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How to Make a Great Breakfast Work for Your Diabetes

Image courtesy freeimages.com/P.R.

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

It can be challenging to make time for breakfast, but it’s a wise choice for health, especially when you have diabetes. Breakfast helps you start your metabolism each morning, and a bigger breakfast is advantageous for better blood glucose management and decreased hunger later in the day. Just like fuel helps our cars run, breakfast helps our bodies be at their best.

When you have diabetes, you may be confused about what you can and can’t eat. My recommendation for a diabetes-friendly breakfast is to focus on a high fiber source of carbohydrates, along with protein and fat. (Yes, you can and should eat carbs with diabetes!)

So, for instance, you can have spouted whole grain toast with natural peanut butter and a small side of cottage cheese. That is something you can order at any coffee shop.

Another great diabetes friendly option is 1/3 of an avocado, one to two whole eggs, and spinach on a whole grain English muffin.

But don’t be limited by these recommendations. The sky is the limit when it comes to breakfast and I encourage you to think outside the box. My Diabetes Comfort Food Diet has many options for breakfast. One of my favorites is Hearty Fruit and Nut Granola. This is an easy and tasty granola recipe that you can make ahead for the week, for breakfast, snacks and on-the-go! A really decadent option is my Chocolate-Banana Stuffed French Toast, which features MUFAs and plenty of filling fiber, thanks to whole grain bread and the banana. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up on sweets like chocolate, and as you can see, you can even have them for breakfast! Chocolate-banana stuffed french toast is great for a lazy weekend breakfast or brunch.

The American Diabetes Association also has a fantastic guide on quick breakfast ideas. If you have time, you can whip up their fruit-and-almond smoothie, kale and tomato frittata or zucchini-and-date muffins. If you are pressed for time, the ADA recommends an oatmeal with fruit and nuts (easy to get at Starbucks or Dunkin’), or egg and cheese wrap (also at Dunkin’). Like shakes? I recommend Boost Glucose Control for those trying to manage blood sugar.

I encourage you to experiment with different breakfast options to find the one that works best for your palate, blood sugar and schedule. Breakfast is a vital part of self-care, so make time for it — even when you don’t think you have the time.