Many Americans suffer from diabetes and pre-diabetes on a daily basis. You know firsthand how difficult it can be to find food and drinks that don’t raise your blood sugar levels if you have these conditions.
The balance of protein, fat, and fiber in breakfast can help lower blood sugar levels, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of Nutrition Starring You and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.
There is no meal in the day that is more important than breakfast. If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning, you will encounter fewer unwanted food cravings throughout the day and it will help balance your sugar levels. You can choose from plenty of breakfast recipes to make your mornings more interesting if you’re short on ideas. During the morning, my favorite breakfast consists of oatmeal, berries, and Greek yoghurt, which is high in probiotics and contributes to a healthy gut and to a healthy blood sugar level.
You can learn more about plenty of breakfast recipes that can help you control your blood sugar levels by reading Eating Habits That Lower Your Risk of Diabetes.
Fiber and blood sugar
Fiber (8 grams per uncooked cup) makes oatmeal a great breakfast option for those needing to manage their blood sugar, and it’s easy to top with protein and healthy fat.
95 percent of Americans do not consume the recommended fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories, which is 25-38 grams per day. Soluble fiber, particularly, helps manage blood sugar by delaying the rate of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates by forming a gel-like substance with water.
Consuming soluble fiber on a regular basis has been linked not only to helping people manage type 2 diabetes but also to reducing your risk of developing it.
Protein and healthy fats Lower Blood Sugar
SIn addition to soluble fiber, Harris-Pincus says the key to managing blood sugar is finding the right balance between fiber, protein, and healthy fat.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that diets high in protein were effective in controlling blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
You can add plain Greek yogurt or sugar-free nut butter to oatmeal for a protein boost.
Healthy fats (like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are also recommended by the American Diabetes Association as a replacement for unhealthy fats (like trans and saturated).
Research shows that these healthier fats can help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance, which is key to preventing or managing type 2 diabetes.
Healthy fats to include in your oatmeal include walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, or avocado (for a savory version).
Other helpful oatmeal ingredients to lower blood sugar
Harris-Pincus suggests that there are a few carbs you should consume to help manage your blood sugar, even though monitoring your carb intake is helpful.
Even though berries contain carbohydrates, they assist in managing blood sugar levels by containing antioxidant compounds that reduce insulin resistance. Additionally, raspberries and blackberries have a whopping 8 grams of fiber per cup.”