Breakfast matters for everyone, but even more for people with diabetes. What you eat in the morning can control your blood sugar, mood, energy, and overall health. But some breakfast choices can mess up your diabetes control and make things worse. Let’s learn about 5 mistakes to avoid and some tasty, healthy breakfast ideas that won’t spike your blood sugar!
Some people with diabetes may think that skipping breakfast is a good way to reduce their calorie intake or avoid high blood sugar spikes. However, this is a bad idea for several reasons. First, skipping breakfast can lower your metabolism and make you more likely to overeat later in the day. Second, skipping breakfast can increase your risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially if you take medication to lower your blood sugar. Third, skipping breakfast can make you feel tired, irritable, and less focused throughout the day.
The solution: Eat a balanced breakfast every day, preferably within an hour of waking up. A balanced breakfast should include a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. This will help you feel full, satisfied, and energized, and keep your blood sugar stable.
Mistake #2: Eating Too Many Carbs
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body, and they also raise your blood sugar levels. However, not all carbs are created equal. Some carbs, such as refined grains, added sugars, and processed foods, are digested quickly and cause rapid spikes and drops in your blood sugar. These can lead to cravings, hunger, and mood swings. Other carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are digested slowly and provide steady energy and fiber. These can help you control your appetite, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
The solution: Choose low-glycemic carbs for your breakfast, and limit your portion size. Low-glycemic carbs are those that have a minimal impact on your blood sugar, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and berries. You can use a glycemic index (GI) chart to find out the GI of different foods. A general rule of thumb is to aim for no more than 30 grams of carbs per meal, depending on your individual needs and goals. You can also use a food scale, measuring cups, or your hand to estimate your portions.
Mistake #3: Avoiding Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for your body, and it also plays a key role in your blood sugar control. Protein helps you build and maintain muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and burns calories. Protein also helps you feel full and satisfied, which prevents overeating and snacking. Protein also slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs, which reduces the rise in your blood sugar after a meal.
The solution: Include a source of lean protein in your breakfast, such as eggs, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, or soy. A good amount of protein for breakfast is about 15 to 20 grams, or about the size of your palm. You can also add some spices, herbs, or cheese to your protein to enhance the flavor and variety.
Mistake #4: Forgetting Fiber
Fiber is another important nutrient for your health and blood sugar control. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Fiber helps you lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. Fiber also helps you regulate your bowel movements and prevent constipation. Fiber also helps you feel full and satisfied, which reduces your calorie intake and blood sugar spikes.
The solution: Eat more high-fiber foods for your breakfast, such as oatmeal, bran cereal, whole-wheat bread, apples, pears, or berries. A good amount of fiber for breakfast is about 5 to 10 grams, or about the size of your fist. You can also add some flaxseeds, chia seeds, or psyllium husk to your breakfast to boost your fiber intake.
Mistake #5: Drinking Sugary Beverages
Many people like to drink coffee, tea, juice, or milk with their breakfast. However, some of these beverages can contain a lot of added sugar, which can raise your blood sugar and add extra calories to your meal. For example, a 12-ounce (355-ml) glass of orange juice can have about 36 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 9 teaspoons of sugar. A 16-ounce (473-ml) latte can have about 25 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar.
The solution: Drink water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee with your breakfast, or limit your portion size of other beverages. You can also add some cinnamon, vanilla, or stevia to your coffee or tea to enhance the flavor without adding sugar. If you drink juice, choose 100% fruit juice and limit your intake to 4 ounces (118 ml) per day. If you drink milk, choose low-fat or nonfat milk and limit your intake to 8 ounces (237 ml) per day.
Breakfast is a crucial meal for people with diabetes, as it can affect your blood sugar levels, your mood, your energy, and your overall health. By avoiding these five common breakfast mistakes, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious breakfast that will keep you satisfied and in control of your diabetes. Here are some examples of healthy and delicious breakfast options that you can try:
- Oatmeal with fresh berries, nuts, and low-fat milk
- Scrambled eggs with spinach, mushroom, and cheese on whole-wheat toast
- Greek yogurt with granola, chia seeds, and sliced banana
- Whole-wheat pancakes with peanut butter and sugar-free syrup
- Overnight chia seed pudding with almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon
- Sourdough bread with avocado, tomato, and poached egg
- Smoothie with spinach, kale, cucumber, apple, and protein powder
We hope you found this post helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and have a great day!