Living with diabetes requires life-long dietary changes. People with this disease often struggle with figuring out what to eat for breakfast. When common breakfast foods like bagels, waffles, and donuts are no longer on the menu, it's time to get creative.
Everyone is different, and you should always check with your doctor before making any dietary changes, but here are some tasty breakfasts suitable for most people with diabetes.
Breakfast cereals are popular because they are so quick and easy, but many of them are not diabetic-friendly. If you cannot give up your morning bowl of cereal, switch to wheat bran instead.
Wheat bran cereal contains whole grains, which have more fiber and digest slower than refined grains, helping control blood sugar spikes. Any unsweetened wheat bran cereal is a good choice, but do not add sugar for extra flavoring and try soy milk instead of dairy.
Eggs are an excellent choice for people with diabetes. They are low in carbohydrates, loaded with good fats, and have a lot of protein that helps you stay full. One of the easiest ways to enjoy eggs for breakfast is to hard boil them.
You can make hard-boiled eggs ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for as long as seven days. If you find yourself short on time in the morning, grab a hard-boiled egg or two on your way out the door, and enjoy a quick and easy breakfast on the go!
Tomatoes are low in both carbohydrates and calories, so they are an ideal food to control blood sugar spikes and lose weight. Slice up some tomatoes and add a little seasoning for a simple no-fuss meal to start the day, or serve them with a side of scrambled eggs and a piece of turkey bacon for something a little more filling.
Grapefruit is low in sugar and calories and packs healthy doses of vitamins A and C. This citrus fruit is a tasty breakfast for diabetes, but be sure to skip sprinkling it with sugar!
Grapefruit has a small amount of natural sugars, so adding extra may cause a blood sugar spike. If you need to sweeten up the tart taste, try a diabetes-safe sugar alternative instead.
Blueberries are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain a lot of nutrients, like vitamins C, E, and K. Enjoy a cup of blueberries by itself or add a handful to a bowl of your favorite wheat bran cereal or plain yogurt.
You can also easily put a serving of blueberries in a container and take it with you for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack when you're short on time.
Yogurt contains probiotics, so it is good for gut health. Studies show that it may positively affect insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, but you have to choose the right kind.
Opt for unsweetened Greek yogurt and avoid anything with added sugars. If you need to sweeten it up a bit, add a small handful of blueberries or strawberries.
Almonds are a good source of good fats, protein, and fiber, and they are a great option for a diabetes-friendly breakfast. Studies show that almonds can reduce HgA1C levels, and they may reduce bad cholesterol.
Take a pack of plain or lightly salted almonds with you for your commute, or mix them into your Greek yogurt for added texture and a satisfying crunch.
Toast is a simple and popular breakfast food, but for people with diabetes, whole grains are the way to go. White bread contains refined grains and often has added sugar, so choose whole wheat, sprouted, sourdough, or rye instead.
Instead of jams and jellies, try dipping your toast into olive oil or spreading on some ghee or a dab of all-natural, no-sugar-added nut butter.
If you like eggs for breakfast and have a little more time to spend in the kitchen, omelets are a great option for people with diabetes. Use olive oil to keep the eggs from sticking to the pan, and add in your favorite low-glycemic vegetables for a filling meal.
Try tomatoes, spinach, kale, green onions, and mushrooms with a dash of pepper.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, and it's low in calories, all good things for a diabetes-friendly diet. While you may think salmon is more appropriate for dinner, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this seafood for breakfast.
Add some leftover shredded salmon to your next omelet, top your whole-grain toast with a thin slice, or use it as a bacon or sausage substitute in your favorite frittata.
Peaches are a safe breakfast choice for people with diabetes, especially if they're fresh or frozen. If you prefer canned or packaged peaches, make sure to read the container. If they are packed in syrup, they likely contain added sugar.
Enjoy peaches on their own for a simple breakfast, or add them to Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for something more filling.
Baked beans for breakfast? While they are a part of a traditional full English, baked beans are also a good option for people with diabetes. Read the nutrition label to be sure you choose a variety that does not have added sugar or make your own by adding a little bit of molasses.
Baked beans have a good amount of protein, but they do have some carbs, so it's best to pair them with eggs or salmon instead of whole-grain toast.
Sweet potatoes have slightly more carbohydrates than some other diabetes-friendly breakfast foods, but they are safe in moderation because of their other health benefits. This tuber is loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K.
You can try sweet potatoes for breakfast by cooking some on the stovetop in a little bit of olive oil or boil and mash them and serve as a side to your favorite omelet.
Yes, people with diabetes can have sausage for breakfast, depending on the type. Skip beef and pork sausages and go for lean ground chicken or turkey or try a vegetarian or vegan sausage instead. Many sausages have added flavor, like maple and brown sugar, so check the labels to make sure the sausage you choose does not.
Enjoy your low-sugar, low-fat sausage with scrambled eggs or whole-grain toast.
Avocados are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and heart-healthy fats, making them an excellent choice for breakfast.
Enjoy an avocado plain, slice it in half and add a sunny-side-up egg and some seasoning to the top, or mash it up and add it to a piece of your favorite toasted whole-grain bread.
Pancakes are not automatically off the menu for people with diabetes, but you do have to be a little more creative. Instead of buttermilk pancakes, try recipes and mixes that use almond flour, flaxseed, buckwheat, or whole wheat flour.
The toppings matter, too. Avoid syrup, whipped cream, jams, and jellies, and try some fresh berries instead.
Skip the flavored instant oatmeal and opt for steel-cut oats. Oatmeal is packed with fiber and does not cause blood sugar spikes if prepared appropriately.
For extra protein and a boost of nutrients, try using Greek yogurt instead of milk or water. To add flavor, try fresh berries, cinnamon, or nuts.
In addition to being high in protein and loaded with calcium and B vitamins, cottage cheese is an extremely versatile breakfast safe for diabetes. Add peaches, blueberries, or strawberries if you want something sweet, or mix it with your scrambled eggs for a meal that will keep you full until lunchtime.
Studies show that red grapes have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a good breakfast food for people with diabetes, as long as you stick to a serving of about 15 to 20.
One of the best ways to enjoy grapes as a part of a diabetic diet is to freeze them. Frozen grapes are a refreshing treat on a hot day, and a single serving can last most of the morning.
Strawberries are another fruit that people with diabetes can enjoy in moderation. In addition to being delicious, strawberries have a high water content, making them low in calories and carbs.
They are loaded with fiber and antioxidants and have many health benefits. Try adding them to your morning oatmeal, pancakes, or yogurt for a sweet treat.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.