Cottage cheese for diabetes

One of the advantages of having diabetes is the chance to try all sorts of different, new, and exciting foods. Maybe you haven’t experienced that yet, but people all over the country keep sending me diabetes-friendly products to try.

Most of them are healthy and tasty. Anyway, none of them have poisoned me yet. One of the most surprisingly good foods that I’ve had the pleasure of eating arrived a couple of days ago.

These are muffins – but not just your typical muffin, which are loaded with carbs (especially sugar), and fat. These NexGen muffins are instead loaded with fiber – 24 grams per muffin – and calcium – 1000 mg, which is 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of both the fiber and calcium.

Valerie Berkowitz just sent me 15 delicious and healthy Lemon Poppy and Banana Walnut Muffins. A Certified Diabetes Educator, she is director of nutrition at the Center for Balanced Health.

She writes me that her husband, Keith Berkowitz, M.D., and his partner, Peter Radatti, Ph.D., created these muffins to use fiber rather than flour. Dr. Berkowitz founded the Center for Balanced Health, a medical practice specializing in the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic conditions.

They opened their Internet store in early March 2007 under the NexGen label. These muffins are available online now from them at http://www.nexgenfoods.com (not http://www.nextgenfoods.com/ which I mistyped the first time). You can buy their 15-pack of 4 oz. muffins, shipped frozen (since they use no preservatives) for $37.50 plus FedEx charges.

The complete ingredient list of their muffins is outstanding:

For their Lemon Poppy Muffins it is egg, fiber, poppy seeds, baking powder, calcium carbonate, butter, water, natural lemon flavor, sucralose, and canola oil. Their Banana Walnut Muffins have the same ingredients ,except they add walnuts and natural banana flavor instead of the poppy seeds and natural lemon flavor.

Even better for people like me who are trying to lose weight is that each muffin has only 180 calories. The best news is how eating one of these muffins changes blood glucose levels.

Yesterday my level was 119 just before I took my first bite of the muffin. While I like to dose my muffins with Tupelo honey, I abstained for the test and used only Spectrum Spread, which has no carbs. After 72 minutes, when our blood glucose levels tend to peak, my BG had gone down to 111.

The results today were similar. My levels were 127 before and 129 exactly 72 minutes after the first bite.

My only complaint is that we can find so few healthy and tasty foods like this out there. However, Valerie tells me that orange pineapple muffins will be coming soon, likely in June. They also expect to have a pita, frozen pizza, bread sticks, and pretzels. Except for the pizza, they won’t have to be refrigerated, thus adding to the convenience. I’m standing by.

Is cheese safe for people with diabetes?

Share on PinterestCheese is safe in moderation for people with diabetes.

People with diabetes can safely eat cheese as part of a balanced, healthful diet.

As with other foods, moderation is key, and so a diet that includes too much cheese would be harmful to people with or without diabetes.

A person with diabetes can consider the following when selecting a cheese to include in a diabetes-friendly diet.

Calories

Cheese is very high in calories and fat. Though calorie content varies between varieties of cheese, people with diabetes should avoid overindulging.

Type 2 diabetes has strong links to obesity and losing even a few pounds can reduce the risk of diabetes. More than 87 percent of people with diabetes are medically overweight or obese.

Several steps can help people with diabetes eat cheese and minimize weight gain, including:

  • Stick to small servings of cheese.
  • Choose lower-calorie varieties.
  • Use cheese for flavor rather than as the main ingredient of a meal.

Saturated fat

Cheese is high in saturated fat when compared with many other foods. In small quantities, saturated fat is harmless and can be beneficial to the body. However, too much can cause weight gain, high cholesterol, gallbladder problems, and heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommend a diet that contains no more than 5–6 percent saturated fat, meaning that in a 2,000-calorie daily diet, no more than 120 calories or 13 grams (g) should come from saturated fats.

Other experts advise no more than 10 percent of daily calorie intake of saturated fat, which raises the amount of cheese a person can consume.

People with diabetes can meet these goals by sticking to a diet that contains no more than one serving of cheese per day.

The connection between saturated fat intake and heart disease is not as clear as it once seemed. An analysis of previous research found insufficient evidence linking saturated fats and heart disease.

With that said, being mindful of overall intake is still a sensible position to take, particularly from red meat, bacon, sausage, full-fat dairy products, and other high-fat foods.

As people with diabetes already face a higher risk of heart disease than others, they may want to continue reducing their saturated fat intake until research provides clearer guidelines.

The emphasis for people with diabetes should be to follow a largely plant-based diet that is rich in unsaturated fats.

Sodium

People with diabetes should keep their salt (sodium) intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day or less. Salt can elevate blood pressure, causing or worsening diabetes-related cardiovascular concerns.

Cheese is often high in salt, particularly processed cheeses. A 2018 study, for example, found a mean salt content of 863 mg per 100 g of processed cheese.

The study found that fresh cheese had a mean salt content of 498 mg per 100g. To minimize sodium content, people can choose fresh cheese over processed goods.

Will cheese affect blood sugar levels?

Cheese has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning that it releases glucose slowly and will not trigger significant blood glucose spikes. People often consume cheese alongside other foods, however, and some of these may spike blood glucose.

People often include sources of carbohydrates, such as crackers, fruit, or honey on a cheese plater. These will directly affect blood sugar, but pairing them with an appropriate portion of cheese can prolong feelings of fullness and satisfaction.

People with diabetes must also be mindful of the portion sizes of the foods they eat, along with the cheese itself, to manage their saturated fat and sugar intake.

Low-Carb, High-Impact – 22 Healthy Recipes

By Catherine Newman

Eating fewer carbs can mean more stable energy and blood sugars; read for appealing recipe ideas

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This month, we’re showcasing our existing low-carb diaTribe recipes and introducing some new ones. And that’s not because we’re promoting a fad diet, I swear, or working for the bacon people, or hoping that you will renounce toast for the rest of your life. (Although honestly, as far as that last one goes? Feel free.) It’s because, as our own Adam Brown has demonstrated, a low- or lower-carb diet is, at least for folks with diabetes, helpful in achieving more stable blood sugars and lower insulin needs. But those things translate into facts for folks without diabetes too: more stable blood sugar means more stable energy, which means I just feel better. If I wake up and eat an egg or another high-protein breakfast food, like the Cottage Cheese Pancakes below? I feel full, keyed up, and ready to think. If I roll out of bed into, say, a pile of glazed donuts? I feel hyper and giddy – boinging around purposelessly for about three minutes – and then exhausted and brain-dead, and then hungry again. I realize these observations are not a scientific study. But Adam’s got the science, so please and see it if you like.

For the purpose of this column we are defining a low-carb meal as one that has 15 or fewer grams of carbohydrates in a single serving. Of course, when trying out new low-carb recipes, keep an eye out on blood sugars and insulin dosing. All of these recipes are family-tested, satisfying, and delicious – and that means even to people (such as, for instance, teenagers) who might typically be torn from their beloved carbs kicking and screaming. But don’t take my word for it.

Click to jump to new recipes:

  • Cottage Cheese Pancakes
  • Basic Cauliflower Rice
  • Perfectly Simple Guacamole
  • Herby Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps

And, at the very bottom, are previous recipes we’ve shared that are also low-carb.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 9 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

My daughter and I would basically eat these every morning – and sometimes, for weeks at a time, we do. It’s mostly only running out of cottage cheese that slows us down. If you have Eastern European relatives, then you will know what I mean when I describe them as a little bit like blintzes, but with the filling and crepe all mixed together: tender, delicate, and so tasty. Please note, too, that the recipe scales down easily: you can even quarter it to make the perfect serving for one person.

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups full-fat (4%) cottage cheese

4 eggs

4 tablespoons flour (all-purpose, or experiment with whole-grain, coconut, and/or almond flour)

3 tablespoons melted butter (plus more butter for greasing the pan and serving)

¾ teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

Instructions

1. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat while you prepare the batter.

2. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until there are no lumps.

3. Butter the skillet (which should be hot by now), then pour in dollops of batter so that they spread into 3- or 4-inch circles. Cook until the underside is deeply golden and the edges are starting to look dry, then flip and cook until the other side is golden (around 5 minutes altogether).

4. Serve with butter and fruit, or, honestly – and this is my favorite way – completely plain.

Basic Cauliflower Rice

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 6 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

I know, I know. “Cauliflower Rice” is the kind of thing you see all over the internet, and you’re like, please. Because you imagine it’s going to have as much in common with real rice as a baby carrot has with a Cheeto. And you’re kind of right. Cauliflower rice is not really like rice. But it is delicious and satisfying as its own thing – a cross between a vegetable and something vaguely grain-like, and it’s packed with vitamins and fiber instead of carbs. You can buy it in 16-ounce packages at Trader Joe’s and many supermarkets, but it’s easy to make your own from a whole head of cauliflower (or a bag of florets, if that’s what you’ve got). And you can use it as a simple or gussied-up side, or as the base for a main dish.

Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower

3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

Instructions

1. Use a large knife to cut the cauliflower into quarters, then cut the hard core out of each quarter (the leaves will come off with it) and discard it. Use your hands to break the quarters up into florets that are around an inch or two across. (If this is your first time prepping cauliflower, see this article for an easy-to-follow video.)

2. In three batches, put the florets in a food processor or blender fitted with a steel blade, and pulse until the pieces are around the size of a grain of rice. Some will be more like couscous, and some will be slightly larger, and all of it is fine! Dump the riced cauliflower into a large bowl as you finish each batch. If you notice some stray large pieces, you can leave them, eat them, or pop them back in the food processor—your call!

3. Heat the oil in a wide pan over high heat. When it is hot, add all the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally at first, until it is just turning golden on the edges, and as tender as you like it. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. At first it will get very steamy and damp, and then it will start to dry out and you will need to stir it more.

4. Season the cauliflower with the salt. Taste it and add more if it needs it, then serve.

Fancy it up with:

  • a spoonful of garlic butter and a sprinkle of parsley

  • a scoop of tomato or meat sauce

  • a swirl of pesto

Or swap it into your favorite fried-rice recipe, where it will behave compellingly like rice.

Or make this filling, fantastic, and adaptable Cauliflower Rice Casserole: Mix the cooked cauliflower rice with 6 beaten eggs, 1 cup of grated cheese (include some cottage or cream cheese, if you like), 1 tablespoon grainy or Dijon mustard, the grated zest of ½ a lemon, and other herbs and seasonings of your choice (I like to add sautéed onions, finely chopped dill or parsley, and plenty of salt and pepper). Pour this mixture into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 until puffed, golden, and set, around 30-40 minutes. Makes 6 servings, 5-7 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Perfectly Simple Guacamole

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 7-10 grams per serving (depending on the vegetables you dip)

Hands-on time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Probably you think your favorite part of chips and guac is the chips, but if you make really excellent guacamole and serve it with an exciting assortment of vegetables, you might not miss those chips as much as you imagine. Feel free to add whatever you like to this recipe: salsa, chopped tomatoes, even corn kernels. But try it plain first – that’s how we grew to love it after a trip to Mexico, where we were served chunky, simple guacamole seasoned only with lime and salt, and it was absolute perfection. Plus, avocados are such nutritional powerhouses – filled with fats, vitamins, and minerals – that you’ll feel great after eating it.

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled (watch how to cut an avocado here)

Juice of one juicy lime (about 2 tablespoons) plus a few scrapings of its zest

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

1 tablespoon finely chopped raw onion and/or 1 finely minced garlic clove (optional)

Instructions

1. In a bowl, using a fork, mash together the avocado with the lime juice and zest and the salt. Stir in the optional ingredients.

2. Add salt or lime juice to taste, then serve with raw vegetables for scooping: carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, celery stalks, cucumber spears or slices, green beans, sugar snap peas, and radishes.

Herby Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps

Makes: 2-3 servings

Total carbohydrates: 2-6 grams per serving, depending on accompaniments

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

This is such an insanely delicious dinner that my family can identify it by smell from outside of our house. Plus, it’s lots of fun for each person to assemble their own wraps with all their favorite herbs and accompaniments. Even the herb-suspicious tend to feel friendly towards fresh mint, if you can get your hands on some. The only problem is the deliciousness itself, which makes it so that you kind of have to double this recipe to feed a family of four.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or sambal oelek (or something else spicy)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 scallions, slivered

1 tablespoon finely minced ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound ground beef (yes, you can use turkey)

For serving

  • 1 head of butter lettuce or Boston bibb lettuce, whole leaves washed and dried

  • 2 cups fresh herb leaves, ideally mint, basil, and cilantro (or pick 1 or 2)

  • Carrots (grated) and/or radishes (sliced), and/or cucumber (sliced or cut into thin strips), sprinkled with salt and white or rice vinegar

  • Pickled jalapeno slices (from a jar)

  • Slivered scallions

  • Hot sauce

Instructions

1. In a small bowl or mug, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and hot sauce.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds, then add the ground beef, raise the heat to high, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks.

3. Stir in soy sauce mixture and simmer until it’s heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. Let folks at the table help themselves to lettuce leaves, which they should think of as a kind of leafy taco shell and fill with meat, herbs, veggies, and other accompaniments.

Here are more low-carb recipe ideas that we’ve shared in the past:

Breakfast

  • Fluffy protein-packed pancakes
  • Cheesy mini ricotta frittatas
  • Big-batch bacon
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Perfect boiled eggs

Lunch

  • Zippy egg salad
  • Green roll-ups
  • Mason jar salads
  • Any-veggie soup

Snacks

  • Salami jerky
  • Quesadizza
  • Rosemary-roasted pecans
  • Cheater deviled eggs
  • Smoky feta dip

Dinner

  • Rotisserie chicken 10 ways
  • Zucchini spaghetti
  • Slow-roasted salmon
  • Best roasted vegetables

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Last year they started the WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and are currently developing Seasoned, their senior version, commissioned by the AARP. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health and happiness at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

Diabetes Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid

Mom is still right: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you have type 2 diabetes. Your diabetes diet needs to give you a healthy supply of energy to jumpstart your body in the morning.

“Remember that first thing in the morning, you’ve gone many hours without eating and your body needs fuel,” says Kelly O’Connor, RD, director of diabetes education at the endocrinology center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “If you’re not giving it any, it will create its own in the form of stored blood sugar that gets released into your bloodstream — which often results in blood sugar that’s too high.”

Healthy breakfast food is also a must when it comes to diabetes control and weight management. “Remember that when your body is fasting, you’re not giving it any energy, so it slows down to conserve what it has left, which is counterproductive,” O’Connor says. The trick is to keep your metabolism going all day long at a steady rate. “The simple solution to both of these issues is to eat a good breakfast,” she says.

Avoiding Breakfast Mistakes

Breakfast blunders can happen during the week when you wake up late and try eating breakfast while running out the door, or on the weekend when you go out for a big breakfast.

However, the biggest mistake to avoid is skipping breakfast altogether. When you go too long without eating, your body goes into starvation mode. And when you finally give in to hunger later in the day (and probably overeat), your body will grab all the fat from your meal and store it. That’s bad for anyone, especially for someone with type 2 diabetes.

Here are some other breakfast mistakes to avoid:

Don’t fly on a sugar high. If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning for healthy breakfast foods, you may be tempted to wolf down a doughnut and coffee for the extra sugar and caffeine, but this is a mistake. “Breakfast should be a meal that provides your body fuel for the next couple of hours,” O’Connor says. “It should be a valuable source of energy, not just quick energy.” From a doughnut and coffee with sugar, she says, “you’ll get a temporary sugar high, but you won’t have done your body any favors, and it’ll wear off quickly, likely resulting in a blood-sugar crash.”

Don’t forget fiber. Breakfast is also a great opportunity to get some fiber, which is good for diabetes because fiber fills you up without raising your blood sugar. That can mean better blood-sugar control and fewer calories. Try to get 7 to 10 grams of fiber every morning as part of a healthy breakfast for diabetes.

Add protein for a balanced breakfast. “Breakfast should combine healthy sources of carbohydrates, around 15 to 30 grams, with a small amount of lean protein,” O’Connor says. “Think of the carbohydrates as the energy your body needs and the protein as what gives it staying power.” Protein also helps you feel fuller.

Include fruit and vegetables for fiber plus nutrition. Colorful fruits and vegetables are a low-calorie source of carbohydrates. Include them in your breakfast for vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If your diabetes diet incorporates 2,000 to 2,400 calories, you should get four servings each of fruits and vegetables daily — and breakfast is a good time to get started.

Don’t drink your breakfast. Although some people like breakfast drinks, “better nutrition comes from whole foods,” O’Connor says. “Juicing is a popular trend, but keep in mind that one large serving of juiced fruits contains significant carbs and calories.” That means you can experience a rise in blood sugar and weight gain from juicing too frequently.

Avoid processed meats and other bad breakfast choices. Bacon, sausage, and ham don’t add carbs to your diet, but they’re not healthy protein choices either. “Bad breakfast choices provide excessive calories with little or no nutrition,” O’Connor says. “Stay away from breakfast bars, large coffee drinks with whipped cream and caramel, sweetened cereals, and breakfast pastries.”

Eating a Healthy Breakfast for Diabetes

Knowing what not to eat for breakfast is only part of the battle when you have diabetes. Understanding what makes for a healthy breakfast food is just as important. O’Connor offers these balanced-breakfast solutions:

For meals on the go, choose a piece of fruit with low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Or try a breakfast burrito with scrambled egg whites on a whole-wheat tortilla.

To get more fiber in your breakfast, try oatmeal with fresh fruit and low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole-grain cereal, toasted whole-wheat bread or English muffins, or breakfast wraps or burritos made with whole-grain tortillas.

For healthy and lean protein sources, try a handful of almonds, natural peanut butter, or a slice of low-fat cheese. An occasional egg is also fine. (You can eat egg whites or egg substitutes more often since they don’t have cholesterol.) Low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are also good sources of breakfast protein.

If you want to juice your breakfast, keep the portion to a maximum of 8 ounces. O’Connor recommends substituting vegetables for some of the fruits to create a better blend and a lower-carb beverage. You can add some protein powder, too.

It’s also important to check your blood sugar two hours after eating breakfast. “If it’s above the target your doctor has set, you’re consuming too many carbs and need to cut back,” says O’Connor.

As long as you make healthy food choices, breakfast for diabetes can be a chance to get better control of your blood sugar and your weight. But if you’re struggling with the right breakfast for diabetes — or any other meal in your diabetes diet — ask your doctor or diabetes educator for some help.

I once went to see a friend who has diabetes. Her table was laid out with a wonderful breakfast for the both of us. However, it didn’t look too much like a breakfast a diabetic should be eating. There were carbs, carbs, and more carbs. To me it was a dream, but my thought for her was, “oh geeze, her blood sugar!”

It seems innocent enough that we were having; croissants, jam, fruit, and array of fresh juices. For most people, this is a very healthy start. For diabetics, it is missing one key item that will help stall the burn of all those carbs – protein!”

Here you will see biggest diabetes breakfast mistakes you’re probably making and you didn’t know you were doing it. Don’t make these breakfast mistakes to keep your blood sugar stable. At the end I have also included list of some commonly asked questions about diabetes breakfast.

1. Skipping Protein

When you eat carbohydrates alone, they are digested quickly causing spikes in your blood sugar levels. When paired with a protein, they bind together and take longer to digest and burn up.

  • If you have a bowl of cereal and toast, eat an egg with it.
  • Fruit with Yogurt.
  • Pancakes with Sausage.
  • In a hurry? Just add Peanut Butter to your toast!

2. Smoothies on the Run

Smoothies make you feel great! No doubt a good smoothie gives you a rush to get you going, but turns out its mostly a sugar rush. Make sure to check our 8 best smoothies for people with diabetes.

  • Add a scoop of protein powder to slow the burn.
  • Drink a smoothie and nibble a hardboiled egg.
  • Skip the smoothie and have a bowl of oatmeal with some bacon!

3. Not Eating Breakfast

You may have been fine without breakfast before diabetes, but after you are diagnosed you may not be anymore. People who skip breakfast actually have higher blood sugars during the day.

  • Grab a granola bar that is high in protein and a glass of milk.
  • Cheese and crackers.
  • Yogurt and granola.
  • Hard boiled eggs will travel most anywhere.
  • Even a ham and cheese sandwich will do! Very European!

I recommend also reading these articles:

  • What are Blood Sugar Target Ranges? What is Normal Blood Sugar Level?
  • 7 Commandments For Better Diabetes Management
  • 9 Popular Diabetes Management Apps of 2017
  • How Much Should I Eat Daily To Control My Blood Sugar Levels With Diabetes?

4. Fat Free is Best?

Not always. Fat-free is often higher in calories. Second, fat helps slow the burn of carbs just like protein. If you choose fat-free, eat it in moderation and include some healthy fats in your diet each week.

  • Stick to low-fat items such as; low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat ice cream.
  • Have a few strips of bacon once or twice a week.
  • Use regular butter on your toast instead of margarine.

5. Early Morning Indulgence

It’s Easter and you’ve been invited to a breakfast buffet. You walk into the dining room and it’s filled with goodies. There is a fruit station, make your own waffles, a carving station, and pastries galore. You’re attracted by the enticing ice sculptures and cute décor. You eat until you can barely walk. Not good for your blood sugar levels.

  • Try to avoid the pastry station.
  • Make healthy choices of foods you normally eat for breakfast. (Oatmeal, eggs, bacon).
  • Allow yourself one treat for dessert.
  • Make sure you include your protein.

6. Not Eating Enough Fiber

When you lower your carb intake, you inadvertently may lose some of the fiber in your diet. Fiber has many benefits for diabetics like; making you feel full faster, zero impact on blood sugar, and can lower your cholesterol. Fiber is a good thing!

  • Apples are high in fiber for a sweet and filling treat.
  • Start your day with a fiber rich bowl of oatmeal that will keep your sugar stable till lunch.
  • Eat high fiber breads and cold cereals. Read best bread for people with diabetes for more information.

7. Filling Up On Coffee

When my friend and I get together for our breakfast sessions, we tend to drink more coffee than we should. It’s so tempting when you can barely keep your eyes open in the morning. Coffee isn’t bad, but more than one or two cups with sweetener and cream actually cancel out the health benefits of coffee and fill you up.

  • Drink your coffee black.
  • Limit to one or two cups with sweetener or cream.
  • Drink your coffee after you eat breakfast.

For diabetes related articles check out these:

  • Diabetes Care & Management: How Can I Measure My Progress?
  • Can An Exercise Physiologist Help With Your Diabetes?
  • Top Must Have Diabetes Supplies

8. Thinking That Juicing Is “Healthy” For Diabetics

Here is the scary part about that thought in regards to diabetes – juiced fruit has about as many grams of carbohydrates as a full sugar soda! Have a glass every now and then, but treat it as just that – a treat!

  • Try juicing just vegetables and make your own V8™.
  • Go ahead and make a nice fruit juice blend, but mix ½ and ½ with mineral water.

9. Now Back to Brunch

We talked above about breakfast buffets and how to choose wisely. This section isn’t about the food however, but the time of day. Brunch is usually from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is important to get your breakfast in soon after waking to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

  • Eat a small breakfast if you have plans for brunch.
  • See if brunch can be scheduled earlier in the morning.

10. Grab and Go Breakfast

It can be really deceiving to see a breakfast bar made by a cereal company and think it will be a good breakfast to “grab and go.” Turns out though that these can have as much sugar and carbohydrates as a regular candy bar.

  • Look for granola bars low in sugar and high in protein.
  • Try making your own granola that is lower in sugar and carbs.

Common Questions About Diabetes Breakfast Mistakes

Q: “I’m on the go every single day and don’t have time to think about breakfast. What can I have that is quick and okay for my diabetes?”

A: Hands down the best breakfast for diabetics is oatmeal. This is because it is high in fiber and takes a long time to digest keeping you fuller longer. Grab some instant plain oatmeal packets and you can even keep them in your desk at work.

Q: “Is it okay to have bacon and eggs for breakfast?”

A: In moderation, yes. Bacon and eggs by themselves are high in fat and cholesterol. To help move this through your digestive system, make sure you include a food that is high in fiber like; oatmeal, high fiber toast, or fruit.

Q: “What is a normal fasting blood sugar in the morning and if I eat something high in sugar for breakfast, how high is too high?”

A: Normal fasting blood sugar for anyone is between 70 and 100 mg/dl. Prediabetics and diabetics usually have fasting blood sugars of 101 to 125 mm/dl. After a high carb or high sugar meal your blood sugar should not rise above 180 to 200 mm/dl.

Q: “Are there any good choices for diabetics at McDonalds™?”

A: Yes, there are. While McDonalds shouldn’t be a habit, if you find yourself in the drive through there are some good choices on the menu. These include:

  • Egg White McMuffin™
  • Sausage Burrito™
  • Fruit and Maple Oatmeal™

So, now every time I get together for breakfast with my friend we have a blast! I sat her down and told her the importance of balancing protein, fiber, and carbs. Breakfast can be fun. It can also be quick and healthy to get you through your day.

Note: While keeping carbs within limits advised by your diabetes educator, adding protein with each serving of carbs helps to prevent blood sugar spikes.

I hope you learned what makes a breakfast bad for a diabetic.

TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Jerry Ramos MD on October 27, 2018

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Last Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2018 Last Reviewed: Thursday, July 21, 2016

About Kimberly Davis, RN

Kimberly is a registered nurse and loved working with patients doing patient teaching and specialized in diabetic management. With over 25 years’ experience in the medical field, Kimberly shares her passion for both helping others feel their best and making connections with others through her writing.

6 Sneaky Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels the Most

The food you eat can have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. Whether you have diabetes or just concerned about maintaining steady blood sugar levels, it is important to pay attention to what you eat. Let’s quickly understand the science first. Your body creates blood sugar or blood glucose by digesting the carbohydrates from the food you eat and transforming some of it into sugar that travels through your bloodstream. This blood sugar is used by the body to generate energy and the part that remains unused is stored.
Too much blood sugar in your body can be harmful and so can frequent spikes in your blood sugar levels and may even lead to diabetes. Here are six sneaky foods that are known to raise your blood sugar levels. It is often suggested to eat a combination of proteins, fats and fiber to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and reduce the spike in your blood sugar levels after the meals.
1. Coffee: Your blood sugar may rise after a cup of coffee due to the presence of caffeine. The same goes for black tea or green tea. Although, caffeine affects different people differently, if you are diabetic you must limit your caffeine intake.
(Also read: 7 Foods That Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar)Your blood sugar may rise after a cup of coffee due to the presence of caffeine​ 2. Dry Fruits: Dry fruits like raisins and cranberries contain sugar in more concentrated forms and therefore, are high in carbohydrates. A fruit in any other form than its natural form like juice or dried is known to have twice the amount of sugar. While they’re known to be good for you, it is best to limit your daily intake of nuts and dry fruits to a handful or roughly 30 grams.
Dry fruits like raisins and cranberries contain sugar in more concentrated forms. Photo Credit: Istock
3. White Bread: White bread and even white rice contains simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the body and converted into glucose. Moreover, these contain little fiber and fiber actually helps in keeping your blood sugar levels stable. The same is the case with white bread that only contains refined flour and also with pasta and noodles. Therefore, it is suggested to switch to brown rice or whole grain bread that are rich in fiber.
(Also read: 9 Benefits of Switching to Brown Rice)White bread and even white rice contains simple carbohydrates. Photo Credit: Istock
4. Red Meat: Many studies have shown that red meat and processed meat like bacon and ham are all high in saturated fats that may raise your blood sugar levels. Moreover, too much protein can also raise your insulin levels.
Red meat contains saturated fats that can affect your blood sugar levels. Photo Credit: Istock
5. Milk: Milk and other dairy products can definitely contribute to your blood sugar levels. Milk contains, lactose which is a type of sugar that is digested easily. But it also contains proteins that may be able to counteract this response and therefore, it is alright to drink milk in moderation.
Milk and other dairy products can definitely contribute to your blood sugar levels
6. Bananas: Certain fruits like bananas, grapes, cherries and mangoes are full of carbohydrates and sugar and may raise your blood sugar levels quickly. These are all fruits with a high glycemic index, which measures the increase in the blood glucose levels after eating a particular food. Foods that have a high glycemic index create a more quick and dramatic rise in your blood glucose levels.
Banana is fruit with a high glycemic index. Photo Credit: istock
CommentsYou don’t have to really avoid these foods altogether but it is very important to keep a watch on the portion size that you consume to ensure that your blood sugar levels remain consistent.

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