If you have diabetes and must monitor your carbohydrate and sugar levels more closely, what you eat makes all the difference, as food intake can elevate blood sugar (and some foods will do so quicker and more aggressively than others!).
Of course, sweets raise blood sugar and create spikes—pastries, processed juices and candy bars are some examples. However, other carbohydrates-laden foods and fruit also do, despite factors that make them good for you, otherwise. Fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains like quinoa, will affect blood sugar more, but they have excellent fiber and essential vitamins and minerals to make them worth keeping in the diet, but in proper serving sizes.
What’s more, you can better balance and stabilize levels as well as prevent spikes by including protein as a complement to fiber. Eating a breakfast that’s rich in both fiber and protein, and lower in sugar and carbs—with sugar coming from natural sources, as opposed to added or processed ones—is key.
This way, you’ll get the greatest benefits for blood sugar regulation as well as a supply of nutrients that’ll fuel your morning and get the day started off on a high note. Plus, the fuel will keep hunger away so you can be productive and focused. These are some diabetic-friendly breakfast ideas to try now.
“Eggs” Whole Grain Toast and Avocado
Clean and simple, this classic combination of fiber, protein and healthy fats increases satiety, is versatile (you can play with the other toppings, spices and flavors) and never really gets old.
And you can enjoy this diabetics approved breakfast on the go if you meal prep in advance, depending on how the ingredients are used. Eggs are a staple “leftovers” ingredient, too, and you can get plant-based eggs as a substitute for real eggs if you follow a vegan diet without compromising nutrition or flavor.
Just Egg for example tastes like eggs and has batter, a fold variety and sous vide bites—the latter two being microwavable-ready and handy for when you’re low on time. A Just Egg Folded on top of mashed avocado over whole grain, as well as leftover “egg” scramble or fried rice, stuffed into a cauliflower or whole grain tortilla with guacamole are two examples.
Unsweetened Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds have gut-healthy fiber to improve digestion and keep you well, along with ample protein and omega-3 fats to fill you up for longer and keep blood sugar in check. As long as you keep sugar low, it’s a great vehicle for many diabetes-friendly toppings.
Some examples include low-sugar and high-fiber fruits, like berries, nut butter and whole nuts or seeds, sliced avocado, dark antioxidant-rich chocolate and cacao. (The darker, the better—there’s more antioxidants inside as the percentage increases!) Add pistachios and a dollop of peanut butter with sprinkled blueberries for a delicious chia seed pudding breakfast recipe.
Yogurt With Nuts and Seeds
Don’t like chia seed pudding? You can swap for yogurt, whether it’s a Greek yogurt (if you eat dairy) or a plant version, like almond yogurt. However, if the latter, go with unsweetened since they tend to be especially high in sugar and double up on the protein. Toppings might include two kinds of nuts or both nuts and seeds, instead of one serving.
Tofu Scramble with Leafy Greens and Bell Peppers
Tofu is a plant protein that’s high in its content, and more comparable to that of traditional animal sources of protein, and it has a mild flavor, meaning it’s versatile and takes on the flavors of whatever else it’s paired with. Adding fibrous leafy greens to the scramble builds on some protein and provides fiber to keep sugar balanced.
Plus, they’re naturally low in sugar too. Bell peppers have antioxidants to improve heart health and fiber, which means they’re a great diabetes-friendly scramble ingredient. Stuff the scramble into a whole grain tortilla wrap or enjoy it over a bed of lettuce, mixed greens and arugula, or cauliflower rice, instead.