A DIETICIAN has revealed the four worst breakfast habits for blood sugar levels.
Those with diabetes should especially be mindful of keeping their blood sugars in control.
Don’t skip breakfast, a dietician warnedGetty
But for the rest of the population, keeping blood sugar levels stable is also important, an article co-authored by Melissa Rifkin, a registered dietitian from New York, said.
Stable blood sugar levels help prevent hunger, cravings, energy slumps and weight gain.
Melissa revealed the key mistakes your making from the start of your day...
1. Not enough fibre
Fibre is often overlooked in the diet, with Brits averaging at 20g per day against the recommended 30g.
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Melissa said fibre “improves digestive regularity and blood cholesterol, increaes satiety and slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream”.
She told Eat This Not That: “When you eat a low fiber, carb-dense breakfast, like white toast with jam, the carbohydrate in your meal will reach your bloodstream quicker than if you had equal carbs with higher fiber content.
“This quick surge of carbohydrates can lead to a spike and plummet in blood sugar following the meal, which may impact energy levels and appetite.”
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Melissa said to aim for 1g of fibre for every 5g of carbs, which you can quickly workout from nutrition labels.
However, “when in doubt, swap your white bread for whole grain, add fruit to your meal, and add other fibre-dense foods to your breakfast, like oatmeal, buckwheat, high-fiber cereal, and vegetables”, she said.
2. Skipping breakfast
Skipping breakfast has become a standard part of trendy intermittent fasting diets, which suggest eating between noon and 8pm.
For healthy people, missing breakfast has been linked with the development of type 2 diabetes, with the risk growing for each additional day of the week.
Melisa said: “During prolonged fasting, like what you may experience if you skip breakfast, your blood sugar levels are likely to dip.
“For some, this change may not be noticeable; for others, lower blood sugar may lead to hypoglycemia symptoms, like a fast heartbeat, shaking, sweating, irritability, and dizziness.”
For those already with diabetes, doctors do not recommend skipping breakfast and in fact strongly encourage eating it.
It has been linked with higher mean blood sugar concentrations and lower odds of good glycemic control in type 1 diabetics, Melissa said.
She added: “This is especially concerning as poor glycemic control in diabetics increases the risk of heart disease, nerve, and kidney damage, in addition to impairment of other organs and tissues.”
Studies show in people with type 2, all-day blood sugar spikes are significantly increased.
3. Not getting enough protein
A balanced meal consists of carbohydrates, protein, and fats (with fibre!).
But Melissa said: “For many, a quick breakfast ends up being a granola bar, a single piece of fruit, or a sugary coffee drink.
“While all of these can be part of a balanced breakfast, they are best served alongside protein.
“It takes a lot of work for your body to break down and digest protein, and when you consume this nutrient alongside carbohydrates, it can also slow the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream.”
Sometimes all your breakfast needs is some tweaks to make it higher in protein.
For example if you have a granola bar for breakfast, crumble it onto cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt instead – which both contain protein.
4. Not getting enough healthy fats
If you’ve not got the idea yet, you may do now – try not to have just carbs for breakfast.
Add in protein and fat to help it release more slowly into the bloodstream, helping to reduce blood sugar spikes.
Melissa said: “Additionally, it is a satiating nutrient, which means you will feel fuller for longer after your meal.
“Because of the satiating benefits of fat, well-balanced meals including this nutrient may curb snacking and meal sizes to further aid in blood sugar management.
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“Healthy fats, like the unsaturated fat found in avocado, nuts, and nut butter can reduce inflammation in the body and often don’t require much prep before incorporating them into a meal.”
You could swap jam for avocado on toast or eat nut butter with your oats.
Good breakfast options
If you skip breakfast because you’re tight on time, make something the night before.
Easy options which are balanced and nutritious include:
A low-sugar protein bar with a piece of fruit
Greek yogurt topped with berries and nuts
Overnight oats with nut butter and fruit, plus a hard-boiled egg
Breakfast smoothie with fruit, oats and nut butter