It’s not unusual for people with diabetes to be more insulin resistant and see higher glucose levels after a night of shut-eye. That’s because growth hormone, cortisol, and adrenaline hormones are revving us up for the day, creating insulin resistance. If your blood sugars tend to be higher in the mornings because of insulin resistance, figuring out what to eat for breakfast might be tricky.
Read on to find out foods to eat with diabetes and good breakfast examples for diabetes that are low in carbs and high in must-have nutrients.
What can you eat when you have diabetes?
Many people believe that having diabetes means a laundry list of off-limit foods and your favorite foods becoming forbidden foods. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to ditch your favorite buttermilk pancakes or blueberry muffins at breakfast time, but it is best to enjoy these foods in moderation. Eating well with diabetes is less about what you’re eating and more about how much you’re eating and how often. You can follow the "plate method" to control your portions.
It’s essential to build your breakfast by combining must-have nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and fiber which help keep blood sugars balanced and also help keep you full and fueled. Bread, fruit, and nuts are popular items to eat at breakfast that fit nicely into a healthy diabetes meal plan because of their nutrient benefits.
Get diabetes care that fits your life
Are you looking to live a healthier life but don't know where to start? Talk to our Care Team of Diabetes Care Specialists and Registered Nutritionists to discuss the first steps.
Best breads for people with diabetes
Bread is a common breakfast food that many fear will sabotage their blood sugar levels. If you enjoy toast or an egg sandwich for breakfast, you can use more suitable types of bread for diabetes.
The best breads for people with diabetes are nutrient-rich with fiber, and some examples are 100% whole grain bread, sprouted grain bread, or sourdough. Certain breads contain fewer carbs and calories than others such as cauliflower-based bread, sandwich thins, and bagel thins.
Best fruits for people with diabetes
Another misconception about living with diabetes is that fruit is bad for your blood sugars. While fruit juices and canned fruits in syrup aren’t the best choices when you have diabetes, whole fruits offer fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that go beyond helping diabetes but support overall health. Berries, in particular, are lower in sugar than other whole fruits, making them an excellent diabetes-friendly fruit. Other choices include grapes, pineapples, apricots, citrus fruits, kiwi, and nectarines. Once in a while, a small amount of dried fruit pairs nicely on top of a spinach salad, however, it helps to eat dried fruit less often because they are heavy laden with sugars.
Best nuts for diabetics
Whether it’s crushed walnuts mixed into yogurt or chopped pecans topping your oatmeal, nuts make an excellent breakfast addition for people with diabetes because of their richness in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients help you feel full and satisfied while keeping your blood sugars from rising too quickly. Nuts are higher in calories so sticking to a small serving size is the best way to eat them in moderation. The best nuts for diabetics are low salt or salt-free nuts that you like to eat.
7 tasty breakfast recipes
Here are seven tasty and nutritious diabetes-friendly breakfast ideas that incorporate bread, fruits, nuts, and more!
- One-fourth slice of Veggie frittata + a clementine
- Two scrambled eggs + ½ cup of berries
- ½ cup Steel-cut oats + 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter + 1 teaspoon low sugar jam
- One cup Chia seed pudding
- One of slice whole-grain toast + ¼ cup of avocado slices + 1 fried egg
- Two Almond flour pancakes topped with 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt + ½ cup berries + ¼ cup sliced almonds
Are you concerned about your morning blood sugar levels?
Eating a healthy breakfast is an essential part of managing your diabetes. What’s also crucial is knowing your diabetes lab values which can help you stay on top of your health and in control of your diabetes. You can check how different foods affect your blood glucose by using a blood glucose meter to check your glucose before and 1-2 hours after your meal. Work with your 9am.health Care Team to help you learn how different meals affect your glucose and find the best breakfast for you!