Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day as it provides energy to the body after a period of fasting during sleep. As such, it is extremely important to have a breakfast that is not only delicious but also packed with foods that provide fuel to the body. But, people with diabetes may not be able to consume all foods in a quantity of their choice; they need to be extra careful and select foods that have a low glycemic index that does not affect their blood-sugar level. As such, what are the ideal food options for them?
“For the most nutritious breakfast, diabetics must try to choose whole, unprocessed foods from each of the food groups. Include grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy in your breakfast,” said Dr Ashok Kumar Jhingan, Senior Director – BLK-Max Centre for Diabetes, Thyroid, Obesity & Endocrinology, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital.
The expert further listed some foods that diabetics can include in their diet for a healthy and wholesome breakfast.
Oats, a source of complex carbohydrates, are also rich in fibre and will keep you feeling full for longer. “Oats help regulate blood sugar levels by ensuring the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream is slow and steady,”
Eggs can also be included in breakfast to manage sugar levels. “Eggs are low in calories and high in protein. Eggs help maintain sugar levels and health,” the expert added.
Vegetarians can have besan cheela for breakfast. Made with besan, which is rich in fibre and magnesium, it is nutritious and easy to prepare.
Chia seeds help manage blood sugar levels. The best way for a diabetic patient to consume is after soaking them in water. “Chia seeds have a lot of fibre which is beneficial for managing diabetes.
“Nuts will give you energy, protein, and have a lot of healthy fats,” Dr Jhingan said.
It is packed with protein and can be quite low in natural sugars as bacteria in yoghurt utilise lactose sugar during the fermentation process. “Choose a plain or no added sugar variety for blood sugar balance,” he said.
Dr Ashok also suggested the following combinations of foods that can make healthy breakfast options.
*Oats can be combined with fruits and chia seeds.
*Whole wheat bread with banana.
*Whole wheat bread can be taken with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, and egg.
Dr Ashok recommended limiting the consumption of processed cereals or pastries which contain a lot of added sugars and little nutritional value. “Also, one should refrain from breakfast meats such as sausage and bacon which have been shown to increase the risk of some cancers when eaten regularly and are also high in saturated fats, which increase the risk of heart disease,” he said.