates. Some yogurts also contain probiotics, which lower fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.
How to do it: For this breakfast, use eight ounces of unsweetened plain Greek yogurt with half a cup of pecans, one tablespoon of flaxseed, one tablespoon of almond butter, and one cup of mixed berries, Wood says.
6. Trail mix
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If you’re in a rush in the morning and looking for a better takeaway option, the trail mix is a great choice, according to Vanderwall. This can include nuts for egg whites, small amounts of dried fruit like cherries or raisins, and you can also add whole grains to the mixture.
With dried fruits, it’s important to keep serving sizes small as they are high in sugar, which increases blood sugar levels. In general, a good serving size is around 2 tablespoons.
How to do it: This recipe includes 1 cup of multigrain Cheerios, ¾ cup of almonds, and a third cup of dried cherries. You can also add mini chocolate chips if you’d like.
Avoid foods with diabetes
No food is completely prohibited for people with diabetes, Vanderwall says. The real question is how much and how often. Some foods can increase your chances of getting high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and uncontrolled sugar, she says. Some examples of foods you might want to avoid include:
- Sweetened drinks like soda or a sugary cappuccino coffee
- Packaged meat
- Sugary cereals
- Fried food
- Whole milk
“”[People with diabetes] I don’t have to avoid fruit, “says Wood.” It’s all about balance. If you really want an orange or a banana that might get your blood sugar up, eat some protein and fat together to keep your levels stable. “
Breakfast is a very important part of the day for someone with diabetes. Eating in the morning can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and stable throughout the day.
Simple breakfast options like oatmeal, avocado toast, or a yogurt parfait will give you the balanced meal you need with variations of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. While there are some foods that you should avoid with diabetes, keeping your breakfast balanced and nutritious is more important so that you can avoid unnecessary blood sugar fluctuations. 5 Of The Best Foods To Lower Blood Sugar And Treat Diabetes How To Know If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Healthy Yes, Oatmeal Is Good For Weight Loss – How To Eat It As Part Of A Healthy Diet Yes, Eggs Can Help You Lose Weight – so eat them as part of a healthy diet