Being the first meal of the day, breakfast is the most important, especially for someone who is diabetic. A morning meal helps to keep your blood sugar in control for the rest of the day, and skipping it may spike your blood sugar after lunch and dinner.
So, to start your day off right, it's important to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast. But diabetics must also be careful because not all breakfasts are created equal. Breakfast options for diabetic people should include a combination of protein, fibre, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. A well-balanced, healthy meal will not only give you the needed energy for the day but also maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Here are 7 healthy diabetes-friendly breakfast options.
1. Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are a great diabetes-friendly breakfast option that not only simplifies your morning routine but also provides a host of health benefits. Despite their high carb content, oats are rich in soluble fibre, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. For overweight or obese individuals, regularly consuming oats has been shown to improve glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity.
To prepare overnight oats, combine rolled oats with milk or yoghurt in a jar. Add fruits, nuts and pure, preservative-free honey for natural sweetness. Stir well, seal the jar, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir and enjoy a delicious, no-cook breakfast that's both convenient and nutritious. Opt for rolled or steel-cut oats instead of instant ones, as they are less processed.
2. Jamun Smoothie
Jamun is a wonderful fruit for those with diabetes. It is not just packed with antioxidants for a stronger immune system but also plays a role in managing diabetes. Jamun has lower fructose and glucose levels, which makes it a lower-calorie option compared to other fruits in season. According to Ayurveda, jamun seeds contain jamboline, which helps in steadily lowering blood sugar and glycosuria (sugar in urine). The seeds are also rich in alkaloids with hypoglycemic effects which reduce blood sugar by up to 30 percent when consumed regularly during the season. Whether it's the bark, seeds, or leaves, all parts of the fruit are known for their anti-diabetic properties.
To prepare a smoothie, blend half a cup of low-fat yoghurt and 5-6 deseeded jamuns, until smooth and frothy. Pour it into a glass, and add some crushed ice on top.
When jamun is not in season, you can still enjoy its benefits with Krishna Ayurveda Jamun Juice. This preservative-free product is made from jamun seed powder, offering a convenient way to incorporate the goodness of the fruit into your routine.
3. Lauki Thepla
Lauki or Bottle gourd is an incredible vegetable with numerous health benefits, making it an excellent diabetes-friendly breakfast option. It has a negligible amount of glucose and almost zero carbohydrate content, with around 8% fibre. This helps to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
Bottle gourd also has diuretic properties, increasing urination. This is beneficial for diabetics as it helps the body eliminate excess glucose through the urine. With a 90% water content, incorporating bottle gourd into your diet is also a smart way to stay hydrated, supporting overall health.
To make Lauki Thepla, grate bottle gourd and mix it with whole wheat or multigrain flour. Add spices like cumin, coriander, and a pinch of turmeric for flavour. Roll out the dough into thin rounds and cook them on a hot griddle with minimal oil until golden brown.
4. Dalia Upma
Dalia, also known as cracked or broken wheat, is a nutritious whole grain that has been a staple in Indian cuisine for centuries. It is rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making it a wholesome addition to a diabetic-friendly breakfast. Because of its low glycemic index, it prevents the shoot-up of sugar levels and provides sustained energy.
To prepare Dalia Upma, heat a small amount of oil or ghee in a pan. For tempering, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Next, sauté finely chopped onions, green chillies, and ginger until golden brown. Add diced vegetables of your choice and cook until they are tender. Then, add pre-soaked Dalia and water and allow it to simmer until the Dalia is cooked and has absorbed the flavours. Drizzle some ghee on top and serve hot.
5. Idli with Sambar
Idli and Sambar is a wholesome and diabetes-friendly breakfast choice that will also satisfy your Indian palate. Idlis are low on the glycemic index, causing a low release of glucose in the bloodstream. Paired with sambar, which is rich in protein, fibre, and various vegetables, this South Indian delicacy forms a balanced and nutritious meal. The combination of complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients, and fibre helps in managing blood sugar levels effectively. The fermented nature of idlis also supports gut health.
As with any meal, maintaining portion control is crucial, so it's advisable to consume a moderate serving, such as 2 idlis with a bowl of sambar.
6. Sprouts Salad
Sprout salad, especially when made from moong dal, is a powerhouse of nutrition and an excellent choice for individuals managing diabetes. Moong dal sprouts are rich in protein, providing the necessary amino acids for muscle maintenance and overall health. These sprouts also contain essential vitamins, such as vitamin C, and minerals like iron, potassium, and folate. The sprouting process enhances nutrient availability and makes them easier to digest. Moong dal sprouts also have a low glycemic index.
Enhance the fibre content by adding chopped vegetables to the salad. This diabetes-friendly breakfast option not only helps to stabilise blood sugar levels but also ensures a satisfying and nutrient-dense start to the day.
Breakfast Tips for Diabetics
- Never skip breakfast, even if your sugar levels are high when you wake up.
- Avoid processed carbs such as packaged food, sugary cereals, and white bread, as they are less nutritious and can cause blood sugar spikes.
- Choose lean proteins like chickpeas, tofu, nuts, and seeds for satiety.
- Include healthy fats such as olive or canola oils, avocado, and nuts for better fat choices.
- Aim for 3 to 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables daily and incorporate them into your breakfast.
- Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and the remaining quarter with a grain.
- Opt for sugar-free, calorie-free drinks, with water being the healthiest choice.
- Time your breakfast and eat when physically hungry, avoiding late-morning choices influenced by poor hunger management.
- Keep your portions in check and consult with a dietitian for personalized guidance.
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The seven breakfast options discussed above can help diabetic individuals keep their blood sugar in check. But, it is important to follow an overall nutritious and balanced diet throughout the day to avoid sugar spikes. A healthy diet need not be boring and bland; there are plenty of options to explore if you have diabetes. Just make sure they are low on the glycemic index and low in sugar. So, be sure to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods to support your overall well-being.