Best Cereal For Diabetics: 10 Breakfast Choices Without The Guilt
Managing diabetes means you’re always aware of your blood glucose levels. Your glycemic index goes hand in hand with what carbohydrates and sugars your body needs to process. But that doesn’t necessarily mean breakfast cereal can’t be part included in healthy eating for a diabetes diet. There are still some great breakfast options out there for diabetics. So, what are the best cereals for diabetics?
The best breakfast for managing diabetes can include cereal options. Ideally, a breakfast that will keep your blood sugar levels from spiking will include protein, healthy fats, high fiber, low carbs, and will be low in added sugar. A registered dietitian can give you breakfast ideas that will work for your medical needs.
When reading cereal boxes, look for cereals that list a whole grain as the first ingredient. Whole grain cereals give you more bang for your buck, with more fiber to lower your risk of heart disease as well as keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Cereals with a low GI are digested more slowly which helps cut down on blood sugar spikes after meals. Whole grains to look for include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, oat bran, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, and real oatmeal. The American Diabetes Association also has great information about suggested meal plans if you’re still not sure what to pick.
Cinnamon raisin biblical goodness to start your day.
Making Low Carb Breads At Home
Baking breads at home is going to be your best option. And its actually very easy to do if you know how.
For instance, we have a wholemeal bread where you put all the ingredients into a food processor, blend, pour into a loaf pan and bake. Easy prep, easy cook. And best of all, its just 1 gram net carbs per slice!
Since low carb breads use almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, and sesame flour, it can be an expensive trial and error because you cant use low carb flours in the same way as you do regular wheat or gluten free flours.
Thats why we created the Low Carb Breads Masterclass it takes the guesswork out of making low carb breads at home and provides over 30 recipes and cooking classes to choose from. You can whiz up low carb breads you and the family enjoy, without wasting any ingredients!
Another example is our 3 Minute Bun. It is ZERO net carbs and can be loaded with any of your favorite fillings.
Why Most Breakfast Cereals Arent Great For Diabetes
A peculiar thing you may have noticed when trying to dose your insulin for traditional cereals is that your blood sugar still spikes high despite measuring every detail and accounting for every gram of carb.
Overall, cereal is a highly processed food explains Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN, diabetes health coach whos lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 30 years. And regardless of the fiber and carb content, if the product is made from grains or corn, its going to do a great job at quickly breaking down into glucose and getting into the bloodstream, spiking your blood sugar.
In other words:Most grain-based cereals are so processed and void of real nutrients that your body doesnt have to do much to break them down. Instead, theyre digested rapidly, raising your blood glucose as if you ate 60 grams of carbs when you only ate 30. And sure enough, within an hour or two, youre starving again.
If a grain-based cereal is truly desired, make it an occasional thing, advises Schmidt. Keep the portion low, allow for an extended pre-bolus, and pair it with a protein or fat dominant food to help prevent your blood sugar from rising too rapidly.
Instead, lets take a look at the few breakfast cereals that people with diabetes can feel good about eating, and actually feel good after eating, too!
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Is Bread Better Than Cereal For A Diabetic
This is another question that often gets asked and the answer is yes. If you had to choose, a slice of bread over most breakfast cereals would be a better choice any day because most cereals are way too high in sugar.
Of course, not all breakfast cereals are made alike, but generally speaking, bread will contain less carbs, and far less sugar than most common breakfast cereals.
What Is The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index, or GI, measures how quickly carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, its best to choose foods with lower GI ratings. They take longer to digest, which can help prevent spikes in your blood sugar.
- low-GI foods have a rating of 55 or less
- medium-GI foods have a rating of 56-69
- high-GI foods have a rating of 70-100
Mixing foods can influence how they digest and adsorb into your blood, and ultimately their GI rating. For example, eating high-ranked GI cereal with Greek yogurt, nuts, or other low-ranked GI foods can slow your digestion and limit spikes in your blood sugar.
Vegetarian Eggs And Lentils On Toast
The old standby breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast can be a healthy way to start the day. And you can mix it up somewhat and still have a diabetes-friendly meal. Try this vegetarian lentils and egg toast dish from Amy Gorin, RDN, whos based in Jersey City, New Jersey.
You get a sunny-side up egg on each slice of toast. That egg, in addition to the lentils, provides satiating protein to keep you fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable, says Gorin. According to the USDA, one large egg contains 6.4 g of protein, in addition to 231 micrograms of lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are associated with eye health, which is a particular concern for people with diabetes, Gorin adds. As for the lentils, this vegetarian staple is associated with a lower risk for diabetes and better diabetes management, thanks to their hypoglycemic effect, according to a International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Each serving of the recipe has about 60 g of carbs and 20 g of fiber , Gorin says. Youre also scoring a satisfying 25 g of protein in total per serving.
Shredded Whole Wheat Cereal
When a diabetic patient has shredded wheat cereal mixed with low-fat milk, it can be a healthy choice for his/her breakfast. The reason for this is that it is rich in fiber and does not contain any kind of sugar salt. Yet, you should be careful with the veggies as they can have added sugar in them. Instead, start including healthy fruits such as a banana or berries.
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What Should Diabetics Eat For Breakfast
Here are seven diabetes-friendly breakfast ideas to help you stay healthy and get on with your day.
- Breakfast Shake.
- Bagel Thins With Nut Butter.
- Almonds and Fruit.
Consequently, what is the best cereal for a diabetic to eat?
According to the American Diabetes Association, rolled oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal, and oat bran are all low GI foods, with a GI value of 55 or less. Quick oats have a medium GI, with a value of 56-69. Corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, and instant oatmeal are considered high GI foods, with a value of 70 or more.
Similarly, can diabetics eat bacon and eggs? If you have diabetes, you should limit egg consumption to three a week. If you only eat egg whites, you can feel comfortable eating more. Likewise, don’t serve eggs with high-fat, high-sodium bacon or sausage very often. A hard-boiled egg is a handy high-protein snack if you have diabetes.
Also know, how many eggs can a diabetic have in a day?
A study published in January 2016 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests there’s no link between occasionally eating eggs and developing type 2 diabetes, but people who eat three or more eggs per week are at a slightly higher risk of developing the disease.
What should I eat for diabetes?
Here are the 16 best foods for diabetics, both type 1 and type 2.
Top Your Cereal With Protein And Healthy Fats
Speaking of feeling full and energized, you may want to try topping up your cereal with some high-protein and healthy fats too. That’s because protein also plays a crucial role in helping you feel and stay full, encourages you to make better food choices throughout the day, and can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Healthy fats are healthy, because unlike the fats that a dietitian would frown upon, these fats provide you with extra nutrition and fiber.
Wondering what kind of protein or healthy fats to add to your breakfast cereal? Try these:
- Greek yogurt
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Sourdough Bread And Diabetes
Sourdough bread is made by traditional methods, where the starter dough is fermented to provide the rise in the bread instead of yeast and sugar. Surprisingly, this bread making method is much better for us.
Making sourdough produces beneficial gut bacteria that help with digestion, and this has a strong impact on how it then influences the blood sugar response.
As a consequence, sourdough breads are lower in GI:
- sourdough rye bread 48
- 80% barley bread made via sourdough 53-66
- sourdough wheat bread 54
So having a slice of sourdough is going to be a better choice than most other breads.
But there is a bit more to the story.
Overnight Oatmeal Or Regular Oatmeal
You can also try oatmeal as it’s high in fiber and will keep blood sugar levels under control. For people with diabetes who are looking to eat oatmeal as their breakfast cereal, it’s important to know that some types of oats can be really high in sugar so they should go for steel-cut oats instead since these have a much lower glycemic index than rolled or quick-cooking oats. You may also want to avoid flavored instant oatmeals because these usually contain artificial sweeteners which could lead to weight gain over time or other health problems like insulin resistance.
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Low Carb Bread Options From Netrition
Netrition is another great online store to purchase low carb goods from. If you live in the US, they have a flat rate shipping cost of $5.99, which is much cheaper than Amazon. They also ship worldwide, just make sure to check the shipping guide.
Another great thing is their prices for items are much cheaper too. For example, remember the Mama Lupes Low Carb Tortillas from Amazon were $11.98?
Well, you can get them from Netrition for just $3.89 per pack!
The MiRico Low Carb Bread is $6.39 per loaf, with 3 g net carbs per serve, so if you buy a few loaves at a time it wont cost anymore in shipping so it makes the cost fairly reasonable. MiRico also have low carb bagels, and low carb tortillas too.
But Those Cereals Are Expensive
Yes, yes they are! You know whats cheaper? A couple of eggs over easy and a big pile of sauteed greens with nuts. There are all kinds of ways to eat a low-carb breakfast and ditch the processed products entirely. I have even collected a long list of the best low-carb recipe ideas for diabetics.
But you could also create those breakfast cereals for diabetics yourself by simply mixing: unsweetened coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, a little flax meal, a little oat fiber, frozen blueberries, etc. and pouring a little milk on top! Step out of your comfort zone and try some new things.
More Breakfast Tips For Type 2 Diabetes
When you’re planning your healthy breakfast, keep these points in mind:
To get more breakfast ideas and make sure you are eating the right portion sizes and types of foods, work with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes care and education specialist, says Al Bochi. These professionals can help create a meal plan that is right for you.
Check out Diabetes Daily’s article “Why Your Breakfast Matters” to learn more about the importance of your morning meal!
Additional reporting by Hedy Marks.
Easy Breakfast Ideas For Type 2 Diabetes
Make breakfast a no-brainer. These simple ideas will help keep your blood sugar steady and get you on with your day in no time.
For many people, breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day. But if you have type 2 diabetes, breakfast is a must, and eating this meal can have real benefits for your health. Breakfast is especially important for someone who has diabetes, because it helps control blood sugar for the rest of the day, says Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, CDCES, an Atlanta-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the owner of Olive Tree Nutrition.
, agrees that its a crucial meal when youre managing diabetes. Its important for people with diabetes to keep in mind that the first meal of the day sets the tone for how theyll feel as the day progresses, says Stefanski, also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a certified diabetes care and education specialist in York, Pennsylvania.
On the other hand, choosing a breakfast that isnt balanced wont do your blood sugar any favors. As an example, a sugary cereal paired with a plant milk or coffee with a lot of sugar has very little protein or fat, and blood sugar will immediately begin rising, says Stefanski.
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The Best Start Every Day
Whatever your choice for breakfast for your diabetes, it’s important to maintain a regular meal pattern and try to make time to eat breakfast each morning.
This will give you a great head start on your day, providing you with the fuel needed to set about your daily tasks.
If you don’t feel hungry first thing, try keeping a box of healthy cereal or porridge at work. Some people find this can be a better alternative to mid-morning snacking on chocolate biscuits once you start to feel peckish.
Avoid Dried Fruit And Fruit Juices
Dried fruit, especially if it is sweetened, is higher in carbohydrates per serving than natural whole fruit. It also contains more sugar because sugars are often added for flavor and can be lower in fiber if the skin has been removed. Just four tablespoons of raisins will cost you: 120 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and 24 grams of sugar.
Its also best to avoid all fruit juices. Even 100% fruit juice causes instant spikes in blood sugars because the flesh of the fruit, which contains fiber, is discarded. It is also easy to drink an excess amount of calories without realizing it. For example, 1 cup of 100% fruit juice contains 130 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 grams of sugar.
Instead of dried fruit or fruit juice, opt for whole fruitfresh, frozen, or cannedwithout added syrups or sugars.
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How To Cook Barley Cereal
Barley makes a great choice for your diabetes friendly breakfast. Get tips on how to prepare barley cereal and how barley may help reduce appetite and help manage type 2 diabetes.
A recent study from Lund University in Sweden and published in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals that barley can improve diabetes control by reducing blood sugar levels and controlling appetite. Barley contains a certain mix of fibers that are considered “gut-friendly.”
Middle aged study subjects were asked to eat bread containing barley for 3 days. Improvements in metabolism lasted up to 14 hours, including decreases in blood sugar and insulin levels, increases in insulin sensitivity and improved appetite control. When the unique mixture of barley fibers known as beta-glucan reaches the gut, it stimulates the increase of good bacteria and the release of hormones. Some of these important hormones regulate appetite while others help to reduce inflammation-over time this reduction in inflammation could help decrease the chance of heart disease and diabetes.
Previous studies have found that this dietary fiber from barley helps increase the gut bacteria Prevotella copri, regulating blood sugar levels and decreasing the amount of unhealthy gut bacteria.
Here are some tips for including barley in your diet:
Can I Really Have Cereal With Prediabetes
If you are wondering if you can eat cereal with prediabetes, then the answer is yes. In fact, several research studies have suggested that eating high-fiber cereal can help to reduce your diabetes risk.
But its not just any type of cereal that will reduce your risk and that can be safely included in a prediabetes diet. There is a big difference between high-fiber, whole-grain cereals and sugary, refined-carbohydrate cereals.
Whole grains are known to protect against diabetes, while refined carbohydrates are known to increase your risk.
This is because whole grains contain a whole package of nutrients that support your body. They are high in fiber, for example, which causes the grain to be broken down very slowly. This results in slower and smaller increases in blood sugar levels.
Refined grains, on the other hand, are processed in a way that removes the parts of a grain that can actually be beneficial to your health . The processing leaves just the starchy, refined carbohydrate portion of the grain behind. Refined carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index and can lead to big spikes in blood sugars when you eat them.
So if you want cereal for breakfast, it is important to take this difference into account and to make your cereal selections carefully.
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