Breakfast, anyone? The answer should be yes! Starting the day off right is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially for diabetics.
German researchers recently reviewed a collection of study data on the impacts of breakfast on the body. Their findings were clear – skipping breakfast raises risk of developing type II diabetes! Yes, even if it’s only occasionally.
The review found that skipping breakfast even one day per week results in a 6% higher risk. Skip breakfast 4-5 times per week and risk skyrockets to 55%! This shouldn’t be a surprise – stabilizing blood sugar for the entire day begins the moment we wake up.
Diabetics often experience higher blood sugar in the morning. This is known as the Dawn Phenomenon. Even when the human body is asleep it requires energy. When the body is awake and needs fuel, it turns to glucose in the muscles.
However, in sleep, the muscles are relaxed and not moving. So instead the body turns to the liver to produce the glucose it needs. When the liver releases the glucose, there is not always enough insulin available to control it, so blood sugar rises. The dawn phenomenon is a normal, natural rise in blood sugar that occurs in the early morning hours, between roughly 4-8 AM when the person is about to wake for the day.
This occurrence makes starting the day with the right breakfast even more important for those who struggle with high blood sugar. Not only that, but skipping breakfast has also been linked to increased blood sugar levels following lunch and dinner.
When we skip a meal, blood sugar begins to fluctuate. As soon as we eat, blood sugar spikes in response. Not only does this cause stress and damage to the body, it can lead to overeating and poor food choices. It’s simple – when you’re hungry, you are more likely to reach for the fastest and easiest thing to eat. More often than not, this would lead to a selection that is less then blood sugar friendly.
One survey found that more than half of Americans skip breakfast at least once a week. Over 10% of us don’t eat breakfast at all! The reported reason? Not enough time.
For many people, life is so busy and hectic that they simply don’t have time to eat. Let alone, plan to ensure that healthy meal options are readily available.
That same poll found that when the majority of people did eat breakfast, they got it on the go. Fast food drive-thrus and coffee shops were the most popular breakfast choices. Needless to say, not many healthy, blood sugar stabilizing foods are waiting for us in those locations. However, it is totally possible to up the breakfast game with minimal time and effort.
Let’s define a healthy breakfast first. While it is true that the body uses carbohydrates for energy, diabetics must get their fuel from other sources in order to keep blood sugar under control. The key to a blood sugar stabilizing, high-energy breakfast is the balance of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Eggs are a great source of morning protein, and are a great base for our high-energy breakfast. Add half an avocado and a side of sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon and you’re good to go! The next question is – how do you like your eggs?
If you love a perfectly scrambled egg, the keys are heat and a little patience. Keep the stovetop on medium heat. With one hand, gently move the pan in a circular motion over the heat.
With your other hand, stir the eggs in the opposite direction until they are set. (Keep in mind, they will continue to cook in the hot pan even after you turn off the stovetop, so you may want to pull them off the heat just before they are set to your preference.)
In a hurry? Make a 60-second omelet instead! In the bottom of a large coffee mug, microwave one tablespoon of butter for 15 seconds. Crack two eggs into the mug, along with a splash of whole milk, salt and pepper. Add any additional fillings (cheese, ham, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. and whisk with a fork. Microwave for one minute and its omelet time.
If you’re not an egg fan, don’t despair. A healthy, delicious breakfast is still within reach. Diabetic Kitchen Cinnamon Pecan Granola Cereal is the perfect way to get your day off to a sweet start!
Daily blood sugar management starts with breakfast. By combining healthy fats, protein and fiber, the body is fueled for success (and for more stable blood sugar throughout the day.) The moral of the story? Eat the right breakfast and enjoy better blood sugar!