America has the highest prevalence rates for diabetes among developed nations, with 11% diabetics among the total population. The dreaded disease imposes multiple changes among affect patients. This includes medication, which is often lifelong, changes in lifestyle, and dietary modifications. Diabetics are expected to follow a strict dietary regimen that that is intended to deliver balanced nutrition to control the condition. One of the most important meals of the day, among all categories of individuals – healthy/patients – is breakfast. It is important to ensure that you include the perfect low carb and high protein diet, beginning with your breakfast. Information available online is often the primary source of information for a large number of individuals. Subscribing or following wrong information can adversely impact your health. We dig deep to provide you with authoritative information about the best cereal for diabetics which will help you follow a healthy diet.
Why is cereal considered good for breakfast? Which is the best cereal for diabetics?
One of the reasons why cereal for breakfast is popular among Americans is the convenience with which it can be prepared. It takes very little time to prepare breakfast with cereal. Over the years this has been improved incrementally with the right kind of ingredients – fruit, less sugar and fortified vitamins/cereals. The combination of convenience with nutrition has turned it into one of the most popular dishes for breakfast.
Now that cereal has been established as a good choice for breakfast, it is time to see how it is suitable for diabetics before we look at the best cereal for diabetics. The most important criteria of restricted/modified diets of diabetics is the need for consuming lesser carbs, and high levels of protein, along with healthy fat. The whole idea of this combination is to ensure that blood glucose levels do not spike after a meal. This is characteristic of diabetics, who typically experience an increase in blood glucose levels, primarily because of the glycemic index. This index is the ranking of carbohydrates and how food will determine blood glucose levels. Ideally, diabetics are recommended to consume meals that have low GI levels. This is borne out of a need to slow down the time taken for digestion, to spread absorption over a longer time, to have an impact on metabolism and to ensure that the blood glucose level increases slowly and not rapidly.
Why is it necessary to identify the best cereal for diabetics?
As explained above, diabetics need to consume food with low GI levels, as food with higher GI levels with increase blood glucose levels rapidly. Not only will this impact the treatment outcomes of diabetic medication, it will seriously jeopardize the health of the individual by exposing the patient to one of multiple complications. This makes it necessary to choose the best cereal for diabetics to keep blood glucose levels low. A common mistake that diabetics are likely to make is to exercise strict control over most dietary choices, but end up with wrong choices when it comes to breakfast. For instance, diabetics manage to avoid white bread, food products that are sweetened, coffee drinks that are flavored, and processed food with trans fat. But, the advantage of diet restriction is lost when the wrong breakfast is on the table.
Simple method to identify best cereal for diabetics
It is important to understand, that due to the nutritional breakup of cereal, it is not the ideal choice for diabetics. However, this is typically overcome by choosing the right mix of other ingredients that make a wholesome breakfast. By picking the right ingredients and preparation method, you can turn your breakfast into the best cereal for diabetics. Here, it is not out of place to mention that the GI level of food is typically measured on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the number, the better is the effect on diabetics. The ingredients and preparation will directly impact the GI level of food that you consume. There are practical methods that need to be used to lower the GI level of food that you consume. Here are tips that can make a huge difference to the GI levels.
Keep the portioning small
With large portions that you consume, you will end up with high GI levels, regardless of the ingredients. Because, the best cereal for diabetics is ideally one that keeps the GI levels down, and this can only be possible when the portioning is small. Large servings of the right ingredients will create the opposite effects, as the large serving size will negate the advantage of the ingredients. This is because cereal is typically dense when it comes to nutrition. To put it differently, a small portion of cereal is all that is required to pack in the desired nutrients. Bigger portions will increase the nutrition levels and by extension, the GI levels. The choice should always be to pack in healthy fat and proteins into breakfast and keep carbs low. With large portions, the carb intake increases. With the ideal portion and ingredients, you will not feel repeated pangs of hunger, which will control the carb intake. Consequently, GI levels will remain low. This is achieved primarily as a result of the extended period of time that is required for the healthy fat and proteins to digest.
Monitor carb intake in every meal
Here, we give you the numbers that you need to follow as part of a proper diet. Every serving that you consume should not have more than a total of 35 grams of carbs. This will automatically make your cereal into the best cereal for diabetics. Your diet should always have the right proportions of protein, dietary fiber and carbs. The carbs should remain at a steady level and never beyond 35 grams. The biggest obstacle that most diabetics face is the labeling. With the possible exception of a very few, most processed food products have higher levels of added sugar, which is intelligently labeled. Description of ingredients such as agave nectar, brown rice syrup, molasses, fructose corn syrup, and cane syrup are misleading in nature – all are added sugars that are intelligently labeled. These added sugars are basically the ingredients that improve the taste and desirability of the food products. On the same note, it is these added sugars that pose one of the bigger health hazards for diabetics, by shooting up the blood glucose levels rapidly.
Why do the best cereal for diabetics always include whole grains
Whole grains are always the best choice – diabetic or not. With the possible exception of individuals with grain allergies, whole grains are certainly the best way to start the day. This is exactly why you will find these whole grains as ingredients in the best cereal for diabetics – barley, wheat bran, buckwheat, wild rice, whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Among these whole grains, there are sub-categories of preparation that add another layer of difference. For instance steel cut oatmeal and rolled oatmeal are regarded as the best cereal from oatmeal, delivering nutrition with very low GI levels. The right combination of ingredients coupled with the perfect source, will help to make the best cereal for diabetics. Protein and fiber are mandatory in your breakfast, hence it would be a great idea to throw in a walnuts or almonds to increase the protein in your breakfast. Fiber sources could be berries, which will also increase the taste of your breakfast by several levels. After all, it is not only about nutrition, but a lot about the taste of what you consume. Depending on the type of preparation that you choose, you could also add yoghurt and milk (without fat) to make your preparations more palatable and nutritious, with the right mix of high fiber, protein, low sugar and healthy fats.