Many people believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Normally, breakfast is composed of the classic combination of protein (eggs, bacon and “breakfast” meats), carbohydrates (toasts), and sugar (cereal, pancakes, etc.). With these staples, it seems that people normally start off the day with foods in the higher glycemic index range.
It is a misconception that people who are careful with what they for health reasons eat have to sacrifice a lot. These days, many recipes have health-friendly versions thanks to replacements, substitutes and healthier versions of ingredients such as flour and sugar. In addition, many breakfast recipes can incorporate the heartiness of breakfast dishes without jeopardizing the desired GI levels of the entire meal.
Notably, there are many tips on how to make breakfast meals more diabetic-friendly. An example is to take out the egg yolk and cook with the whites instead. For instance, the following recipe for Almond Pancake with Cranberry Sauce uses egg whites instead of whole eggs. It also replaces the usual flour with a portion of soy flour, a portion of whole wheat flour and ground almonds.
¼ cup ground almonds
½ cup soy flour
½ cup whole grain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. milk powder
3 egg whites
¾ cup milk
1 cup raspberries
salt to taste
a dash of vanilla
Combine the dry ingredients by sieving them. Mix in the egg whites one at a time. Add the milk and the vanilla to form a batter. Spray a non-stick pan with olive oil. Cook the pancakes. Create the raspberry sauce by crushing them in a blender. Add some lemon if preferred.
It can be also noted from the above recipe that two important components, almonds and cranberries, are considered as very commendable sources of antioxidants.
Another good breakfast option is a vegetable omelette. For instance, you can cook the omelette with three eggs but take out the last egg yolk in the mixture. Use healthy vegetables such as peas and spinach as part of the omelette, and crank up the taste by using fresh herbs. Another good tip is to add linseed or flaxseed (about a tablespoon) which is a good source of Omega-3.
How about sweet breakfasts? Diabetics can enjoy a sweet breakfast meal by combining fruits and yogurt topped with toasted granola and/or other whole wheat grains. Oatmeal is also a good breakfast meal which can be slightly sweetened with Splenda or a sugar substitute. You can also make breakfast more exciting by making Puffed Rice Breakfast Bars made of sesame seeds, flaxseed/linseed, chopped cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, puffed brown rice, chopped dried fruit (i.e. blueberries and apricots) sweetened with honey.
All in all, diabetes patients basically need to pay attention to the GI levels of the food they eat. Foods with low carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, eggs, milk, legumes and nuts are sources of low GI foods but certain factors should be also taken into consideration such as fat content and cholesterol levels. In that case, it is always safer to stick to healthier options such as fruits, vegetables and whole wheat, have eggs in moderation and to minimize the meat.