Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even more so for people with diabetes. Post dinner and overnight sleep, our body is in a state of ‘overnight fasting’, which provokes our liver to release glucose in the bloodstream, so that we have the energy to get up from the bed and move about until we have our breakfast. This phenomenon is known as The Dawn Phenomenon. Without a proper breakfast, the high glucose levels tend to remain high and can even rise if you skip meals and stay hungry for a long time.
The first meal should be diabetes friendly, it sets the tone and energy levels for the rest of the day. It is recommended to eat a nutritious and fulfilling breakfast for an energy-filled start to an active day. Moreover, a study conducted in Israel indicated that what time of the day you eat and how often you eat is more important than what and how many calories you eat. People who have a fulfilling breakfast are likely to feel fuller and more active throughout the day. This helps in avoiding overeating and too many carbs, which is not beneficial for keeping blood sugar under control.
What can I eat for breakfast with diabetes?
Sometimes, even when you get up early and take out time to have breakfast, you might not know what the perfect breakfast for diabetics is or might be in search of something out of the ordinary to eat.
An ideal breakfast for diabetes is one that is rich in protein, fibre content, and provides healthy fat to the body and offers low-to-moderate amounts of carbs. As for the ideal food options, here is a list of items you can include in your meal when you have diabetes:
Absolutely savoury, eggs are one of the most protein-enriched food options out there. They can also be easily mixed with many other food items for versatility. Moreover, eggs themselves can be enjoyed in many ways such as:
- Poached eggs
- Scramble eggs
- Egg Salad
- Boiled eggs
Additionally, they offer less than 1 g of carbohydrates, along with 6 g of protein, and 70 calories per large egg.
An average oatmeal serving of half a cup of oats and one cup of water offers 5.4 g of protein, 4.1 g of fibre, 154 calories, and 27.4 g of carbs. Like eggs, oats are also a flexible and versatile source of protein with low carb content. Meals that you can enjoy with oats as an ingredient include:
- Oatmeal pancakes
- Overnight oatmeal with milk
- Oatmeal bowl
- Oatmeal preparation with berries, yoghurt, nuts or seeds and cinnamon.
Low-fat Greek yoghurt
Dairy products like Greek yoghurt are also good breakfast options that do not cause a spike in sugar levels and provide you with energy for the day. It is supposed that dairy products are good for diabetics since the probiotics in them help in breaking down and processing sugar.
A 150 g serving of Greek yoghurt usually contains 16 g of protein, 13 g of carbs and 121 calories.
Avocado is another one of the super-tasty and easily accessible breakfast go-to’s for diabetics. It is a good source of fatty acids and fibre for the body. Avocados can be enjoyed in quite different ways:
- Avocado spread on multigrain toast
- Classic Avocado Toast
- Meyer lemon avocado toast
A slice of toast with avocado generally contains 3 g of protein, 15 g of carbs, and 160 calories.
Mixed fruit bowls
A bowl of freshly cut fruits with savoury dressing can also make up for a delicious meal in the morning. Mixed Fruit with Lemon-Basil Dressing by Taste Of Home is one such recipe.
A mixture of fruits like kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, berries and watermelon can provide a refreshing start to your day. It usually contains 14 g of carbs, 1 g of protein, and 145 calories.
The bottom line
The saying “Eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a beggar” is completely true, especially for people with diabetes. It is ideal to not skip breakfast, in order to avoid increasing blood sugar levels. A good breakfast for diabetics includes rich protein and fibre content, with moderate amounts of healthy fats and low carbs. The most accessible, delicious and versatile food options for breakfast include eggs, oats, fruits, and dairy products like yoghurt and avocados.