No matter what type of diabetes you have, keeping your blood glucose levels within a healthy range is vital. And beginning the day with a healthy breakfast is one step you can require to accomplish that.
Cereal and Diabetes
Breakfast must be a well balanced meal with sufficient protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It ought to likewise be low in sugarcoated and high in fiber and nutrients.
If you have diabetes, you might already be familiar with the glycemic index (GI). The GI is a way to measure how rapidly foods with carbs raise blood sugar levels.
Carbs offer you the energy you need to start your day. But digesting carbs too quickly can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Foods with a low GI are simpler on your body than those with a high GI. They are digested more gradually and minimize spikes after meals. This is something to keep in mind when choosing breakfast cereals.
It is very important to understand what things impact the GI. Processing, cooking methods, and the kind of grain can all impact how rapidly the food is absorbed. Cereals that are more processed have the tendency to have a greater GI even if they have fiber added to them.
Mixing foods can likewise impact the GI. Having protein and health fats with your cereal can assist prevent spikes in blood glucose.
A healthy cereal begins with entire grains
A healthy breakfast that’s simple to prepare can be as simple as a bowl of cereal, offered you pick carefully.
The supermarket cereal aisle is stacked high with cereals that please your craving for sweets but undermine your glucose levels. Much of the most popular cereals have actually refined grains and sugars at the top of the component lists. Those cereals have few nutrients and lots of empty calories. They can also cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
That’s why it’s important to read labels thoroughly. Look for cereals that list an entire grain as the first ingredient. Refined grains are removed of bran and bacterium during processing, that makes them less healthy.
Entire grains include the entire grain kernel, which provides healthy fiber. Fiber is a crucial element of your diet. It helps manage your blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease. Entire grains also consist of lots of minerals and vitamins.
Generally you can discover the following whole grains in breakfast cereals:
- entire wheat flour
- wheat bran
- whole cornmeal
- brown rice
- wild rice
According to the American Diabetes Association, rolled oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal, and oat bran are all low GI foods, with a GI worth of 55 or less. Quick oats have a medium GI, with a value of 56-69. Corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, and immediate oatmeal are thought about high GI foods, with a value of 70 or more.
Rather of using instantaneous hot cereal packages, think about making a batch of whole or steel-cut oats for the week and keeping it in the refrigerator. Warm up a portion for a few minutes in the microwave each morning and you’ll have a healthy cereal that will be more gradually digested.
Also read: How to Choose a Healthy Cereal?
While you’re reading those cereal box labels…
Keep an eye out for covert components. According to the American Diabetes Association, you need to choose cereals which contain at least 3 grams of fiber and less than 6 grams of sugar per serving.
When picking a healthy breakfast cereal, limit your intake of sugarcoated by skipping granolas and cereals with marshmallows, “frosting,” dried fruits and chocolate flavoring. Also select cereals that are higher in fiber. Fiber is a crucial nutrient to assist you avoid weight gain and heart disease, for which diabetics have increased risk.
The trouble is that sugar has a lot of aliases and might show up on component lists numerous times. Keep in mind, too, that active ingredients are noted in descending order of how much the food includes. If there are 3 types of sugar noted in the top couple of ingredients, it would not be the best option.
The Harvard School of Public Health offers this list of sweeteners that may appear on food labels:
- agave nectar
- brown sugar
- cane crystals
- walking cane sugar
- corn sweetener
- corn syrup
- crystalline fructose
- vaporized cane juice
- fruit juice focuses
- high-fructose corn syrup
- invert sugar
- malt syrup
- maple syrup
- raw sugar
Don’t forget to watch on the sodium level in your cereal, too. Inning accordance with the Mayo Clinic, you need to take in less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily.
Punch it up with protein and nuts
Once you’ve chosen a whole grain cereal, you can include nuts as a source of protein. They will likewise provide additional texture and taste.
Adding protein can help you manage your blood sugar at breakfast and may likewise help you manage your levels after lunch. You can also eat unsweetened Greek yogurt, eggs, or other foods which contain healthy protein to round out your breakfast.
Unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans, can add crunch to your cereal. They include heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. But they’re also fairly high in calories, so eat them in moderation.
Depending upon your meal strategy, adding fruit to your cereal can include sweetness. Just keep in mind to represent this in your carb count if you count carbs, or to manage the portion. Whole fruits are a great addition to a meal, and those with more skin, such as berries, will include much more fiber to your meal.
Top it off with dairy or a dairy substitute
Think about including half a cup of milk or dairy substitute to your bowl of cereal if it suits your meal strategy. Remember that milk contains some natural sugars. Skim milk, 1 percent, or 2 percent milk can take the place of whole milk if you want to consume less calories and less hydrogenated fat.
You can also use soy milk or almond milk if you have a lactose intolerance or do not like dairy milk. Unsweetened soy milk resembles cow’s milk in carbohydrate content. Unsweetened almond milk contains less carbs and calories than dairy or soy milk.
Avoiding type 2 diabetes
Even if you don’t have diabetes, consuming low GI foods is a healthy choice. Inning accordance with the Harvard School of Public Health, a diet high in refined carbohydrates may increase your risk of establishing type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, a diet abundant in entire grains might lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s due to the fact that whole grains cause your blood glucose to increase more gradually, which puts less stress on your body’s ability to produce insulin.
If you select sensibly, hot or cold breakfast cereals can supply a quick and healthy breakfast option. When you’re making your cereal choice, choose products that are high in fiber and whole grains, however low in sugar, sodium, and calories.
Complement your cereal with a small quantity fruit, nuts, or other nutrient-rich toppings along with some milk or milk alternative to complete your meal.
See also: Is Cereal Just for Breakfast?
Which breakfast cereal to choose?
After analyzing the nutrition content of hundreds of cereals, we picked the best cold cereals that are dietitian-approved and taste-tested:
1. The winner of the Flavored Flakes category is Kellogg’s Special K Blueberry
Per serving (3/4 cup): 110 cal., 0 g total fat, 0 mg chol., 140 mg sodium, 26 g carb. (3 g fiber, 8 g sugars), 2 g pro.
2. The winner of the Puffed Cereal category is General Mills Honey Kix
Per serving (1-1/4 cups): 120 cal., 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 190 mg sodium, 28 g carb. (3 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 2 g pro.
3. The winner of the Flavored O’s category is Trader Joe’s Triple Berry-O’s
Per serving (3/4 cup): 110 cal., 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 180 mg sodium, 25 g carb. (3 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 2 g pro.
4. The winner of the Bran Flakes category is Post Grape-Nuts Flakes
Per serving (3/4 cup): 110 cal., 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 125 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (3 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 3 g pro.
5. The winner of the High-Fiber Cereal category is Kellogg’s FiberPlus Antioxidants Cinnamon Oat Crunch
Per serving (3/4 cup): 110 cal., 1.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 140 mg sodium, 26 g carb. (9 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 3 g pro.
6. The winner of the Toasted O’s category is Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s
Per serving (1 cup): 110 cal., 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 200 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (3 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 3 g pro.