The Worst Breakfast Mistake for High Blood Sugar, Say Dietitians
Breakfast is deemed the "most important meal of the day" by many experts for a reason, as skipping it may be linked to health issues such as slow metabolism, weight gain, and even an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This morning meal is particularly important for those who currently have diabetes. Eating early and having a meal that is low-carb and high-fat have been shown to support blood sugar levels throughout the day. On the other hand, missing out on breakfast may make it harder to keep your blood sugar in a safe range throughout the day.
While having breakfast is essential, you also need to consume the right foods and beverages to make the most of this meal. When it comes to having your morning drinks, in particular, you could wreak havoc on your blood sugar if not careful. This is why the worst breakfast mistake for high blood sugar is drinking certain beverages without accompanying them with food.
As an example, coffee is a classic drink that gets your morning going; however, drinking a cup of joe alone may take a toll on your body.
"For some people with diabetes, caffeine can cause blood sugars to spike (not all)," says registered dietitian Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Healthy Pregnancy Cookbook, and Fueling Male Fertility.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you currently have diabetes and are using insulin, the impact of caffeine (about 200 milligrams) may be associated with higher or lower blood sugar levels. Furthermore, drinking coffee before you eat anything in the morning can also lead to an increase.
Breakfast-eaters will also have to be on the lookout for their juice intake.
"[Drinking] juice alone will cause blood sugar to surge as it is a quick source of carbohydrates," says registered dietitian Sydney Greene, MS, RDN.
Drinking juice every day means your body is consuming a very concentrated form of fruit that lacks the digestion-slowing, blood sugar-regulating fiber present in whole forms of fruit. According to the CDC, consuming fiber is essential for controlling your blood sugar. The body is unable to absorb and break down fiber, meaning it doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar the way other carbohydrates can.
Fixing your breakfast mistake for high blood sugar
The solution? Pair those drinks with food that will help maintain blood sugar levels. Those foods include proteins and healthy fats.
"For coffee, pairing it with food that includes protein and/or a healthy fat may help blunt the surge of caffeine," says Greene.
Manaker also suggests pairing coffee with scrambled eggs, which she says are packed with healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants. This makes it a great addition to a blood sugar-stabilizing diet.
"Furthermore, by adding a fat such as a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter when you're drinking juice, your blood sugar spike will be blunted, leading to delayed feelings of hunger or fatigue," says Greene.
"A nut butter sandwich on whole grain bread provides some fiber, another nutrient that plays a positive role on blood sugars," says Manaker. "The sandwich also provides some more fat and protein as well."
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