What Carbs Are Best for Breakfast When You Have Diabetes?

For most people, breakfast is not the most planned meal of the day, sometimes it is even skipped until brunch or lunch, and depending on our habits, most people are not hungry in the morning. But if you have type 2 diabetes, then this is an essential part of your day, and a must if you want to keep yourself healthy.

“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, an Atlanta-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Eating too much and too late at night may be the reason for your lack of appetite the next morning. When you eat late, your body does not get enough time to digest the food since in sleep mode most bodily functions slow down. Therefore, you must have a balance between your eating and sleeping habits when you’re managing diabetes.

Breakfast sets the tone for how you will feel for the rest of the day. It’s crucial that you keep in mind certain criteria when it comes to selecting your meals in the morning. A diabetes-friendly breakfast is one that includes a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in the right proportions, which helps balance blood sugar. That’s why glycemic index plays an important role when it comes to choosing the right carbs for a breakfast with when you have diabetes.

You might be thinking it sounds difficult to cook a diabetes-friendly meal , but not all is lost and there are great delicious combinations to make a healthy breakfast for a diabetic.

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how fast the carbohydrate of a food is converted to glucose and enters the blood, generally, within a period of three hours, and it might vary from person to person and on every meal, depending on the portions and other habits that are related to our nutrition and health. For best results stay with foods with a rating under 69%.

Also, combinations of foods can produce unexpected result on the GI levels, as well as how the food is prepared, so it is a good idea to be informed and carefully watch how different meals might impact your blood glucose levels.

It is important that you also take care of the Glycemic Load (GL) of food. The GL is a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it. One unit of glycemic load approximates the effect of eating one gram of glucose. It is calculated by taking the GI times the number of carbs in the food and dividing it by 100.

There are a variety of meals that can be easily prepared and will probably make you drool, even if you don’t have type 2 diabetes. Healthy food can also so be very delectable.

What Carbs Have the Lowest GI and GL Levels?

Now is when all the good stuff happens. Below you will find a detailed list of the best carbs that you may use to make a balanced breakfast, including carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and fiber.

According to the National Academies, the minimum recommended daily fiber intake for adults is:

Women 50 years and younger:25 Grams
Women over 50:21 Grams
Men 50 years and younger:38 Grams
Men over 50:30 Grams

Avocados: Are low in carbohydrates, which means they have little effect on blood sugar levels. One half of a small avocado, which is the standard amount people eat, contains about 5.9 grams of carbohydrate and 4.6 grams of fiber, and decrease up to 40% the desire to eat more.

Beans: Have a low GI varying from 27-42%. Beans are also high in non-starch polysaccharides (typically 18-20%), 5% resistant starch, and 4% oligosaccharides to give a dietary fiber value of 27 – 29%.

Bread: Whole grains, whole wheats and starchy vegetables have a medium glycemic index (around 50). In order to stick to a low glycemic diet, you must avoid white bread at all costs and eat only healthy whole grain breads, especially those that contain sprouted grains.

Eggs: A daily inclusion of eggs in the habitual diet for 12 weeks reduced body weight, waist circumference, visceral fat rating, and percent body fat in adults with type 2 diabetes. Eggs have a relatively low glycemic index and therefore do not affect blood glucose levels.

Fruits: Can diabetics eat fruit? Contrary of what people might think, some fruits contain low amounts of glucose and can be a great source of vitamins A, C, E and D. Peaches, apples, oranges, cherries and blueberries might be part of your daily meals. Click on the article for more information and tasty recipes.

Milk and dairy products: The American Diabetes Association recommends two to three servings of low-fat milk (or other low-fat dairy food such as cheese and yogurt) each day. “Including sources of dairy products in your diet is an easy way to get calcium and high-quality protein,” according to their nutrition page.

Nuts, like almonds, cashews, and peanuts: Those contains the good fats that raise your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. The good cholesterol in your blood helps clear out bad cholesterol. Only chestnuts and cashews have a GI, the others do not contain enough carbs to be tested. Chestnuts have a GI of 54, and cashews have a low GI of 25.

Oatmeal: Oat foods — such as oatmeal and muesli made from steel-cut or rolled oats are low GI foods, with a score of under 55. In comparison, other breakfast cereals, such as puffed rice or corn flakes, have a GI score of above 70.

Sausages: Carbs in sausage have a slow effect on blood sugar levels, with a GI of 28, considered low in comparison of the 69 recommended. Bacon and beef sausages are high in saturated fat and salt. For a healthier breakfast, choose chicken or turkey sausage

Here is a list of the most common  foods GI and GL per serving:

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