Diabetic Breakfast Ideas

With so many choices at breakfast, a healthy breakfast is crucial to start the day
With so many choices at breakfast, a healthy breakfast is crucial to start the day

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day.

For people with diabetes, morning is usually the time of day with the highest blood glucose levels so a good breakfast choice will help to improve your control.

Whilst putting the breakfast list together, we found some supermarket cereals that were far from the ideal choice for breakfast – with high levels of sugar (with some cereals containing chocolate) and a number of other less than healthy additives.

We’ve put together some simple and healthy breakfast ideas to get you started.

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Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese

Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese make good breakfast choices.

Quick to put together and easy to tailor to your own desires by adding any of the following:

  • Nuts – always a good source of energy and a low carb favourite
  • Oatmeal or wheat bran for fibre (whole grains)
  • Berries are a popular choice
  • Fruit – cantaloupe is listed as a good accompaniment

Smoothies

A very simple idea - take a mix of food, stick it in a blender and drink it.

Some mixtures work better than others and it can be fun to find out which do work.

For the dedicated, making smoothies can be quite an art form to get the colour and consistencies just right.

For us with diabetes, we also need to consider the carbohydrate content to our own requirements.

Rather than suggest one smoothie, here are some ingredient ideas to get you started for your own smoothies – be they savoury or fruity:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Avocados – help to make your smoothies creamy
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits –oranges, pineapple, limes etc
  • Bananas – also help to make your smoothies creamy
  • Cashew nuts
  • Yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream
  • Coconut milk

If you hit upon a fantastic smoothie mixture, share your find on the diabetes food forum.

Transcript

Get your day off to a good start with a blood sugar friendly breakfast. The following simple ideas are all popular options amongst people with diabetes.

Natural or Greek yoghurt can make for a tasty breakfast. Enjoy it with nuts, oatmeal, berries or another fruit of your choice.

Eggs are a common favourite for keeping morning blood sugar levels low. Have your eggs boiled, scrambled or enjoy an omelette with a range of vegetables.

Porridge is another popular option for people with diabetes. We know that some people with diabetes can handle porridge better than others so we advice using blood tests to check how porridge affects you.

Breakfast cereals tend to be carbohydrate heavy, which can mean that even people on insulin may struggle to maintain good sugar levels. However, Weetabix, Oatabix and Shredded Wheat have quite generous amounts of fibre and therefore are some of the more blood sugar friendly cereals available.

Smoothies can be a good option if you need a quick breakfast. Smoothies can be savoury or fruit based.

Fruit smoothies can be quite sugary so you may wish to make these yoghurt based or creamy to keep the carbohydrate content down.

By testing just before eating and testing 2 hours and 4 hours after, you can see whether your chosen pushes your blood sugar up significantly. Testing can be helpful with choosing the right breakfast cereal for you.

Scrambled eggs and omelette

A great breakfast for keeping insulin requirements low and another choice for which you can let your imagination go by adding any of the following:

  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Fresh leafy spinach
  • Cheese
  • Bacon / ham - meat would be used, for example, if following the Dukan Diet

Porridge

Some of us with diabetes can handle porridge well, whereas for others it can send blood sugar through the roof.

If your numbers can happily handle porridge then it can be a satisfying choice.

Weetabix, Oatibix, Shredded Wheat

For those who can handle a few more carbs than the rest of us, Weetabix, Oatibix and Shredded Wheat can make for good choices.

High in fibre, relatively low in sugar (for a cereal) and one of the more natural cereal choices available in supermarkets.

Your Comments
 
In reply to Rory, Spain. Eat more protein and also plenty of low carb veggies, particuarly green leaves. Use cauliflower (pureed) as a substitute for Mash. I'd recommend low carb eating recipe and diet books by Rose Elliot. Eliot is primarily vegetarian but her ideas and meal plans are excellent. Lots of resources online too. You can do it (without the carbs).
Posted by KM_Manc, Manchester on Monday, January 07, 2013
I have had type 2 for several years now.I am on 50 units of insulin a night.My problem is I cannot seem to avoid bread & potatoes.Any suggestions fpr snacks or a food that will make me feel full,so I dont crave for bread & spuds?thanks
Posted by rory, spain. on Thursday, January 03, 2013
my son has just been diagnosed type 1 while knowing a little bit about diabetes my husband is type 2 also my late mum had type1 am at a lost what to feed him on as he has always had sweet tooth and like spicy foods he is no veg eater does not eat cereals likes sausages bacon only likes eggs as omelettes told him his eating style will have to change great deal
Posted by concerned mum, yorkshire on Sunday, October 28, 2012
Slimming World pancakes are great for breakfast. Soak 35g of porridge oats overnight in a mullerlight yoghurt of your choice. Add 2 eggs in the morning and beat (add water if the mixture is too thick) and fry using frylight. Very filling and yummy.
Posted by ellie bear, Bristol on Saturday, October 13, 2012
I have been diagnosed with type 2 for 6 yrs. The 1st 4yrs I was on insulin and my weight increased dramatically. I was then put on Victoza and lost all the weight I had gained as it gets rid of the fat around the organs and stabilises blood sugar levels. I am the type of person that even a salad can put on weight so it is very easy for me to put on weight. It is always something else you can try.
Posted by Valeris, Diss, Norfolk, UK on Thursday, June 21, 2012
I eat 2 Oatibix with a banana (or not), milk made with Marvel milk as it is lower calorie but has vitamins. I like Oatibix because it is oats, already measured, rather than having to weigh out porridge every morning. Hba1c 5.2
Posted by Mousemat, Uk on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Well now, what to say to 'confused.' Who is not? After being diagnosed Type 2 fourteen years ago, I have never conquered my diabetes. Endless flow of drugs given to me - basic metformin, aspirin -statins which ruined my health and made me sick, all sorts of drugs - to no avail. Endless different diets, including just water, watching what I ate tirelessly. Wow, on telephoning Diabetes UK (I am a member) in desperation to find something to help conquer it, I always thought WHAT WE EAT is the vital part. Only to be told (March 2012) that FOOD is not the problem, I despair - but something going on inside your body which you do not know about carries on regardless of all drugs, diets etc !!! Which makes it very difficult to conquer diabetes. Love fruit and vegetables, don't drink or smoke. Cut out all cakes, biscuits, sugar puddings etc to no avail. Always in double figures. Could it be I never was diabetic? Acquaintance is awaiting test results and decision as to whether she ever was!!! Doctor at hospital about to give me something different to help conquer it, but he was called away on a medical emergency so did not get. Hope the hospital can trace him and get what it was. A few years ago Diabetes UK told me they had to admit concerning Type 2, "they had not really got their head around it yet." No intent to decry Diabetes UK - they are ALWAYS there for you, and doing their best to research it all, but doubtless need much much more money to enable quick further progress. God bless them: we must wish them quick results from their never ending endeavours for us.
Posted by K-ate-it, South East England on Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I have been on a very low carbohydrate diet for 3 weeks and whilst I have lost 7lbs there is very little variation from chicken and prawns and I am getting fed up. Will I still lose weight if I increase my carbs? Also mushroom omelettes send my sugar sky high.
Posted by standedge on Friday, March 09, 2012
How about whole grain: bread, tortilla, crackers...
Posted by Janet, Ontario, Canada on Monday, March 05, 2012
The granola recipe put on by bivry29 sounds great, I'm going to try that.
Posted by happypixi on Thursday, March 01, 2012
The post by bivry29 is brilliant. I am going to try it, it sounds delicious. Many thanks from 'a bit desperate beesknees'.
Posted by Beesknees, cornwall on Thursday, February 16, 2012
Excellent ideas! Are there any medical trials to back these up? Also, I find that taking insulin AFTER any meal shows LOWER blood sugar reading. Is there anyone who has tried it too and can collaborate my findings?
Posted by Homi Daruwala, United Kingdom on Thursday, February 09, 2012
Fed up not being able to eat fruit cake full of sugar. Make my own 1 1/2lb flour, 2oz Margarine Vitalite (dairy free) 6-8 oz Sultanas, 2 eating apples peeled & chopped, fresh orange grated & squeezed. 1-2 teaspoon Mixed Spice. (1 pkt yeast,warm water as required) Mix with mixer for 5 minutes Fill 2x1lb loaf tins. allow up to 1hour to rise. Bake in moderate oven for approx 20-30minutes. Delicious.
Posted by Jean, Banffshire on Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I take 2 boiled eggs and 4 spoons of porridge with a sprinkle of dried fruit. 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon under the porridge. I use tinned milk and let is soak the cinnamon under the porridge, then I pour boiling water and let it stay for a bit. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and cholesterol while porridge also lowers cholesterol.
Posted by Denis, Malta on Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Since my metformin increased from 2 x 850 a day to 3 I cannot stop eating. Up until that time I was losing weight and was doing really well. Is this normal? what can I do? HELP please. Coraleen
Posted by Coraleen, Cardiff on Wednesday, October 26, 2011
How as a T2 diabetic can I leave out sugar altogether, when so many things contain it? I find it really difficult. Please help thanks from Coraleen
Posted by Coraleen, Cardiff on Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I make my own granola, I'm sick of raisins in everything, they are evil for blood sugar levels! I mix a third sesame seed paste (tahini) with two thirds honey and half a bag of rolled oats. Mix well, bake for 35 min at 150 degrees celsius mixing occasionally, add some sliced almonds at the end and it goes perfect with greek yoghurt and some chopped fruit. I swear by it now, don't worry about the honey, it doesn't spike my sugars when baked with the oats plus the yoghurt slows down the digestion of the carbs.
Posted by bivry29 on Tuesday, October 25, 2011
One good low carb breakfast, very popular in middle east is broad beans, mixed with oil (olive oil or canola should be nice), lemon juice, salt and cumin, squashed with a fork and eaten with or without bread, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and spring onion can be added.
Posted by Farag on Wednesday, October 19, 2011
For my breakfast I put a fist full of oats into a bowl, add a sprinkling of raisins, top up bowl with cold water and cook in microwave for 5 mins, perfect!
Posted by Judy, Oxon on Monday, August 29, 2011
For years now I have made a kind of low-carb muesli that gives a good balance of the ingredients that are good for you, but without the starch. It's a mix of bran, wheatgerm, ground almonds, chopped nuts, salt, sweetener and whatever add-ons like seeds that I fancy that week. I eat it with soy milk and a dollop of single cream. It makes a very satisfying start to the day, and as a 100 grams serving contains only about 8 grams of carbs, I completely avoid the usual post-breakfast blood glucose 'spike'. I find that the best bran for the purpose is Canadian toasted soy bran from Holland and Barratt; good flavour, verycheap, and only 8% carbs. And the great thing about making up your own 'cereal' is that you know exactly what you're putting into it!
Posted by dwilson, Perthshire on Thursday, August 25, 2011
Since being diagnosed recently as T2 I have been eating Quaker Oat Crisp for breakfast which it says has the lowest sugar content of all cerials with half a banana sliced. When I saw GP today she said I should not be having any sugar at all! I am confused as some people, including the diabetic nurse, implied you dont need to completely deny yourself of everything and can have a treat now and then.
Posted by carophie04, Durrington, West Sussex on Monday, August 22, 2011
I am a type 2 diabetic insulin dependent. I am not overweight so I have no problems there. I am getting problems in areas where I inject getting deposits of fat. I am looking for a natural way to treat my diabetes. It is out there I just have to find it. Regarding the comment above about the Weetabix Company they are not interested in what customers want, because they would have to alter the ingredients of product this they will not do as they will maintain it is too costly. It has been my experience regardless what they say all the cereals are very high in sugar and salt. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, unprocessed pumpkin seeds with buckwheat all ground together eaten with organic yoghurt and a good dash of cinnamon in the morning with a fruit juice of carrot, celery, pineapple and apple is really good, coffee. I have found avocado excellent, also a tart of courgettes and spinach, eggs and Parmesan cheese at lunch, or tuna with capers, anchovies and mayonnaise. Only problem I have, it is hard to find any other mayonnaise except Hellmans and I do not like Hellmans; it has sugar in it. In Europe you can find different mayonnaise but in Ireland only Hellmans. Actually it is very frustrating trying to find quality food, or should I say organic food, food that is not processed out off the Richter scale. We are loosing our ability to think for ourselves and are far too dependant on big business to tell us what is good for us, instead of deciding for ourselves. Sanjo
Posted by Sanjo, Ireland on Thursday, July 28, 2011
For my breaktast, I have three palm size of Special K, with bran, or porridge with bran, one Ryvita with half banana, and three sips of apple juice. Please let me know if this is OK. thank you, From Virginia
Posted by Virginia , Feltham, Middlesex, London on Thursday, July 21, 2011
Having been dieting perpetually for the last few months I find it difficult to choose suitable breakfast options. I really don't like or need the insulin fall out from sweet food and bacon/eggs etc is a big no-no re the weight. I'd love savoury cereal bars or savoury snacks to go. Come on there's a big market out there for savoury breakfast snacks! I make do at present with a packet for French Fries crisps. It's hardly ideal... :o
Posted by Wendy , Notts on Thursday, July 21, 2011
I usually have some Vogels ultrabran (I used to get this at Tesco, but my local store hasnt had it on sale my last 2 trips, so Holland and Barrett is the best bet) mixed with a little Lizi's granola and low or no fat yoghourt. A bit of fresh fruit on the top and it keeps me going until mid afternoon. Or if it's a weekend I'll go with scrambled eggs on Burgens soya and linseed low GI bread. Alpen light bars are good in a hurry too.
Posted by steve451, Birmingham on Monday, July 04, 2011
I eat porridge for breakfast. Made with water and no other additives. I eat the course jumbo oats variety. I always thought this was a healthy breakfast for a type 2 sufferer, but everything I have read of late appears to suggest that I am eating the wrong food for breakfast. Can ANYONE please clarify this very confusing situation?
Posted by allenton, Derby on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
My Diabetic clinic is dead against home testing for blood sugar so how do I know if I am eating the correct things or not?
Posted by Ann Williams, E. Sussex. UK on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
One of my favourite breakfasts is a slice of brown bread toasted, smeared with a little salmon mousse pate or spread and half an avocado. This keeps me going until mid-morning when my dear husband makes me a cappucino with skimmed milk and a little cinnamon powder instead of sugar, then we have a healthy light lunch around 1-1.30. I am Mellitus 2.
Posted by Delightful Dan, Sicily, Italy on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
It is so frustrating, I am Insulin Dependant Type 2 Diabetic, with a mild intolerance to wheat, and allergy to salad vegetables (lettuce, other leaves, etc) i.e. Lots of food I loved to eat I should no longer have. My medication has also added side effects like chronic acid indegetion, depression etc. I went wheat/gluten free for a spell and put half a stone in weight on; Even a glass of water puts my BS levels up, so I now just eat as I used to minus the sugar - it doesn't help with BS but I am not so depressed.
Posted by Simon, Peterborough on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Hi, I tend to eat savoury breakfasts, including avocado dips and egg mayonnaise with tomato, cucumber, spring onion and anchovies but when in a hurry, I use Alpen Light bars and Weetabix Oaty bars which are low in sugar and contain lots of oats as well as being able to control the amount of carb intake. I find the large Weetabix tasteless and hate the texture.
Posted by Shalimar, Manchester on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I do so agree, just because they are known brands don't mean they are any good for your blood sugars (TOP BRANDED CEREALS) shame on you.
Posted by Diabetic Evans, Wales, uk on Friday, June 17, 2011
For breakfast I like Bran Flakes (sugar-5mg.), shredded wheat- any cereal that is in the single digits of sugar. I also enjoy in cold weather oatmeal with raisins, flax, walnuts and cinnamon. Sometimes for dessert I have cottage cheese with a cut up apple and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Cinnamon is suppose to lower sugar. Thanks for your ideas on low sugar foods. It is always a challenge to make choices with low amounts of sugar and carbs.
Posted by M. M. Hughes, Michigan, USA on Saturday, June 11, 2011
Oatibix plus fresh fruit salad.
Posted by Mrs Mousemat, UK on Thursday, June 09, 2011
I like Weetabix but it sends my blood sugar up so can't eat it. In South Africa I could get Weetbix Lite which had no sugar and no salt and was really nice and perfect for me. I wrote to Weetabix in the UK but they are not interested in making a Lite version. This is what they wrote when I emailed them "Thank you for your enquiry. We are pleased to be able to explain. Weetabix has always contained a small amount of sugar and salt, found to be significant contributors to both taste and texture. In our research to maintain minimum levels we have so far found significant resistance to further decreases. Of course as the UK diet becomes more accustomed to reduced sugar and salt we respond accordingly. We know Weetabix compares favourably to other nationally popular cereals and through our doctors diet and nutrition panels we maintain a close watching brief on the situation. Response to customer eating habits is, understandably, a significant part of our regular research, as you would expect. I hope my response, whilst not fulfilling your most optimistic expectations, does demonstrate our awareness of eating trends and I appreciate the chance to put our views forward. Kind regards". This is a first world country why can't we get a lite version of weetabix? Your comments please
Posted by Thaddy, South Yorkshire on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
No mention of muesli!? I eat the 'no added sugar' variety. Lots of nuts, oats, but also raisins. It doesn't taste sweet (unfortunately)! I eat this just about every day and sometimes as a snack in the evening. Is this to be advised?
Posted by Johnny McMont, Morvern, Scotland on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Any idea on any good cereals, just for the convenience? I've found that Branded cereals are better that shop's own but I suspect they are still a bit to high.
Posted by Garry Bonnick , Coulsdon on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Porridge works for me, normally accompanied with blueberries, sometimes I add blackberries, strawberries, and very occasionally banana to this - I have tried alternatives such as weetabix but I am hungry again a couple of hours later - greek yoghurt and fruit is usually my dessert at dinner so not a good option for breakfast! Being half Canadian I love North America style pancakes with fruit (might treat myself on Canada day 1st July - foregoing my beloved maple syrup :-) a definite no, no now.
Posted by HpprKM on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Why you did not gave this list of cereals, and their weight of sugar in them? Also those are better than others.
Posted by talib hussain on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I have type 2 diabetes. I eat two slices of pumpernickel toast with peanut butter every morning for breakfast. Is this a good thing? Or should I change to something else?
Posted by Sandy of huntington, Michigan on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I have cereals for breakfast, usually Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, Oatibix with semi-skimmed milk, toast & coffee. Is that ok?
Posted by James Cowie, Derbyshire on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I thought I was a bit odd because I couldnt eat porridge for breakfast, it sent my bs through the roof. So does weetabix. I find I am better off with eggs and bacon, the works. It doesn't make my blood sugars go very high. I am trying to lose weight, I don't know what to have for meals any more. I am very confused with what I can eat as a newly diagnosed diabetic. Those breakfast cereals are dreadful. Why do they have to be so full of sugar?
Posted by Yvonne on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
"Oatibix" are even better than wheatabix!
Posted by Martin Knott , UK on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Why is Weetabix always recommended as a cereal in preference to Shredded Wheat?
Posted by Gerald Edwards, Worcestershire on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I have porridge for breakfast on most weekdays during winter, but swap to Branflakes in Summer with semi skimmed milk. Is this Ok. I am Type 2 and control with diet although I do take a statin.
Posted by trevors50uk, North Wales on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
When I had a diet review with nutritionist last year I was told not to make smoothies after I described what I made, which was largely a fruit mixture with fresh juice base. Said too much natural sugar. Then I'm a 'bloke' and don't know what I'm doing half the time anyway :-)
Posted by Falcone, Yorkshire on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I'm sorry, but some of these food ideas are just barmy if you're a type 1. Berries and Melon? that will send your levels through the roof, tomatoes are not good either. If you're a type 1 and want to keep your levels down, just no carb and stay away from anything with sugar in it, I'm 37, was diagnosed 3 years ago and have been no carbing for the past 12 months. I rarely go above 9.0, generally sit around 5-6.0 all day, and don't feel hungry. Breakfast is ham and cheese, or bacon or an omlette. Lunch is a salad (loads of combinations). Dinner is something like lamb with green beans and aubergines or roasted vegetables. If I fancy a snack, I can have bits of ham or chicken or salami etc. I keep my weight level (just under 12st), never feel bloated, give myself 20 units of Lantus in the morning and that keeps me level all day, I only have to give my self any short acting insulin if something skips out, which is maybe once or twice a week. I'm glad I started doing this and I'll be sticking with it as it works for me!
Posted by Bergkamp24, UK on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I wonder why the article recommends Weetabix. Medium to low GI and added sugar in the box. OK, it's not one of the worst cereals out there, but Shredded Wheat is a bit better with higher GI and no added sugar or sweeteners. Taste, there's not that much difference once you add your banana/berries/etc to them.
Posted by Fencer on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Just reading your email about breakfast as my trouble is that I have type 2 diabetes plus I also have haemochormatosis (which means I absorb iron more than normal people do) so to try and cover both types it upsets one or the other. I love to have cornflakes but as it's fortified with iron you can see how hard it is to not only get a balance for the type 2 but also for the bronze diabetes (the common name for haemochormatosis). It's not only breakfast that we have the problem with but with any type of food.
Posted by malcolm dodd, Cheshire on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Really? A photo of a stack of pancakes with maple syrup? Carbicide!
Posted by Bob, London on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
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