Managing diabetes means you're always aware of your blood glucose levels. Your glycemic index (or GI) goes hand in hand with what carbohydrates and sugars your body needs to process. While eating breakfast has many benefits such as helping lose weight or preventing food cravings, it also can help stabilize your blood sugar, which is very important to people with diabetes.
Ideally, a breakfast that will keep your blood sugar levels from spiking will include protein, healthy fats, high fiber, low carbs, and will be low in added sugar. But not all cereal follows this format. When reading cereal boxes, look for cereals that list a whole grain as the first ingredient. Whole grain cereals have more fiber to lower your risk of heart disease as well as keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Cereals with a low GI are digested more slowly which helps cut down on blood sugar spikes after meals. Whole grains to look for include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, oat bran, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, and oatmeal.
The American Diabetes Association recommends you look for cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber and less than 6 grams of sugar per serving. But sugar can go by different names and even with the best intentions, you may be eating more sugar than you think. Other names for sugars include corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, maltose, and sucrose.
Cereal needs milk, but cow's milk has natural sugars and carbs to think about. All milk has sugar, but whole milk will raise your blood sugar slightly less due to its fat content. Due to this, people with diabetes should consider drinking Unsweetened almond milk because it has lower carbs and sugar.
Even if you don't have diabetes, a diet high in refined carbohydrates can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Following a whole grain diet may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help with weight loss.
The Best Cereals for People with Diabetes
1. Wheaties Whole Wheat Flakes Cereal
Eat your Wheaties, but in moderation. Wheaties is made with whole grain wheat, sugar, and honey and may contain almond ingredients. Always check serving sizes to keep your blood glucose levels in check and stick to one serving.
2. Special K Kellogg's Cereal
This smells delicious and is loaded with whole grain wheat, rice, sugar, wheat bran, and freeze-dried strawberries It tastes like a treat even as part of a diabetic diet.
3. Multi-Grain Cheerios Breakfast Cereal
I love these Cheerios with a few raisins sprinkled on top. This cereal is a delicious blend of whole grain outs, whole grain corn, whole grain rice, and whole grain sorghum. An added bonus is that this cereal is gluten-free.
4. Post Grape-Nuts Cereal
Crunchy whole grain wheat flour and malted barley flour make this power-packed cereal, a must-eat.
5. Kashi GOLEAN Cereal
With 12 grams of protein and 44% of your daily fiber, Kashi GO is a great diabetic cereal option. This cereal contains soy protein concentrate, hard red wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, rye, buckwheat, sesame seeds, and honey for sweetness.
6. Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Grain Cereal, Cinnamon Raisin
Cinnamon raisin biblical goodness to start your day. Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Grain Cereal contains organic sprouted wheat, organic raisins, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted millet, organic sprouted lentils, organic sprouted soybean, and organic sprouted spelt to make a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids.
7. Nutritious Living Hi-Lo Cereal, Vanilla Almond
Hi-Lo cereals are specifically made for high protein low carb diets. They have a range of flavors that fit into your diabetic diet meal plan.
8. Kix Honey Cereal
Kix cereal is great right out of the box! This cereal makes a great road trip snack for grown-ups and kids. Whole grain corn is the main grain in this poppable cereal.
9. Barbara's Puffins Cereal, Honey Rice
Another great cereal to eat right out of the box. Low sugar and full of healthy whole grain brown rice, this gluten-free option is great with almond milk.
10. Post Bran Flakes
This family-friendly cereal contains 7 grams of fiber, which is about 1/4th of your daily fiber. Made with whole grain wheat, wheat bran, and wheat flour, enjoy your bowl of Bran Flakes with a smile.