Eating breakfast can help control blood glucose
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – especially when you have diabetes. Eating breakfast not only provides your body with energy, it can help you control your blood glucose during the day.
"Your body needs food to make glucose, which will be used for energy," says Virginia Bennett, dietitian and diabetes educator with Allina Medical Clinic. "When you eat breakfast, your body uses this energy to help you do your daily activities."
Eating breakfast will:
- provide fuel for your brain, nerves and muscles
- help with weight control
- help prevent over eating at lunch time
- help control what you eat during the day.
When you don't eat breakfast, your liver will have to make extra glucose. This can make controlling your blood glucose even harder.
Skipping breakfast may also lead you to not make good food choices later in the morning when you do get hungry.
"Breakfast provides your body with good nutrition," said Bennett. "When you skip breakfast, you miss out on some of those nutrients and it can be hard to make up for those the rest of the day."
Your breakfast meal plan
"It is important to have a breakfast plan based on your own needs," says Bennett. "Your plan may be different if you take insulin or oral medicines to control your diabetes."
Bennett recommends talking with your diabetes educator or health care provider to set up the breakfast meal plan that is right for you.
A healthful breakfast has three to five carbohydrate choices or 45 to 75 grams of carbohydrates.
Here are two breakfast examples with four carbohydrate choices:
- 1 slice toast = 1 carbohydrate choice
- ½ cup cereal = 1 carbohydrate choice
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- ½ medium banana = 1 carbohydrate choice
- 1 cup (8 ounces) skim milk = 1 carbohydrate choice
- Coffee or tea
- 1 ½ cups dry, unsweetened cereal with 1 cup skim milk = 3 carbohydrate choices
- ½ cup orange juice = 1 carbohydrate choice
- Coffee or tea
Breakfast on the go
If you don't have time to eat breakfast before leaving home, Bennett suggests splitting up your meal during the morning. For example, have some yogurt, milk, or a banana before you leave home. Eat some cereal in the car or while riding the bus. And then have the rest of your breakfast when you get to work.
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Keep your body - and diabetes - in balance with holistic eating
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Source: Virginia Bennett, diabetes educator, registered dietitian, Allina Medical Clinic; Allina Health System Press, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, dia-ahc-90196 (12/06)
First published: 02/16/2007
Last updated: 02/16/2007
Reviewed by: Mary Frederick, RN, diabetes program manager, Allina Medical Clinic