The Best Breakfast Foods for Diabetics

By Katie Leigh

Eating breakfast is imperative for diabetics. Besides providing you with energy, a well-rounded breakfast also helps balance blood glucose levels. Starting out with a solid blood glucose reading makes it easier to maintain good levels throughout the day. The best breakfast foods for diabetics are those that are high in lean protein and whole grains, as these types of foods are the most filling and generally have a low glycemic index.

Lean Protein

Lean protein is a great fuel source for diabetics, especially first thing in the morning. Lean protein foods are filling yet do not contain many of the carbohydrates that can throw off blood glucose levels. Although many breakfast foods are protein-rich, very few of them are appropriate for a diabetic's diet. Bacon, sausage and eggs fried in butter, for example, all contain too much fat to be nutritionally sound.

Cottage cheese and low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt are excellent sources of lean protein for diabetics, as are hard-boiled or scrambled eggs. Lean ham or turkey can be added to the eggs to make a scramble or omelet.

Whole Grains

Whole grains can be used to supplement a diabetic's breakfast -- when the portions are appropriately controlled. Though whole-grain foods contain carbohydrates, they also provide an energy boost that can be helpful early in the morning. Your doctor will tell you how many grams of carbohydrates you may consume per day; be sure to eat a fraction of them at breakfast.

The best whole-grain breakfast items for diabetics include whole-wheat bread, English muffins and bagels. Plain oatmeal is also a great choice. Other options are whole-wheat pita bread, corn or low-carb tortillas and whole-grain, low-sugar breakfast cereals.

Fruits and Vegetables

A diabetic's breakfast can always be supplemented with fruits and vegetables to make the meals larger and more filling. Fresh berries are among the best choices in this category because they tend to be low in carbohydrates. Other recommended fruits include a small banana or apple or a handful of grapes. Be careful not to go overboard with sugary fruits, as they can affect blood glucose levels.

Vegetables can also be included in a diabetic's breakfast. Add a handful of spinach or some chopped onion, bell pepper or tomato to eggs for a vitamin-packed scramble. A small amount of avocado sliced onto a breakfast sandwich can be rich and filling. Even half of a baked potato topped with cheese can be a great breakfast food for diabetics.

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