When Breakfast Time Meets Diabetes
Last updated: October 2021
It's said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But now that you are living with diabetes, it may feel as though your favorite breakfast options are off-limits. Cereal, oatmeal, muffins, and bagels are all loaded with carbohydrates and often added sugars. Breakfast can mostly seem like a challenge. So how do you make the best choices for this ever-important meal? Let’s check out some breakfast ideas for type 2 diabetes management!
Breakfast does not have to be totally carb-free
Depending on your medication and insulin regimen, as well as your recommendations from your doctor, you do not necessarily have to cut all carbs from your breakfast table. Instead, reconfiguring portion sizes may be enough to help your body and its glucose levels. Here are some easy ways to substitute a few favorite morning carbohydrates.
Portion control the carbohydrates
- Instead of a whole bagel, choose only half, or a mini bagel.
- Choose cereals made from whole grains with lower levels of added sugars (aim for 8 grams of added sugar or less).
- Try making your own oatmeal. Pre-packaged oatmeal is loaded with added sugars. Start with plain oatmeal and add your own toppings like nuts or peanut butter.
- Try eating muffins made from whole grains, and start with half a muffin to see how your glucose levels react.
Add protein or healthy fats to your breakfast
If you are going to decrease the portion of carbohydrate intake at breakfast, you may be wondering how you will stay full. Adding healthy fats and/or protein will help you to maintain satiety until lunchtime comes around. Here are a few options for more complete breakfasts that are not only lower in carbohydrates, but are also going to help you stay full!
- Top bagels or toast with peanut butter or nut butter instead of cream cheese.
- Top pancakes or waffles with peanut butter in place of syrup.
- Choose low sugar, high protein options such as TwoGood yogurt and top with nuts.
- Top your bagel with an egg.
Fruit and fruit juice contain a lot of sugar
Many people feel that fruit or juice needs to be part of a balanced breakfast. While fruit has many nutritional benefits, fruits and fruit juices can be loaded with sugar and intake needs to be monitored when you are living with diabetes. Try choosing lower sugar options such as berries, and adding them on top of your yogurt or peanut butter topped bagel.
Incorporate vegetables into the meal
Another breakfast idea is to add vegetables into the mix. Vegetables are a great addition to breakfast in omelets, scrambled eggs, or egg bakes, and often have tons of nutrient benefits without the added sugars.
Quick breakfast ideas for type 2 diabetes
Tackling a healthy breakfast while living with diabetes can be tasty and balanced in your diet. Try remembering a few key points when grocery shopping, making your own breakfast or choosing breakfast options while out at a restaurant.
- Watch for carbohydrate portion sizes.
- Be sure to add a protein or healthy fat to increase satiety.
- Monitor fruit intake at breakfast and count it towards your daily carbohydrate allowance.
- Be sure to speak to your doctor about any questions you may have!
Do you find it difficult to "eat right" and stick to a nutrition plan?