FOOD FOR DIABETES
Sugary cereals, bagels covered in cream cheese, and high-fat bacon breakfasts are the subjects of many food fantasies. However, they are all poor choices for people with diabetes. Diabetes management requires attention to sugar and carbohydrates. To optimize heart health, people with diabetes should also steer clear of high-fat foods that have little nutritional value. This does not mean that people with diabetes have to have dull breakfasts. A number of classic breakfasts are excellent choices. A few minor tweaks to traditional breakfasts can make many of them healthful even for people with type 2 diabetes. Classic breakfasts for type 2 diabetes Breakfasts high in fiber, but low in added sugar, carbohydrates, and salt are excellent choices for people with diabetes. Nutrient-dense foods support feelings of fullness, which can help stop people snacking on unhealthful options. Some healthful breakfast options include the following: Smoothies Fruit juices contain rapidly absorbed sugar and, sometimes, artificial sweeteners that can either trigger blood sugar spikes or affect insulin sensitivity and gut bacteria. Smoothies offer the same sweet taste as juice but contain lots of nutrients that help fight hunger. There are many ways to include different nutrients in a smoothie. Load up on fiber by using spinach, kale, or avocado in a smoothie layer on sweetness by adding frozen berries, bananas, apples, or peaches. Make sure to include some fat or protein to make the smoothie as filling as possible. This will also slow down the digestion of the carbohydrates. Adding a scoop of a protein powder or one-half of a cup of Greek yogurt can make a smoothie even more satisfying. Try this diabetes-friendly smoothie:
- Blend two cups of frozen raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries with an avocado, and one-half of a cup of kale.
- Add water to thin the consistency.
- Use chia seeds to add good fat and extra fiber to the smoothie. They won’t change the taste when balanced with fruit or yogurt.
- Avocado sweet potato toast:Slice a sweet potato long-wise into one-quarter inch thick slices. Fully toast the slices and spread the avocado, adding a poached egg on top if desired. Increase the flavor by adding jalapeño slices or cayenne pepper.
- Bagel substitute:Try toasted sprouted grain bread with peanut or almond butter. Raspberries or walnuts taste great on top.
- Maximize protein intake. Protein can help people feel full. It also enables the development of healthy tissue and muscles. Nuts, legumes, and animal products, such as dairy and meat are excellent sources of protein.
- Fiber can combat blood sugar spikes, support feelings of fullness, and encourage digestive health. Most vegetables, many fruits, nuts, seeds, wheat bran, and oat bran are rich in fiber.
- Sugar isn’t just found in food, be careful of beverages too. Water is a more healthful choice than juice and other sweetened drinks. Sodas and sweetened coffees and teas can cause blood sugar to surge, so limit sweeteners.
- Eating two smaller morning meals 2-3 hours apart can reduce blood sugar level changes, while supporting a healthy weight. Many people with diabetes thrive on a diet that includes five to seven small meals a day.
- High-sodium diets can undermine heart health and elevate blood pressure. People with diabetes should be especially cautious about salt intake. Most salt comes from packaged foods, so it is better to stick to fresh and home-cooked foods instead. Potassium-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, beets, sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, avocado and bananas will help to offset sodium’s effects on health.
- Watch portion size. A healthful breakfast can cause unhealthy weight gain when consumed in large quantities. People with diabetes should read the package or label to determine appropriate serving size.