Is your typical breakfast spiking your morning blood glucose levels?If you have diabetes,do you ever check your blood glucose 1-2 hours after breakfast? For many people with diabetes, blood glucose levels rise higher after breakfast than after other meals, even with an identical number of carbohydrates. That is because many people are more insulin resistant in the morning.

Do you find that you often get very hungry or tired an hour or two after breakfast? This is common with a high carbohydrate, low protein breakfast, like a bowl of cereal with milk. Blood glucose rises with those carbs, but then quickly falls.

As frustrating as those morning highs or after breakfast lows may be, there are some things you can do to maintain good blood glucose control after breakfast. This is especially important for kids and adults who have diabetes, as well as any kids in school—maintaining a healthy blood glucose helps improve concentration at school or at work.  Cereal alone doesn’t cut it: Fueling kids with a better breakfast

Eat a higher protein, lower carbohydrate breakfast.

Include a hefty amount of protein, high fiber carbohydrates and some heart healthy fats. Some good meal ideas to try:

  • 2 egg omelet of frittata filled with a couple ounces of cooked, lean  meat, veggies and 2 tablespoons grated cheese. Cook omelette in olive or canola oil. Try a whole wheat English muffin or a couple slices of Dave’s Killer Bread and ½ to 1 cup fresh fruit on the side. About 35-60 gm carb, 5-10 gm fiber and 30 gm protein Veggie Frittata
  • Steel cut or Rolled Oats (about ¼ cup dry if steel cut, 1/2 cup dry if rolled oats) cook according to package instructions. Add ½ cup chopped apple or 2 Tbsp raisins and 2 to 4 tablespoons almonds or walnuts, and/or  3 Tbsp ground hemp hearts + 1 Tbsp ground flax seed and 1 Tbsp chia seeds, topped with ½ cup milk.  About about 50-55 gm carbohydrates, 10-15 gm fiber and 17-26 gm protein.  Diabetes Friendly Breakfast Recipes in honor of World Diabetes Day, November

    Oats with ground hemp hearts, flax seeds and chia seeds—great way to bump up protein and fiber in a bowl of oatmeal!
  • If you eat cold cereal, make sure that it is made with 100% whole grain (e.g. shredded wheat, bran flakes, wheat checks, PLAIN Cheerios). Make sure you add protein to your bowl (such as plain Greek yogurt) or have some other protein on the side (meat, cheese, cottage cheese) and some heart healthy fats (see additions to oats above). Cold cereal has been shown to cause the highest rise in blood glucose of any breakfast food–probably because it is often high in refined carbs and low in fiber–AND people are not eating enough protein and fat with it. Cereal alone doesn’t cut it: Fueling kids with a better breakfast

Get some physical activity right after you eat.

Aim for at least 10 minutes. Walk or bike to school or work if possible! Otherwise, go for a quick walk or do some active house or yardwork (sweep, mop, vacuum, rake the yard, or shovel snow). If you belong to a gym, working out right after breakfast is ideal. Exercise increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin–your body’s own or insulin in shots.

If you are on insulin, be sure to check blood glucose before and after you exercise for ½ hour or more.

How do I know if I’m effectively keeping my morning blood glucose in control?:

Check fasting blood glucose both before breakfast and  2 hours after the beginning of your current breakfast on one day. The next day, eat a higher protein and fiber breakfast and check your blood glucose both before and 2 hours after breakfast again. The next day, do some activity for at least 10 minutes right after breakfast, and check blood glucose before and 2 hours after breakfast again. See if the change from fasting to after breakfast blood glucose is different depending on what you eat and your physical activity.

From there, ease into a new routine. Your blood glucose will thank you!