Whether you’re looking for a quick and simple store bought diabetes breakfast idea, or a fun go to recipe to meal prep, I’ve got you covered!
Let’s dive into what we need to include in breakfast when living with diabetes. And, then I’ll share my favorite diabetes breakfast ideas as a registered dietitian living with diabetes myself.
*This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.*
Diabetes friendly breakfast options
There are so many ways to approach breakfast when you have diabetes:
- Meal prep something ahead of time
- Quick and simple store bought diabetes breakfast ideas
- Diabetes friendly fast food breakfast options
And, there’s not a right or wrong option in that list. The best option for you will be the option that works best for your lifestyle and allows you to enjoy a balanced breakfast without increasing your stress levels, or having to drastically change your daily routine.
The most important thing though? Do not skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast can lead to unstable blood sugars throughout the rest of the day. And, we know from years of research, that eating a breakfast with balanced macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates), can lead to better blood sugar management, improved HgbA1c and more.
What can people with diabetes eat for breakfast?
There are a ton of breakfast options for people with diabetes. Whether you want a quick and simple blood sugar friendly breakfast cereal, or a delicious diabetes friendly casserole recipe, I promise you can find something you enjoy!
What to include in a healthy breakfast for diabetes
Ideally, a good breakfast for diabetes should:
- Be low in added sugar
- Have a decent amount of fiber
- Have at least 15-20g protein
- Include a source of plant based fat
Type 2 diabetes breakfast
If you or a loved one is living with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, breakfast should include plant based fat, fiber, and protein. You’ll want to avoid large amounts of added sugar, especially in the morning time. Many people experience increased insulin resistance right after waking up so it can be harder to regulate blood sugar levels if we’re eating too much sugar early in the day.
Breakfast for type 1 diabetes
Breakfast recommendations for people with type 1 diabetes are similar to those I gave above for type 2 diabetes, but I want to especially mention the importance of protein. Including adequate protein in the morning meal, can help prevent low blood sugars throughout your morning until your next meal. Remember, it takes our bodies longer to digest protein than it does carbohydrate alone, so protein can help sustain blood sugar levels until the next meal.
Gestational diabetes breakfast
Gestational diabetes breakfast ideas should include lower amounts of carbohydrate (15-30g depending on what your personal healthcare team has advised you to do), adequate protein as discussed previously, and plant bases fat. And, nutritional needs and recommendations will change as pregnancy progresses, so it’s important to check in with your health care team for updated breakfast options as your blood sugar levels change.
Ideas for breakfast foods for diabetes
Some of my favorite foods for diabetes breakfast ideas are probably things you already have on hand at home.
- Whole grain toast
- Peanut butter
- Low sugar granola
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Cottage cheese
- Low sugar yogurt
- Protein balls/bites
- Low sugar breakfast bars
- Fruit & veggie packed protein shakes
- Overnight oats
- Breakfast tacos
Best breakfasts for diabetes that are quick and simple
Looking for some easy diabetes breakfast ideas you can buy at the grocery store? Here’s some of my favorites:
Diabetes breakfast cereal
Breakfast cereal can be very hard to navigate when trying to manage blood sugars. Most mainstream options don’t offer much protein or fiber, but more and more brands are offering blood sugar friendly options available at your local store.
- Catalina Crunch
- Magic Spoon
- KIND Healthy Grains Granola
- Nature’s Path Organic Coconut & Cashew Butter Granola
Breakfast drinks for diabetes
Maybe you prefer a ready made smoothie or beverage? Here are my favorite breakfast shakes for diabetes:
- Core Power High Protein Milk Shakes
- Chobani Complete Yogurt Shakes
- Lifeway Whole Milk Kefir
- Ripple Nutrition Protein Shakes
Best breakfast bars for diabetes
Having some good go to bars on hand that are higher in protein and/or fiber can make busy mornings so much easier. These are some of my favorites:
Want more breakfast bars for diabetes options? Read: 28 Best Energy and Protein Bars for Diabetes.
Best yogurts for diabetes friendly breakfast
Yogurt offers protein, but can also be higher in sugar. Here are some of my favorite yogurts for people with diabetes.
Fast food breakfast for diabetes
What can people with diabetes eat for breakfast at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants? I actually have a whole separate blog post on my top fast food picks for diabetes and it includes a whole section on breakfast.
Generally speaking, you want to look for options that are not fried, offer a vegetable if possible, and have both protein and fiber.
Diabetes breakfast recipes
If you prefer to meal prep or fix breakfast the morning of, try some of these great recipes for diabetes breakfast ideas!
Diabetes breakfast recipes low carb
These breakfasts offer a low carb start to your day.
- Veggie, Black Bean, & Egg Quesadilla
- Copycat Baked Starbucks Bacon Egg Bites
- Blood Sugar Friendly Spirulina Smoothie
- Colorful Mediterranean Omelette with Feta
Diabetes breakfast casseroles
I love breakfast casseroles! Prep one ahead of time on the weekend and you’ve got an easy and simple breakfast ready to go for the whole week!
- Classic Overnight Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole
- Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Sweet Potato Overnight Breakfast Bake
- Sweet Potato Blueberry Sausage Frittata
Diabetes breakfast pastries, baked goods, and oatmeal
Baking is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. It’s super easy to whip up some blood sugar friendly baked goods to have on hand for breakfast.