A Healthy Diabetes Diet - Start Your Day Off Right
Mornings can be a hectic, and skipping breakfast may seem like an easy way to save time. But when you're managing type 2 diabetes, there are several reasons why having a healthy breakfast is essential. "Eating breakfast helps to regulate blood sugar levels for the rest of the day; it helps to prevent overeating at meals and snacks, which can help prevent consuming too much carbohydrate at one sitting; and it has been found to be beneficial in promoting healthy weight maintenance," says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Need more convincing? According to a study published in the February 2014 issue of the journal Chronobiology International, skipping breakfast can make it harder to control blood sugar levels, as evidenced by higher levels of A1C, the blood test that can indicate how well you're managing your diabetes over time. Not eating breakfast is especially problematic for those who like to go to bed late and wake up late.
People with type 2 diabetes are already at risk for coronary heart disease, and regularly skipping breakfast may increase that risk even more, according to a study published in the July 2013 issue of Circulation.
If you have type 2 diabetes, make having a healthy breakfast a daily priority. These tips can get you headed in the right direction.
Fill Your Plate Thoughtfully
There's no one-size-fits-all diabetes diet, but there are smart rules that apply to almost everyone. Grabbing a bagel or a doughnut isn't a healthy breakfast choice because the carbohydrates in these foods can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, Palinski-Wade says. Getting the right balance of nutrients is key. People with the best blood sugar control not only have breakfast on a regular basis but also tend to plan out their morning meals in advance, she adds.
For a filling breakfast that promotes healthy blood sugar levels and boosts energy, Palinski-Wade suggests a combination of 10 to 15 grams of protein along with 15 grams of carbohydrates from a whole grain and one serving of fruit or vegetables. "The fiber from the whole grain and the protein will help to slow digestion, allowing you to feel satisfied for hours and preventing spikes and drops in blood sugar levels," she says.
Know What Foods to Avoid
Being mindful of how much sugar you eat is always essential with diabetes, and it's especially important to watch at breakfast. "Many individuals are most insulin-resistant in the morning, so even small amounts of added sugar may impact blood sugar levels more at breakfast than at other times of day," Palinski-Wade says. Doughnuts, pastries, cold cereal, and other foods high in sugar may give you a temporary sugar high, but it can wear off quickly and lead to a blood sugar crash.
Your morning beverage matters, too. Skip that sugary mochaccino and sip on black coffee with low-fat milk and a dash of cinnamon for flavor. Avoid soda and limit your intake of fruit juices, as well. If you're craving something sweet, try a serving of fruit with your breakfast instead.
You also want to skip processed meats such as sausage and bacon, which can increase heart disease risk and promote weight gain, Palinski-Wade says. Low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, and nut butters are healthier protein choices.
Snag This Menu
Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy staples fruits, nuts, eggs, low-fat milk and cottage cheese, veggies, and a variety of whole grains to make it easier to put together a good breakfast.
To get you started on morning menu planning, Palinski-Wade suggests these combos that fit the bill:
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 3/4 cup blueberries, and six whole-grain crackers
- Two scrambled eggs with one slice of 100 percent whole-grain toast and a medium apple
- A breakfast smoothie made with 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Make Smart Choices on the Run
How can you stick to your breakfast routine when you're short on time? It's still possible to enjoy a healthy breakfast when you're on the go and grabbing food at a restaurant or store is your only option. On the mornings you need to reach for something quick, the American Diabetes Association suggests these choices:
A small fruit and yogurt parfait with nuts
A breakfast sandwich or wrap of eggs and cheese; pile on the veggies if possible and skip the bacon or sausage
An order of oatmeal with a sprinkle of fruit (fresh or dried) and nuts
In a pinch, a package of nuts and a piece of fruit
If you're traveling and your hotel room has a minibar, consider stocking it with some of the essentials you keep at home so that you're ready to start each morning with a plan to keep your type 2 diabetes in check.
By keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy breakfast options and planning ahead for when you're on the go, you can start every morning off with a balanced meal to help you manage your blood sugar and maintain energy throughout the day.Kindly contact us if you need any of these products or click on any to order/purchase online.
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