What are we supposed to eat for breakfast?
Breakfast can be the most challenging meal of the day. Why? Because we are so used to eating cereal, pastries (Little Debbie anyone?), sugar-filled smoothies, and coffee drinks.
Now that you have a diagnosis, you need to pay attention to sugars and carbohydrates (carbs).
When carbs get digested they become sugar. This raises your blood glucose/sugar level. When blood sugars get high they cause all kinds of organ damage. High blood sugar damages blood vessels leading to heart, eye, and kidney problems. We might not feel any different. The damage can still be happening.
Traditional American breakfast foods are high in carbs and sugar. People with Type 2 diabetes will see high blood sugar levels after eating high-carb meals. A post-meal blood sugar level over 140 mg/dl (H/T diabetes blogger Jenny Ruhl) can cause permanent organ damage.
Permanent. Organ. Damage.
Each time you have a blood sugar spike over 140 mg/dl you can take damage that may not get reversed. This doesn’t have to happen! We can make sure that we don’t start our day like this.
What’s for breakfast when you have Type 2 Diabetes?
Breakfast can be an important meal for people with Type 2 diabetes. It sets the tone for your eating and blood sugar levels throughout the day. It can also create a cascade of sugar cravings that cause you to make poor food choices. In fact, one of the most asked questions we get is “what is the best cereal for people with Type 2 Diabetes?”
Riding the roller coaster of sugar cravings all day is exhausting. When your blood sugar goes high, it then crashes. The crashes cause you to crave more sugar. If you eat more sugar you’ll go up and down again. This can go on all day long leaving you feeling terrible. It is the reason we need a healthy low-carb breakfast.
Having some healthy fats with breakfast can help you feel fuller for longer. This is because fats are often the last thing to get digested. If you feel fuller for longer, you can add more time between meals. When you do this it gives your body a chance to digest your food between meals. It also allows time for your body to process out your blood sugar from the last meal before adding more. If we eat food back to back, we never get to clear out our blood sugar. I’m sure you have been told that it’s important to eat 3 meals a day and have a snack in between. This is terrible advice!
Healthy fats include:
Avocados (great in smoothies)
Nuts and nut butter (low or no sugar)
Flax seeds (great in smoothies)
Grass-fed beef – yes, for breakfast!
Wild caught salmon, cod, rockfish, tuna
Bacon (low sugar)
Greek yogurt (plain only)
A good Ketogenic (keto) breakfast cookbook will provide a wealth of recipes and ideas.
The goal of a keto diet is to get your body into ketosis. A good goal for people looking to reverse Type 2 diabetes is to keep carbs lower than 501 grams per day. Keeping carbs below 50 grams per day will help you stay in Ketosis. Ketosis is good!
Ketosis is when your body breaks down fat for fuel. It breaks the fat down into ketones. Ketones are then used for fuel. You burn fat when your body uses ketones for fuel instead of glucose. Ketosis stabilizes blood sugars and encourages weight loss. Eating a meal high in carbs and sugar will push you out of Ketosis.
Ketosis is one of the best ways to get blood sugar under control and lose weight. Both of these things are key to reversing Type 2 diabetes. Reversing Type 2 diabetes is the goal. Eating a Ketogenic diet has been shown to help reverse Type 2 diabetes.
What are some healthy meal choices for breakfast when you have Type 2 Diabetes?
Eggs and bacon
Scrambled eggs with sausage
Sauteed veggies and eggs
Smoothie with protein powder. Add low-sugar fruits like blueberries with avocado and nut milk
Breakfast bowl with plain Greek yogurt, berries, nuts, and chia seeds – this is not low in sugar, but it’s a start if you are new to this
Pan-fried hash made from chopped veggies, meats, eggs, and topped with avocado
I like to have leftovers for breakfast. When I cook, I always make enough dinner so that there will be enough for me to eat in the morning.
I used to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD.) I would have laughed you out of the room if you said that I would start eating soup for breakfast! Now, I love a hot cup of bone broth as my morning beverage. Bone broth is easy to make and is so healing. There are a lot of easy nutritious soups you might enjoy in the morning. We have to challenge the idea that breakfast has to be loaded with sugar and carbohydrates. Who says we can’t have dinner or lunch foods for breakfast? We seem to like breakfast for dinner, so let’s just reverse it!
Here are some benefits of drinking bone broth:
Supports healthy immune function
Helps with digestion
Has the building blocks we need for healthy joints
It may help reduce inflammation
Can help prevent osteoarthritis
Can help heal Ulcerative Colitis2
Are you used to a cup of coffee in the morning? It might be time to switch to decaf. Caffeine can increase insulin resistance. This leads to high blood sugar levels. We know this causes harm.
Replacing a caffeinated morning beverage with bone broth for breakfast is healing.
Quick easy bone broth recipe:
Place a whole chicken in a crock pot or Instant Pot
Cover with water
Add some sea salt
Cook until the chicken is ready
Pull the chicken out and let it cool until you can handle it
Remove all the meat and set it aside to eat however you like
Place all skin and bones, especially cartilage back in the pot
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to draw the minerals out of the bones
Cook for another 4 hours in a crock pot or 40 minutes in an Instant pot
I often use my bone broth for lunch or dinner. Sometimes I add some of the chicken and leftover veggies from dinner to make a soothing bowl of soup. I feel better when drinking bone broth. The fats also help me stay satiated longer so snacking and cravings don’t pop up during my day.
When I first started I felt put off by the gelatinous consistency, but you only see this when the broth has been refrigerated. That consistency disappears once it’s reheated. I learned that the thicker it is the more full of healthy nutrients it is. I also learned that, at least for me, adding a small chunk of beet made it a prettier color. Sometimes we have to do these little tricks to get started with new healthy foods.