7 Essential Breakfast Rules for People with Diabetes
Breakfast is one of the most often skipped meals – and one of the biggest mistakes one can make in their diet. Why?
Since you’re about to start the day, your body needs a healthy dose of nutrients that provide it with energy until the next meal. Skipping breakfast may also increase the risk for developing digestive issues such as irregular bowel movements and cramps, while also increasing the likelihood of giving in to unhealthy cravings.
For people with diabetes, enjoying a healthy breakfast is even more important.
Melissa Joy Dobbins, spokesperson for the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, explains that those diagnosed with diabetes can have many fluctuations in blood sugar levels throughout the day. Most of these fluctuations are caused by what and when they eat – and skipping breakfast can lower blood sugar levels significantly.
If you’ve been reading my content for a while, you probably know that I don’t recommend setting strict rules for your diet. However, if you’re suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s important to follow some guidelines in order to stay healthy and happy.
Here are 9 of the most important recommendations nutritionists make for diabetes patients:
Add extra protein
A 2015 study published in The Journal of Nutrition proved that eating a breakfast high in protein helps people with type 2 diabetes prevent post-meal spikes in blood sugar levels.
Melinda Maryniuk, registered dietitian nutritionist in Boston, also notes that most foods that are high in protein offer plenty of healthy fats. Consuming fat can regulate blood sugar levels and provides satiety that helps to prevent hunger by 11 a.m.
Ideally, you should consume at least 5 grams of protein at breakfast. Here are some simple ways to achieve this goal:
- One small egg
- Two-thirds cup of milk
- 5 tablespoons of peanut butter
Additionally, you can also boost your overnight oats with a sprinkle of nuts, toasted sunflower seeds or chia seeds. It may not seem like much to you, but this type of seeds can have a huge beneficial impact for your digestion and blood sugar levels.
Avoid refined carbs
If you want to keep blood sugar levels steady, know that carbohydrates have a major influence. However, it’s the type of carbs you consume that determines whether you’ll get a positive or a negative impact.
Refined carbs, for example, are highly processed and often have chemicals added to them – all of which can bring a spike in blood sugar levels. The most common sources of refined carbs are white bread, flavored cereals and baked goods such as doughnuts.
Instead, you can opt for whole foods that were minimally processed. Some of the best examples are whole grains and fresh fruits.
Another benefit of whole grains? It can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 17%; you can see more info on this topic in this post.
Aside from being a very versatile ingredient, oatmeal is also one of the most diabetes-friendly choices you can make for breakfast. With 4 grams of fiber per cup, this nutrient-rich cereal can regulate your blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes.
However, it’s best to double check such products before purchasing them. Many manufacturers are adding refined sugar, preservatives, flavors or other artificial sweeteners to make their oatmeal more appealing; eating such products can only increase your blood sugar levels.
As a much better alternative, you can cook some steel-cut oatmeal on a Sunday and divide it into multiple portions that assure you with a healthy breakfast for the entire week. Before serving, reheat your serving in the microwave and top it with your favorite healthy ingredients.
Not into plain oatmeal? You can still enjoy its benefits by opting for our Delicious Oatmeal Smoothie recipe that’s both filling and tasty!