Whether you’re looking for quick and simple store bought diabetes breakfast ideas, or fun go-to products, I’ve got you covered!
Let’s dive into what we need to include in breakfast when living with diabetes. 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 breakfast options – key things to factor in
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. It will allow 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.
Curious about how to lower fasting blood sugar numbers? Read this post on bedtime snacks for more information.
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 you’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 ideas
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-based fat.
Nutritional needs and recommendations will also 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.
Breakfast ideas 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
Diabetes breakfast recommendation breakdown
Jump to one of these sections for my product and recipe recommendations for diabetes breakfast options!
- Breakfast cereal
- Drinks for diabetes
- Best breakfast bars
- Best yogurts
- Breakfast recipes
- Best fast food breakfasts
Best breakfasts for diabetes that are quick and simple
Looking for some easy diabetes breakfast ideas you can buy at the grocery store? Here are some of my favorites.
1. 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: Catalina Crunch cereal is my personal favorite when it comes to taste. Each serving has 9g fiber, 11g protein, and 0g sugar. It comes in several flavor options too!
- Magic Spoon: Magic Spoon cereal is similar to Catalina Crunch but comes in some pretty fun nostalgic flavors like Blueberry Muffin and Cookies & Cream. Each serving contains 4-5g net carbohydrate, 12-14g protein, and <1g sugar.
- KIND Healthy Grains Granola: The amounts of added sugar vary for each flavor but are all relatively low. And, since the main ingredients are nuts, nut butter, seeds, and oats, each serving has 10+g protein.
- Gr8nola: A delicious classic granola option sweetened with a touch of honey and monk fruit? Yes, please! And, it has a ton of almonds and flaxseeds which means lots of fiber.
- Nature’s Path Organic Coconut & Cashew Butter Granola: I could probably finish a whole bag of this granola in one sitting! It’s so good! It has only 5g added sugar/serving.
2. 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: These milkshakes are the perfect low sugar chocolate milk alternative. Pair one of these with some fruit and you’ve a delicious blood sugar friendly breakfast on-the-go.
- Chobani Complete Yogurt Shakes: Each Chobani Complete Shake has 3g fiber and 20g protein. And I love the flavors. But, make sure you pair it with something else as they’re not big enough to make a whole meal.
- Lifeway Whole Milk Kefir: Kefir is a great way to add probiotics to your day. Lifeway’s flavors are delicious and relatively low in added sugar compared to other brands. My favorite flavor is blueberry!
- Ripple Nutrition Protein Shakes: Of the plant based breakfast shake options available, Ripple is my favorite for blood sugars. Each shake offers 20g protein and 2g fiber.
3. 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:
- Oatmega Protein Bars: Oatmega bars have only 5g sugar, but 14g protein. They can’t make a full meal, but they’re a great addition when you need a quick breakfast.
- KIND Breakfast Protein Bars: These KIND protein bars are my go-to bars when I need a quick complex carb source in the morning. Paired with a Greek yogurt (like one of the one’s below) they’re a great pre-morning workout breakfast!
- Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars: My kids absolutely love these bars and I love that they’re a great source of fiber. The first ingredient is peanuts which helps each bar have 6g fiber.
- GoodMeasure bars: Good Measure bars are my favorite low carb bar option. They’re sweetened with allulose and have only 4-5g net carbs in each bar.
Want more breakfast bars for diabetes options? Read: 28 Best Energy and Protein Bars for Diabetes.
4. 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.
- Siggi’s 4% Simple Ingredient Skyr: Siggi’s is a great low sugar higher protein yogurt option, and has the best texture of any yogurt product on the market.
- Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurt: This is my go-to morning yogurt. My favorite is the vanilla, but all the flavors I’ve tried are delicious. Each cup has 12g protein and 10g carbohydrate.
- Two Good yogurt: Two Good has really started to expand their flavor line. Each cup has only 2g sugar and is great for people wanting to eat low carb or keto.
- Fage 2% Greek Yogurt: Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt is my top pick for a plain Greek yogurt. It’s perfect for yogurt bowls and adding to smoothies!
Diabetes breakfast recipes
If you prefer to meal prep or fix breakfast the morning of, I have a whole post dedicated to the best diabetes breakfast recipes!
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.
As you can see, finding a diabetes breakfast doesn’t have to be a challenging process. Keep this list handy and you’ll always have a nutritious and well-balanced breakfast option on hand.