Diabetes and Breakfast
What you need to know and some tasty tips to starting the day right.
You know the old saying – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, this is especially true for those living with diabetes.
In a post by Everyday Health, Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, CDCES, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, states,” Breakfast is especially important for someone who has diabetes, because it helps control blood sugar for the rest of the day.”
Breakfast sets the tone for how you feel going into your day and how well you’re set up to be your best mentally and physically throughout it. Unfortunately, for a lot of us living on the go in today's fast-paced world, breakfast also happens to be the most neglected meal of the day.
As someone living with diabetes, skipping breakfast, or eating the wrong kind of breakfast is certainly not the best way to start your day. In fact, it's possible that skipping breakfast altogether may contribute to greater blood sugar spikes after lunch and dinner. Eat the wrong foods for breakfast and you’ve increased your risk of blood sugar problems before the day even gets underway.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and a diabetes-friendly breakfast is one that includes lean proteins, fibers, and healthy fats.
What's so important about starting the day with protein, fibers, and healthy fats?
For one thing, medical research makes a case that beginning the day with a substantial meal containing higher fat and protein contents, along with low carbohydrate contents, can improve blood sugar control throughout the day, lower A1C scores, and contribute to weight loss, a nice bonus for many people living with Type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, there's something called the dawn phenomenon. Many people living with diabetes, experience a rise in blood sugar after breakfast that’s far greater than the spike that occurs after lunch or dinner. This can result in carbohydrate cravings because glucose remains in the bloodstream rather than moving into the cells as energy. The body senses its lack of energy which in turn signals the need for more carbohydrates or sugars as a means of fuel, and that can lead to cravings that are not good for anyone trying to manage their blood sugar or diabetes.
Beginning the day with a breakfast that's low in carbs, but high in protein, fiber and healthy fats minimizes the dawn phenomenon by reducing the body's glucose response. Eating a diabetes-friendly breakfast built around these three food types, introduces less sugar to your daily equation and high-fiber foods slow the body's glucose response, making it easier to manage blood sugar levels in the morning (when they tend to be high), and maintain target levels throughout the day.
A quick look at healthy fats
Being diabetic doesn't mean you should avoid fats; you just must make the right choices. Think plant-based fats like those found in avocados, nuts, seeds olive oil, and coconuts.
A quick look at healthy proteins
Since we're talking breakfast, let's go with the mainstay. Farm-fresh eggs are an outstanding source of protein. Then, you might want to add some other morning recipe favorites like turkey sausage, salmon, and black beans.
A quick look at healthy fibers
There are a lot of great choices for your breakfast fibers, including whole grain toasts and bagels, bran muffins, and of course delicious steel-cut oatmeal.
7 of our favorite diabetes-friendly breakfast choices
Classic vegetable omelet
This one is so good you can even skip the cheese. Whip up some eggs and add in all your favorite vegetables. You might include fresh red, yellow and green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, a few chopped scallions, a little red onion, whatever floats your boat. In a few minutes, you've got a diabetes healthy and hearty meal to start the day right. If your mornings tend to get a little busy, save time by chopping up your vegetables the night before.
Whole grain avocado toast
Here's a morning favorite that provides the fiber you need to slow the body's glucose response, as well as healthy fats to help you feel full and be healthy. Simply toast your favorite whole grain bread or roll, mash up a fresh avocado, spread evenly, and dig into a delicious breakfast. Feel free to add a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor, or better yet, top it off with a freshly scrambled or over-easy egg. Yum.
Oatmeal and berries
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Oatmeal is a great source of fiber and fresh berries are natural and healthy sweeteners. Toss in some blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, even fresh pomegranate for a little sweet meets tangy deliciousness. You can also add sliced bananas, assorted nuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a substantial breakfast that fits right in with a healthy diabetes lifestyle.
Egg and lentils on whole grain toast
Looking for something a little different? Try this fast and easy recipe. Cook up some vegetarian lentils and toast your favorite whole grain bread until it's nice and crisp. Spread a nice dollop of lentils on a plate, lay down your crispy whole-grain toast on top, and finish it off with a sunny side-up egg placed directly on the toast. This is a pretty filling meal that'll keep you satiated, while also contributing to better blood sugar control.
Diabetes-healthy breakfast burrito
You don't need the fatty sour cream or the salty salsa to build a great breakfast burrito. Instead, roll up two scrambled eggs, a little bit of low-fat cheese, fresh tomato, sliced avocado, black beans, and, perhaps, some low-fat turkey sausage into a whole-grain tortilla. If you prefer things a little on the spicy side, add some fresh jalapeno pepper. By the way, you can also put this between two slices of whole of whole grain toast for an exceptional breakfast sandwich. Either way, you’re looking at a great start to the day.
Greek yogurt parfait
Did you know that Greek yogurt has far less sugar and fewer carbs then traditional yogurts? That's why it's such a great choice for this refreshingly simple morning ritual. Just add fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries to a few scoops of unflavored Greek yogurt. Spoon in some chopped almonds and walnuts for a diabetes-smart and heart-healthy breakfast.
Whole-grain French toast
This may not be your traditional French toast smothered in maple syrup, but that doesn't mean it's not pretty darn good. You can still make a great French toast by dipping whole grain bread into a mixture of freshly beaten eggs, skim milk, a dash of vanilla and a touch of cinnamon. Cook it up on a hot griddle and top it off with fresh fruit or even a little peanut butter for a sensational breakfast treat that’s big on flavor but wonderfully low in carbs.
We hope you found these diabetes breakfast tips helpful and will give some of our simple recipes a try. At Diabeticteststrips.org, we’re committed to keeping you informed with the latest news and tips on living with diabetes. We’re also committed to saving you up to 65% on doctor-recommended diabetic supplies. Shop online selection of glucose meters, test strips and lancets, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, and infusion sets by leading manufacturers, such as Accu-Chek, OneTouch, FreeStyle, DexCom, Medtronic, TRUEMetrix and many others. Enjoy free delivery to your home or office with every order.
Diabeticteststrips.org is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticteststrips.org.