Do you think breakfast is the most important meal of the day or do you skip breakfast? What you do for breakfast affects the rest of your day. Your body needs energy to start the day. People who regularly eat breakfast have a healthier body weight, better concentration, improved mood, increased energy, and typically eat a healthier diet.
Eating breakfast can help to improve glucose control. While skipping breakfast has been linked to higher A1C levels and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy breakfast should stabilize glucose. Controlling glucose is important around breakfast because this sets the pace the rest of your day.
A typical American breakfast is cereal and milk. This is often a high carbohydrate choice that is low in protein and fat. That means glucose spikes then crashes, and you will feel hungry not long after eating. An ideal breakfast should include a small amount of carbohydrate with protein and fats. Protein and fat slow digestion, improve glycemic control, and help you to stay feeling full longer. Breakfast should be balanced, satisfying, and taste good. If you are defaulting to typical breakfast foods like cereal, pancakes, or bagels, read on to get some new ideas. All these breakfasts include protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates.
- Eggs with spinach, tomatoes, and cheese, 1 orange
- Cottage cheese with 1 diced medium apple and cinnamon
- ½ cup cooked oatmeal with almond butter and cinnamon
- Avocado toast (avocado sliced or mashed on toast) with tomatoes
- Vegetable omelet with cheese, ¾ cup raspberries
- Plain Greek yogurt, ¾ cup blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, stevia to sweeten if desired
- Peanut butter on toast with ½ banana and cinnamon
- Sweet potato toast (sliced and toasted sweet potato) with almond butter and ½ banana
- Overnight oats (¼ cup uncooked oats with Greek yogurt or milk with fruit or nut butters or seeds in the refrigerator overnight)
- ½ cup black beans, eggs, ham, tomatoes, spinach
For these breakfast meals, I purposefully didn’t include amounts for protein and fat. That’s because people need different amounts of those nutrients. I tried to include cinnamon as that has been linked to improved fasting glucose, and we typically don’t eat cinnamon with dinner. You always get bonus points for including vegetables at breakfast-try to squeeze those in when you can.
Plan and be creative with breakfast. These breakfasts can be made in advance or take less than 10 minutes to make. Make time to enjoy breakfast. You will feel better and have better glucose control by starting your day with a healthy breakfast.
by Christine McKinney, RD LDN CDE