15 Healthy Breakfast Ideas for People with Diabetes

Managing your blood sugar levels is an important part of maintaining good health. This is especially true if you have diabetes. In fact, choosing balanced, nutrient-dense meals and snacks can improve blood sugar regulation, reduce diabetes-related complications, and help you feel your best. Starting your day with a nourishing breakfast […]

Managing your blood sugar levels is an important part of maintaining good health.

This is especially true if you have diabetes. In fact, choosing balanced, nutrient-dense meals and snacks can improve blood sugar regulation, reduce diabetes-related complications, and help you feel your best.

Starting your day with a nourishing breakfast is a smart way to fuel your body and encourage healthy choices at subsequent meals throughout the day (1, 2, 3).

Here are 15 healthy breakfast ideas for people with diabetes.

Meal prepping ensures that you have nutritious and tasty meals available, which takes the guesswork out of what to eat for breakfast.

If you have diabetes, preparing healthy meals before you need them may help you make healthier choices at breakfast and thus improve your blood sugar levels.

The following recipes are both nutritious and meal-prep-friendly.

1. Egg muffins

Eggs are one of the best choices for a filling breakfast. They’re among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, and they’re loaded with protein, a macronutrient that promotes healthy blood sugar levels (4, 5, 6).

Plus, they’re incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of healthy ingredients to create a nourishing, diabetes-friendly breakfast.

This recipe for egg muffins is customizable and perfect for meal prep. You can add your favorite chopped veggies and a bit of cheese for a more filling option. Pair your egg muffins with some fresh fruit for a balanced breakfast.

2. Stuffed sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like the carotenoid pigment known as beta carotene (7).

Sweet potatoes are also high in the minerals magnesium and potassium, both of which are important for blood sugar regulation. Increasing your intake of these minerals may enhance your blood sugar management (8, 9).

There are many ways to enjoy stuffed sweet potatoes. For a diabetes-friendly, plant-based option, top a cooked sweet potato with nut butter, chia seeds, and berries. Sweet potatoes can also be stuffed with eggs, veggies, and cheese for a savory, higher protein option.

Here are a few ideas for meal-prep-friendly stuffed sweet potatoes.

3. Peanut butter and jelly chia pudding

Peanut butter and jelly is an irresistible combination that’s often reserved for lunchtime. However, this peanut butter and jelly chia pudding recipe is perfect for breakfast meal prep as well.

The recipe combines chia seeds with protein-packed peanut butter and nutrient-rich berries to create a filling, healthy choice for people managing their blood sugar levels. Leave out the maple syrup for a lower sugar option.

Chia seeds are packed with nutrients important for blood sugar management, including omega-3 fats, fiber, magnesium, protein, and antioxidants (10).

Plus, studies have shown that chia seeds may lower blood pressure and inflammatory markers and encourage weight loss among people with diabetes (11, 12).

4. Breakfast bento box

If you’re looking for an easy, meal-prep-friendly breakfast, try making a breakfast bento box. All you need is a food storage container with separate compartments and a few of your favorite breakfast foods.

Here are some breakfast bento box combo ideas that are great for meal prep:

  • egg muffins, sliced avocado, apple slices, and nut butter
  • cottage cheese, berries, and salted almonds
  • hard-boiled eggs, half of a cooked sweet potato, cheese cubes, and grapes

When you’re assembling your bento box, include a source of protein, fat, and fiber to ensure your breakfast is filling and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.

Some people with diabetes use low carb diets to regulate their blood sugar levels and support weight loss.

There are many variations of low carb diets, including the popular low carb, high fat keto diet.

Here are a few breakfast recipes for people with diabetes who are following a low carb diet — or those who are interested in incorporating more low carb meals into their dietary pattern.

5. Crustless quiche

Quiches are egg-based dishes typically made within a high carb crust — but if you’re trying to reduce your carb intake, try this crustless quiche recipe instead.

It contains a variety of vegetables like mushrooms, onions, and kale, as well as sources of protein and healthy fats like eggs and feta cheese.

It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge so you can enjoy a filling, nutritious breakfast in a matter of minutes.

6. Almond flour pancakes

Traditional pancakes are high in carbs and often served with sugary toppings like maple syrup or jam. To promote healthy blood sugar regulation, it’s best to limit foods high in refined carbs and added sugars (13).

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to give up pancakes.

This pancake recipe uses almond and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour to lower the carb content. Top these pancakes with nut butter and fresh berries for a low carb, diabetes-friendly breakfast.

7. Low carb breakfast hash

A homecooked breakfast hash can be a healthy way to start the day. Breakfast hashes are versatile and can be made lower in carbs if desired.

This low carb breakfast hash recipe combines healthy ingredients like ground turkey, eggs, kale, zucchini, and butternut squash to create a delicious combination that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Leave out the squash if you want to lower the carb content further.

This recipe is also packed with protein and non-starchy vegetables, both of which promote healthy blood sugar management and improve other markers of health among people with diabetes (14).

8. Egg and greens bowl

Greens like spinach, kale, and arugula are nutritional powerhouses, offering vitamins, minerals, fiber, as well as powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant compounds.

This may be why diets high in green leafy vegetables are linked to numerous health benefits, such as protection against cognitive decline and heart disease (15, 16).

Adding greens to your meals and snacks can boost their nutrient density without adding a significant amount of carbs.

For example, this colorful, low carb egg and greens bowl recipe combines baby greens with other low carb ingredients like roasted cauliflower, eggs, and avocado.

Plant-based diets are eating patterns centered around plant foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds.

These diets have been shown to benefit blood sugar regulation and may improve other health markers, such as blood fat and blood pressure levels, among people with diabetes (17, 18).

However, you don’t have to go entirely vegan to reap the benefits of plant-based diets. Simply focus on adding more plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts to your diet while reducing your intake of foods like red and processed meat.

The following recipes are suitable for those with diabetes and people who follow a plant-based diet.

9. Sweet potato toast

Sweet potato can be made into satisfying toast-like slices. Simply thinly slice a whole sweet potato, bake until crispy, and top with healthy ingredients like avocado, nut butter, or berries.

Check out this guide on how to make perfect sweet potato toast slices. Then, try one of the following topping combos for a plant-based, diabetes-friendly breakfast:

  • banana, peanut butter, and chia seeds
  • avocado, red pepper flakes, microgreens, and feta
  • coconut yogurt, berries, walnuts, and cinnamon

10. Breakfast Buddha bowl

Buddha bowls are typically filled with nourishing ingredients like vegetables and beans, making them a perfect breakfast choice for those with diabetes.

Sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, garlic, bell pepper, broccolini, avocado, and chickpeas star in this hearty breakfast Buddha bowl recipe. Leave out the egg or replace it with tofu to make the meal vegan-friendly.

The high fiber content of this recipe may promote healthy blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full until your next meal (19, 20).

11. Protein overnight oats

Some overnight oats recipes lack protein, a macronutrient that’s especially important for promoting blood sugar regulation and feelings of fullness (4, 5, 6, 21, 22).

That’s why this protein overnight oats recipe is worth a try. It’s made with vanilla protein powder, which boosts the protein content of this diabetes-friendly breakfast option.

Choose a plant-based protein powder like pea protein and top your oats with berries, seeds, cacao nibs, and coconut for a sweet, healthy breakfast that’s perfect to enjoy on the go.

12. Chickpea scramble

Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, and plant-based protein, all of which can benefit people with diabetes.

Studies show that eating beans may lower blood sugar and blood fat levels among people with diabetes. Plus, adding beans to meals may help you feel fuller for longer and reduce the risk of overeating at subsequent meals (23, 24, 25).

This recipe for chickpea scramble uses spices like cumin and turmeric to add color, flavor, and additional health benefits.

Research has shown that diets high in protein may benefit those with diabetes.

For example, a 2018 review of 18 randomized controlled studies found that high protein diets significantly reduced triglyceride levels and promoted weight loss in people with diabetes (26).

Give the high protein breakfast options below a try to kick-start your morning the healthy way.

13. Turkey and sweet potato breakfast hash

If you’re not a fan of eggs or can’t tolerate them, this turkey and sweet potato breakfast hash recipe may become your go-to high protein breakfast.

It’s loaded with healthy ingredients like Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, apple, kale, and herbs, and it’s packed with protein thanks to the ground turkey.

The hash can be made in large batches and stored in your fridge, so you have a healthy breakfast waiting for you in the morning. Plus, even though it’s a breakfast recipe, the recipe works perfectly as a filling lunch or dinner.

14. Cottage cheese breakfast bowls

Cottage cheese packs over 23 grams of protein per cup, making it a smart choice for people looking to increase their intake of this important nutrient (27).

Cottage cheese can be enjoyed sweet or savory. For example, make it sweet by adding cinnamon, berries, and a bit of almond butter, or make it savory by adding spices, sautéed greens, and an egg.

This simple cottage cheese breakfast bowl recipe tops cottage cheese with berries, walnuts, almonds, and cinnamon. But don’t stop there — feel free to experiment with toppings until you find a combination that lights up your tastebuds.

15. Smoked salmon breakfast wrap

Salmon is a rich source of protein and provides a number of nutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, including selenium and omega-3 fatty acids (28).

Studies show that eating fatty fish like salmon may improve blood sugar management and reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy, an eye-damaging complication related to diabetes (29, 30).

Adding smoked salmon to a homemade breakfast wrap is a tasty way to increase your intake of fatty fish and promote healthy blood sugar regulation.

Follow this recipe for easy smoked salmon breakfast wraps for a protein-packed meal that’s sure to jump-start your morning.

Following a nutritious dietary pattern is essential for good overall health.

If you have diabetes, a breakfast that promotes healthy blood sugar levels and provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally may reduce the risk of diabetes complications, encourage a healthy body weight, and keep you feeling full between meals.

Try incorporating some of the nutritious breakfast ideas listed above into your diet for a delicious way to support your health.

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