You've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can speed up your metabolism, prevent food cravings, and help you lose weight. If you have diabetes, breakfast plays another important role: It can help stabilize your blood sugar level in the morning.
However, many people skip breakfast because they simply don't have time to prepare gourmet food. Eating cereals can be a great idea because they are quick and easy to prepare. It is also much better than eating nothing.
However, when it comes to porridge, you have to be selective. Here's how to choose the best dish for your diabetes.
Breakfast and blood sugar
Research shows that starting the day with a breakfast high in fat, protein, and low in carbohydrates can help stabilize blood sugar levels and control weight in people with diabetes. Protein and fat can help you feel full longer. This means that you are likely to eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Also, high blood sugar levels in the morning are common in people with diabetes. Blood sugar levels can also spike after breakfast, which can lead to a vicious cycle. High blood sugar can cause you to crave more carbohydrates, and consuming more calories and carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to rise.
Can cereals be beneficial?
Certainly some grains are healthier than others. There are many processed grains on the market that are high in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, none of which are suitable for diabetes.
Your goal: eat whole grains with 6 grams of sugar and a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per serving. Whole grains tend to be higher in fiber and often contain high-protein ingredients like nuts. Additionally, whole grains have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, which is common in people with diabetes.
If you choose wisely and keep track of your portions, you can feast on cereal. Plus, grains fortified with vitamins and minerals can even help you meet your nutritional needs.
If you have diabetes, it is best to eat cereal before exercising. Physical activity helps burn sugar or glucose. If you are taking oral medications or insulin to control your blood sugar, you may need to eat carbohydrates before exercise to prevent low blood sugar during exercise.
Tips for making non-diabetic cereals
If you choose to eat cereal for breakfast, here are some tips to help you reduce your carbohydrates and make your morning meal more suitable for diabetes.
- Try hot cereal – use oatmeal, quinoa, or another whole grain mix. Add chopped nuts or nut butter to add fiber, protein, and healthy fats. For example: combine 1/2 cup of boiled oatmeal with 3/4 cup of blueberries and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts sprinkled with cinnamon.
- Limit yourself to one serving : Measure out the cereal with a measuring cup and use a small bowl to make the serving appear larger.
- Read Ingredients : You will know that cereal is made from whole grains if the first ingredient on the list says 'whole'. When checking the label, also look for a brand that contains at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 6 grams of sugar.
- Don't Add Sweeteners – Avoid adding nuts, sugar, or other sweeteners like agave, honey, or table sugar.
- Add Fiber : Increase fiber with high-fiber fruits like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries.
- Choose almond milk . Unsweetened almond milk contains fewer carbohydrates than cow's milk.
- For a yogurt parfait , skip the milk and use low-fat Greek yogurt to increase protein and reduce carbohydrates.
When shopping for cereals, look at the following words on your food label to make sure you are choosing whole grains.
- Integral rice
- Wheat bran
- Whole corn / cornmeal
- Whole buckwheat
- Whole grain spelled flakes
- Whole oatmeal
- Whole wheat flour
- Wild rice
Common hidden sweeteners
Finding hidden sugars in the ingredient list may take some detective work. Here are some terms manufacturers can use to describe the sweeteners added to their cereal.
- Agave nectar
- brown sugar
- Cane and sugar crystals
- Corn syrup and sweetener
- Crystalline fructose
- Condensed cane juice
- Fruit juice concentrates
- High fructose corn syrup
- Maple syrup
- Malt syrup
- Raw sugar
Choosing the right brand
If you have diabetes, you can determine which grains are best for you by checking your blood sugar before and two hours after eating. If you have normal blood sugar levels , porridge is a good choice.
Many people say that the following brands of cold cereal keep their blood sugar stable (and have a full stomach):
- Barbara's Bakery Puffins (rice with cinnamon and honey)
- Cascadian Purely O's Organic Farm
- Fiber one
- Porridge (some varieties like puffed rice, GoLean)
- All Kellogg bran
- Kellogg's Special K High Protein – High Protein
- Quaker Crispy Corn Bran
- Postal bran flakes
Cereal is not the best breakfast option for anyone with diabetes, but it may be better than eating nothing at all. In fact, the right cereal can add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet, as well as prevent hypoglycemia.
The key is to read the ingredients, stick to one serving, and keep track of your supplements. Choose whole grains with 6 grams of sugar and a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per serving. If possible, enjoy a bowl before training to burn off excess sugar.
Get the word of drug information
A diabetic breakfast will help keep your blood sugar level stable throughout the day. Eating right in the morning can also help control your weight by keeping you full and not overeating at your next meal. While flakes aren't ideal, they can work with a few modifications.