What Can Diabetics Eat For Breakfast?
Diabetes is not only a disease but also a lifestyle that involves a special diet, medication and physical activity.
All three are equally important for the management of this condition. In the article below we will concentrate on the most important part of every diabetic diet – breakfast.
Why is Proper Breakfast So Important For Diabetics?
Neither skipping a morning meal, nor an unhealthy breakfast is a good idea for diabetics.
A recent study involving 50,000 adults has linked the habit of skipping breakfast to an increased risk of obesity and obesity-linked health hazards.
There is no surprise that type 2 diabetes is on the list of these hazards.
Another systematic review and meta-analysis of 6 studies with around 100,000 participants provide evidence that “breakfast skipping is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and the association is partly mediated by BMI”.
The absence of breakfast not only contributes to weight gain and diabetes complications risks in the future but also negatively affects glycemic controls in the short run.
A 2019 report has shown that in type 1 diabetics absence of breakfast was associated with higher HbA1c results.
What Can Diabetics Eat for Breakfast?
Now, once we are clear with breakfast-skipping downsides, we can look for the best breakfast type.
Numerous studies have proven that starting a morning with a large meal, rich in protein and fat and low in carbs will help diabetics to improve blood glucose control later in the day.
If we take a look at 2019 research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, we will see that diabetics who aim for high protein and fat content, rather than carbs in their breakfasts, have lower blood sugar spikes and achieve better overall glycemic control.
One possible explanation for this improvement is the fact that due to the dawn phenomenon, blood sugar content tends to be higher in the morning when people are more insulin resistant, thus it’s the worst time to load additional sugar into our body.
Here Are Some Ideas for Your Low-carb Breakfast:
- Fruit salad – your salad may include various fruits allowed for diabetics: apples, cherries, plums, kiwi, some strawberries, various berries, etc. As a “sauce” for such a salad, you can use low-fat yogurt. Trying to avoid overripe bananas and grapes. In small amounts, any type of nuts – walnuts, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, can be added to fruit salad. Their glycemic index is low, but the calorie content is quite high.
- Cottage cheese with fruit – Cottage cheese is a fairly popular product. It is made from different types of milk (mostly cow and goat milk). It is an excellent source of protein, with about 18 grams per 100 g. Fat content varies from 1 to 18 g per 100 g, depending on the product. It also contains A, B, and D vitamins and essential minerals like calcium.
Here are some options for combining fruit with cottage cheese: sliced bananas or whipped bananas; berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries; melon; fresh or canned peach, apple pieces, or whipped apple – all these combinations are a great addition to your diabetic breakfast.
- Low carb breakfast smoothies – although most types of smoothies are high in carbs, there are some diabetes-friendly options like berries and avocado smoothies. Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are lower in carbs than most other fruits. At the same time, they are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion. Avocados, in turn, are nutrient-dense fruits that contain healthy, unsaturated fats.
- Greek yogurt – low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt is a great choice for breakfast. It can contain as low as 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100g and is quite high in proteins, thus it is a common choice for diabetics who try to lose weight. Some studies suggest that its intake reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes development.
- Chia seed pudding – Chia seeds are considered a superfood and the best option for weight loss. They absorb liquid very well and contain fair amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Overnight chia seed pudding can be consumed for breakfast or as a snack. It is very simple to prepare, just pour the liquid over the seeds, the optimal proportion is 25 g of seeds per glass of liquid (250 ml). As a liquid part, you can use cow, almond, coconut, nut, or soy milk. Since chia seeds do not have a distinct flavor, they are combined with almost any fruit.
- Avocado toast – When you have diabetes you should choose bread products wisely. White bread is made from highly processed white flour and added sugar, so it is not recommended for diabetic breakfast. Choose whole-grain toasts instead, which are richer in fiber and help slow digestion, this, in turn, slows down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. Apart from avocado, you can add boiled eggs to this simple dish to increase protein and healthy fat content.
- Eggs – One large egg contains around 72 calories and 5 grams of protein. It is full of nutrients and arguably the most healthy product you can choose for breakfast. You can consume it boiled or make a healthy omelet with spinach, other veggies or, mushrooms. Keep in mind that both yolk and white contain essential nutrients, make sure to eat both.
For more ideas, you can check our article for Diabetes Foods List.
It is hard to generalize when it comes to diabetes, but according to studies, generally, a low-carb, high protein meal for breakfast is the best choice for most diabetics.
This approach is beneficial for both body weight and blood glucose level control.