Diabetes type 2 is a condition where blood sugar in the body is too high, and it can develop when the body is unable to make enough insulin and respond properly to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that normally helps our bodies to use or store glucose from food. It’s commonly said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and new research shows why it’s so important to eat healthily in the morning. Skipping breakfast entirely or eating a high-sugar and high-carb breakfast could wreak havoc on one’s blood sugar levels.
If the body does not receive fuel in the morning, it will need to create it’s own fuel by releasing blood sugar into the blood stream, causing blood glucose to increase.
Skipping breakfast causes blood sugar spikes throughout the day and there is a greater chance that a person will consume less healthy choices and overeat.
With convenience food often being unhealthy, and a proper breakfast taking too long, what makes a quick and nutritious breakfast?
For type 2 diabetics, having a breakfast of high fibre and complex carbohydrates with proteins is best.
Professor Jonathan Little said: “The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with type 2 diabetes and because typical Western breakfast foods including cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit are high in carbohydrates.
“Breakfast, is the problem meal that leads to the larges blood sugar spikes for people with type 2 diabetes.”
Professor Little noted that by eating a low-carb and high-fat meal first thing in the morning is a simple way to prevent this large spike, improve glycemic control throughout the day and could reduce other diabetes complications.
Best breakfast options for type 2 diabetics:
- Grain free granola
- Boiled eggs
- Muesli low carb cereal
- Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
- Avocado omelette
- Cauliflower hash brown
- Flourless low carb waffles
“The inclusion of a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast meal in type 2 diabetic patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications,” added Professor Little.
Diabetes UK recommends:
- Switch from white toast to wholegrain versions like seeded batch bread, multi-seed, granary, soya or linseed.
- Instead of jam, try mashing banana or use low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, chopped dates, or almost butter.
- Use as little oil as possible when cooking.
- Add extra fruit and veg to bump up your fibre intake.
The backbone of treating type 2 diabetes is always healthy eating plus physical activity.
However, type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and, in time, medication is likely to become a necessary and many even progress to insulin injections if unhealthy choices are made.
A person should not go longer than five hours between meals and should try and aim to eat more for breakfast and lunch and then less at dinner.
If you suspect you might have type 2 diabetes and are not sure what is the best foods to eat, it is recommended to see a dietician who will be able to devise a diet for yourself.