We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There’s a lot of debate around that statement. But, it’s inarguably true that eating breakfast is important. Eating breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. Not only does picking the right food help you get into a healthy mindset, but it also helps your blood sugar.
“People often assume that their glucose response at one meal will be identical to their responses at other meals, but that really isn’t the case,” said Prof. Jill Kanaley, associate chair of nutrition and exercise physiology at the Univ. of Missouri. “For instance, we know that what you eat and when you eat make a difference, and that if people skip breakfast, their glucose response at lunch will be huge. [People who eat] breakfast experience appropriate glucose responses after lunch.”
She continued, “The first meal of the day is critical in maintaining glycemic control at later meals, so it really primes people for the rest of the day. Eating breakfast prompts cells to increase concentrations of insulin at the second meal, which is good because it shows that the body is acting appropriately by trying to regulate glucose levels.”
Knowing that breakfast is so important, the next question becomes what to eat. Obviously, we all know to shun sugary breakfast cereal and muffins. But, what are your best options? The answer, according to nutritionists, is a combination of protein and complex carbs. Many people who want to manage their blood sugar try to avoid carbs altogether. However, complex carbs with plenty of fiber are good for you.
A mix of protein and complex carbs can keep you full and energized while also helping to keep your blood sugar stable. You won’t be hungry until lunchtime, and your body will have all the energy it needs to face the morning. Combinations like yogurt with nuts and fruit give you a great mix of protein, carbs and healthy fat. Eggs on whole-grain toast is another excellent option. A vegetable omelet is always a good choice. We suggest avoiding breakfast meats, as red and processed meats are not beneficial for heart health and may contribute to your risk for cancer risk.
Studies have found that eggs can benefit people with blood sugar concerns when eaten as part of a daily diet. Of course, it is essential to remember that you can have too much of a good thing. There is a healthy limit to how much protein you should eat in one sitting and day. That’s especially true if you have kidney concerns. You should speak to your doctor about how much protein is suitable for you. Prof. Kanaley recommends 25 to 30 grams of protein at breakfast, within the FDA guidelines. But, the correct amount for you may be different.
By eating a mix of healthy carbs and protein at breakfast, you can start your day feeling full and have the energy to face all your tasks. It will help your blood sugar stay stable after your meal and throughout the rest of your day!