Breakfast

Breakfast provides a great start to the day! Eating a well-balanced breakfast at a regular time every day is a key part of staying healthy and managing your diabetes. Breakfast is essential for optimal blood glucose control and has the added benefit of helping with weight management efforts. Breakfast can help curb appetite and prevent over-eating later on in the day. Try to stick to a regular breakfast schedule as often as possible.

The Canadian Diabetes Guidelines identify that the best breakfast choices include a combination of three to four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide1. This includes whole grain breads and cereals, protein choices like eggs, low-fat cheese, or peanut butter, low-fat milk or milk alternatives, and fruit1. Work with your Dietitian or Diabetes Educator to figure out breakfast food choices that are right for you. For example, a healthy breakfast, as recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Just the Basics, could be made up of1:

½ cup cold cereal
1 slice whole grain toast
2 Tbsp (30mL) peanut butter
1 orange
1 cup low-fat milk
Tea or coffee

Some people are not big breakfast fans. Lack of time and appetite are among common reasons to forego the morning meal. If this is the case for you, a little bit of planning can go a long way! Crunched for time? Grab a serving of unsweetened, high fibre cereal, or a low-sugar muffin prepared at home over the weekend, add a serving of low-fat milk, or a low fat latte and a piece of fruit – for an easy complete breakfast! There are lots of other combinations, for ideas go to www.kraftcanada.com/diabetes. If you simply aren’t hungry by the time you leave your house, put your breakfast in a portable container, and take it to go! But be sure to eat before 10.00 a.m. since breakfast should not become lunch!

People with diabetes may sometimes encounter waking up to find they have with high fasting blood glucose levels. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly what caused it; it could be the body gearing up for the day by releasing more glucose, a type of sugar and the body’s main source of energy, or the body could be compensating for a low blood sugar level that happened overnight.

To help prevent high fasting blood glucose in the morning, try eating a light bedtime snack. It should include complex carbohydrates and protein, such as 4 whole grain crackers with 30 g of low fat cheese, or instead of cheese, 4 tablespoons of peanut butter. Continue to eat a well-balanced breakfast in the morning, as it can help steady blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is the body’s ability to absorb and use glucose for energy. If you continue to have regular high fasting blood glucose levels in the morning, talk to a Dietitian, Diabetes Educator or Doctor.

Breakfast is essential to everyone’s diet, and this is especially true when it comes to diabetes management. So make breakfast a regular part of your day!

  1. Canadian Diabetes Association. (2010). Just the Basics. CDA Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  2. Canadian Diabetes Association. (2012). Breakfast in a Box. Diabetes Dialogue.
  3. Pereira, Erickson, McKee, et al. (2011). Breakfast Frequency and Quality may Affect Glycemia and Appetite in Adults and Children. The Journal of Nutrition.
  4. Astbury, Taylor, Macdonald. (2011). Breakfast Consumption Affects Appetite, Energy Intake, and the Metabolic and Endocrine Responses to Food Consumed Later in the day in male Habitual Breakfast Eaters. The Journal of Nutrition.
  5. Klein, Sheard, Pi-Sunyer, Daly, et al. (2004). Weight Management through Lifestyle Modification for the Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes: Rational and Strategies. ADA Statement.
  6. Canadian Diabetes Association. (2011). Managing Weight and Diabetes. CDA Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  7. American Diabetes Association. (2008). Rocky Morning Highs? Diabetes Forecast: The healthy living magazine.
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