Healthy Breakfast Foods for Type 2 Diabetes. As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But some people may skip breakfast because they’re in a hurry or don’t care for breakfast foods. However, that’s never a good idea, especially if you have type 2 diabetes.
“The point of breakfast is that it breaks that ‘fast’ from overnight,” says Christie Hust, RD, LD, an instructor with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing and a diabetes counselor at the Larry Combest Community Health and Wellness Center in Lubbock, Texas.
Among the many reasons to eat a morning meal, breakfast matters because if you skip it you may slow your metabolism, which will make it harder for you to lose weight — and when you have diabetes, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and put less stress on your body. And since you need to eat at regular intervals to keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day, eating breakfast starts your day off right.
“If you eat a good diabetes breakfast, you won’t be starving come lunchtime and be tempted to overeat the rest of the day,” Hust says.
Healthy Breakfast Foods for Type 2 Diabetes
Build a well-balanced diabetes breakfast from these nutritious foods:
- Whole grains
- Fresh fruits and vegetable
- Lean meats such as turkey bacon or turkey sausage
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy such as fat-free milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese
- Heart-healthy fats (in small amounts) such as canola or vegetable oil
Not on the list of healthy breakfast foods: loading your coffee or tea with sugar and cream and drinking sweet fruit juices. If you crave orange juice, go for the low-sugar, high-pulp varieties. Better yet, eat half an orange rather than drinking a glass of orange juice because the fruit has more fiber and less sugar.
If you prefer cold cereal to oatmeal or a slice of whole-wheat toast, look for cereals that are low in sugar and high in fiber for a healthy, low-carb breakfast. There are a number of healthy cereal choices on the grocery store shelves. If you want sweet cereal, mix it with a healthier cereal that has less sugar. And include some protein, such as egg whites, along with fiber in your breakfast to keep you fuller longer, Hust says.
Although healthy breakfast foods are a good way to start your day, watch portion sizes — it’s important to not overeat. Read food labels to determine accurate portion sizes, and use measuring cups so you’re not guessing about quantities.
Healthy Diabetes Breakfast Foods With Flare
Your diabetes breakfast doesn’t have to be the same cereal every morning, especially if your goal is a low-carb breakfast. Here are some type 2 diabetes diet breakfast ideas worth waking up to:
- Shake it up. Make a breakfast shake by blending a cup of fat-free or nonfat yogurt with ½ cup berries and 1 teaspoon each of wheat germ and your favorite nut butter. “Use whatever fruit is in season because it’s fresher and tastes better,” says Ann Fittante, MS, RD, a diabetes educator at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
- Try a hot potato. Take half of a leftover baked potato and top it with low-fat cheddar cheese and salsa. Reheat it in a toaster oven or microwave until the cheese melts.
- Make healthier eggs. Make an egg-white omelet, which is a great source of protein. Add some chopped spinach, diced onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms to get your fill of vegetables, too. Serve it with a slice of whole-wheat toast.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet throughout the day can help you better manage diabetes and have more energy. Use these nutritious diabetes breakfast tips to start your daily diet off right.