Though you may not realize it, at breakfast time, you're making tons of tiny decisions—from whether you want your eggs scrambled or poached to whether you'd like tea or coffee. But if you have diabetes or prediabetes, your morning meal involves even more decision making as you navigate the best choices for your blood sugar.
The good news: building in the right habits can help you put a healthy, blood sugar-friendly breakfast on autopilot. My top recommendation as a nutritionist? Focus the first meal of the day on fiber!
I'll grant that it may not be the most exciting advice, but upping your fiber intake throughout the day (starting at breakfast) is a surefire choice for steadying blood sugar levels.
Because the body doesn't absorb and break down fiber like other carbs, this macronutrient won't spike or drop your glucose. In fact, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Nutrition, diets high in insoluble cereal dietary fiber (such as whole grains) could significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes in the first place.
Other research has attempted to tease apart the unique effects of soluble and insoluble fiber on blood sugar. A 2021 meta-analysis of 22 studies found that soluble fiber—the kind in oatmeal, avocados, black beans, and Brussels sprouts—was especially effective at improving glycemic control and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes. That said, including any fiber-rich food at breakfast is a smart move, since—again—this carb won't mess with your glucose levels.
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Making fiber a habit at breakfast time doesn't have to be a slog, either. (Don't worry, there's no need to choke down a Brussels sprout smoothie!)
For an appealing, high-fiber start to the day, dress up whole grain options like whole wheat toast, buckwheat waffles, or oatmeal with tasty add-ins such as berries, nut butter, or avocado slices. Or think outside the oatmeal box with these five other high-fiber breakfast ideas, from a veggie-packed hash to a black bean omelet. Whatever your preferences, as you head to the kitchen each morning, give some thought to where you can fit in fiber.