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Making the Most of Sunday Brunch With Type 2 Diabetes

Last updated: June 2022

Let's face it; brunch is a vibe! It's all about celebrating the weekend, spending time with friends, and enjoying all-day breakfast foods. But it can also be an environment that may feel challenging to keep blood sugar levels steady and your health goals in check.

Have some breakfast before your brunch

While it may feel like you are eating 2 meals at once, think of brunch as enjoying breakfast options for lunch. The reality is that brunch tends to be late morning, leaving your stomach running on empty for hours. So, kick the "save the calories for later" mentality to the curb!

Going into a brunch date later in the morning while on an empty stomach can lead you to overconsume. For some, this deviation from your health goals may cause unnecessary feelings of guilt or disappointment, ultimately taking away from your enjoyment.

3 protein-filled pre-brunch breakfast ideas

Making positive food decisions while "hangry" is challenging. Food cravings stem from a physiological demand for quick-digesting, calorie-dense foods. So, cut yourself some slack. Instead, help prevent this negative cycle by including a fiber-filled snack or mini-meal before brunch to help curb your appetite. Here are 3 breakfast ideas to start your morning.

1. Chia seed pudding

These mighty seeds are packed with fiber. Each tablespoon contains 3 grams of fiber. Customize your chia seed pudding by adding berries, nut butter, or fruit compote.

2. Extra protein oats

For these oats, blend a simple protein shake, then use the liquid for cooking your oats. If you prefer a strictly whole-food approach, add egg whites to the pot when your oats are fully cooked. Constantly whisk the cooked oats to create a fluffy texture.

3. Fiber bites

Create a bite-sized snack by combining ground flax seeds, oats, nut butter, sugar-free dark chocolate chips, and a small amount of honey. Then, roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and store them in the fridge. It's a delicious way to curb your hunger with a quick bite!

Embrace balanced eating at brunch

Many classic brunch menu items tend to be different variations of simple carbohydrates, like pancakes, waffles, and pastries. Usually, toppings like syrup and jelly are high in sugar.

But you don't need to give up your favorite brunch items to satisfy your health and diabetes goals.

Instead, these are 4 healthy approaches you can try when eating out to help prevent drastic blood sugar fluctuations, all while satisfying your tastebuds.

1. Go "nuts" for nuts

Create a sweet yet savory creation by swapping maple syrup topping with your favorite nut butter on pancakes or waffles. This will add balance to your brunch by reducing sugars and introducing satiating healthy fats. You can blend raspberries with syrup to add fiber and cut down on concentrated sugar for brunch at home.

2. Embrace whole grains

When available at brunch, choose whole-grain toast or menu options instead. They provide additional fiber to help improve feelings of fullness and satiety. Whole grains contain more antioxidants compared to refined flours!

3. Manage portion sizes

Many restaurants offer extra-large portion sizes. Be mindful of the portion size that is adequate to satisfy your hunger and diabetes management goals. Then, pair your favorite brunch dish with protein to balance simple carbohydrates.

4. Skip the bottomless option

While bottomless brunch may sound appealing, unlimited anything is likely to contribute to accidental overconsumption. Since bottomless brunch tends to come at a premium price, it's natural to strive to make the never-ending drinks or food worth the added dollar.

If you want to embrace the boozy brunch, that's okay! Do so in moderation, limiting your consumption and monitoring your blood sugar. But excessive consumption of alcohol can influence food decisions, contribute to calorie intake, and negatively impact type 2 diabetes management. When drinking water feels boring, choose a sparkling option with fresh lemon or orange! Or order unsweetened iced tea, coffee with low-fat milk, or a cup of matcha.

Moderation is key

While at brunch, avoid being influenced by other people's choices by sticking to the foods and beverages you feel comfortable consuming. Everyone can enjoy brunch without feeling like they are missing out!

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