10 diabetes-friendly breakfast ideas

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to experts. This is certainly true for people with Type 2 diabetes, as studies also show that blood glucose levels in people with diabetes are often highest in the morning. Research also proves that the right breakfast can help improve not just insulin sensitivity but blood sugar control throughout the day, so there are plenty of good reasons not to miss this important meal. When putting together a list of recommended breakfast ideas, Diabetes.co.uk found that owing to extremely high levels of sugar, the majority of popular supermarket cereals were deemed unfit for purpose. We created this article as a result of the limited amount of inspiration available on the breakfast cereal aisle, aiming to discuss low-carb breakfast ideas suitable for people with diabetes.

Without further ado, here they are:

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1 Smoothies

Smoothies are probably one of the easiest ways to get breakfast sorted in 5 minutes or less. Just pop your choice ingredients in the blender and voila, breakfast! Rather than prescribe a specific smoothie for breakfast every day, you might find it more liberating to mix and match various ingredients to create your own unique blend. This small list features a few ‘starter’ ingredients you can include in your shopping list for quick, easy breakfasts.

Milk, Cucumbers, Avocadoes, Berries, Oranges, Pineapples, Limes, Bananas, Cashew nuts, Cottage cheese, Cream, Coconut milk, Flaxseed

Feel free to experiment with many different combinations of these until you get the right recipe with the right taste and texture.

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2 Wholegrains

Wholegrains such as 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, or wholegrain cereal are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals which can make a wholesome diabetic breakfast. Because of their low glycemic index, wholegrains do not affect blood glucose levels as quickly as refined carbohydrates. Uncooked oats (also known as muesli) are an example of wholegrain which contains resistant starch, and resistant starch allows fewer carbohydrates into the bloodstream. It is also said to benefit the gut, gut bacteria, and insulin resistance. Wholegrains still contain carbohydrates, however, so there is still a need to watch portion sizes as well as any spreads or toppings used to complement them. When making wholegrain pancakes, for example, you can swap sugary syrups for peanut butter instead.

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3 Almond flour

Almond flour can be a great low-carb substitute for regular flour when making pancakes and breakfast muffins. The fibre and healthy monounsaturated fats in the nuts promote the feeling of fullness and if you need a touch of sweetness, try some fruit. Fruit with a low glycemic index (berries, peaches, apples, or oranges) can help you add an extra touch of sweetness without causing a blood-sugar spike.

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4 Salmon

Salmon is said to be the best fish choice for diabetics because of the high Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and B vitamins it contains. The healthy fats from salmon are great for boosting your heart, skin, and brain health and experts say you should aim for at least two servings of salmon each week to get your body's Omega-3 fatty acid needs. If you’re stuck on ideas on how to prepare salmon for breakfast, you can try smoked salmon with wholegrain pancakes or bread.

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5 Chia

This low-carb superfood is known to have high antioxidant properties. Eating a lot of chia seeds may help lower triglycerides, control blood glucose, and reduce blood pressure. One study showed that chia seeds could slow the passage of glucose into the blood and chia can be made into a variety of breakfast puddings, added to drinks, and also used for cooking. It’s also vegan and gluten-free!

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6 Eggs

Eggs, whether hard-boiled, scrambled or made into omelettes are a great breakfast option for keeping insulin requirements low. While diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease, research has shown that eating six or fewer eggs a week does not significantly impact on cholesterol levels. Omelettes can be combined with any of the following - ham, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepper, cheese or bacon - for tastier options.

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7 Avocados

Because avocados are low in carbohydrates, they have little effect on blood sugar levels as demonstrated by a recent study. They can also be very filling, with an average-sized avocado containing around 10g of fibre and less than 1g of sugar. For breakfast ideas, you could try and pair them up with some eggs and wholegrain toast, or with some bacon and eggs for a filling, nourishing breakfast.

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8 Greek Yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is a great breakfast choice because it is nutrient-dense, low in carbohydrates and high in protein. This means it won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar like most cereals and other high-carb breakfast options. When shopping for Greek yoghurt, it is important to remember to check the label to ensure that your chosen brand of yoghurt does not contain added sugar, as sugar content across brands can vary quite drastically. For breakfast, you can accompany yoghurt with a range of ingredients such as nuts, berries, oatmeal and fruit.

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9 Cauliflower Oatmeal

Cauliflower can be a great low-carb alternative to traditional oatmeal if traditional oatmeal causes your sugar levels to spike. This amazing, tasty recipe shows step-by-step an excellent way to get your daily requirement of Vitamin C before lunchtime through the humble cauliflower. Apart from Vitamin C, cauliflower also contains fibre, potassium and folate - essential nutrients for nourishing your cells.

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10 Quinoa porridge

What makes quinoa a superfood, especially for people with diabetes is its low glycemic index, high fibre and high protein content. It is also naturally gluten-free for those with gluten allergies. You can have cooked quinoa instead of normal porridge oats and this delicious recipe combines quinoa with blueberries and pumpkins to make a delicious, nutritious, diabetes-compliant breakfast.

The importance of breakfast cannot be underestimated, especially for people with Type 2 diabetes. While it can be tricky to take the time to get the right ingredients for breakfast each morning, it is worth making the effort to set the pace for stabilising your blood glucose levels through the day.

If you find that you or a loved one are struggling with preparing breakfast daily, or that you keep going back to unhealthy eating habits, you can enlist the services of a carer. In our next article, we will discuss how carers and home care assistants can help manage not just meal planning for diabetes, but also the general health of diabetic patients. If you’re in London or it’s environs, HP Homecare can provide you with a visiting carer who can help you not just ensure that your breakfasts are sorted each day, but also help keep an eye on your other meals and blood sugar levels. If you need to discuss this with our expert diabetes care team, please reach out to us.

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