One tenth of the total US population is diabetic, accounting for almost 35 million people. Most diabetics are required to make substantial changes to their diet, sticking to a list of foods that need to be avoided, and another that needs to be a part of their diet. The restricted or modified diet is intended to provide balanced nutrition to the diabetic that helps to control the condition and maintain good health. Breakfast, as has been frequently emphasized is one of the more important meals of the day and it is essential to ensure that the intake constitutes the right nutrient mix. Individuals with diabetes are known to search for the best cereal for diabetics in an effort to strike the right low carbohydrate, high protein balance that is often recommended. Here are insights that will not only identify the best cereal for diabetics but also help you understand the larger picture to make an informed decision.
Is it a healthy option for diabetics to eat cereal for breakfast?
Before you look for the best cereal for diabetics it is important to understand if cereal is good to be on your breakfast plate. The effort of any diabetic should be to ideally consume food that has high protein, low carbohydrate and high healthy fat. This combination prevents the rapid increase of blood glucose levels that are typically seen in diabetics immediately after a meal. This is linked to the Glycemic Index, which refers to the relative ranking of carbohydrate and the manner in which the food impacts the blood glucose levels. The breakfast of a diabetic should have a low GI value in an effort to ensure slower digestion, slower absorption, metabolism and a slow increase in blood glucose levels.
Foods that have a high GI value will end up creating the opposite effect – a sudden rise in blood glucose levels. This will adversely impact health, in addition to the possibility of complications associated with diabetes, depending on the blood glucose levels. This is precisely why individuals are advised to refrain from food products such as – white bread, flavored coffee drinks, sugar sweetened food products, dried fruit and trans fat among others.
How to figure out a way to ensure that your breakfast has the best cereal for diabetics?
While cereals may not appear to be the best choice for breakfast for a diabetic, by virtue of high carbohydrate levels, it is possible to get the best out of it. Yes, with the right choice, you can ensure that your breakfast has the best cereal for diabetics with a low GI level. Food products on the GI scale are typically ranked from 0 to 100 and it is entirely up to the combination you choose in your cereal that will determine the GI level. Here are simple tips that you can use to make yourself a healthy breakfast with a low score on the GI scale.
Serving size, the number one area you need to monitor
The single biggest obstacle in keeping the GI level low in your breakfast is the serving size of your breakfast. Before identifying the best cereal for diabetics it is essential to fix the serving size. The combination of the right ingredients and the serving size are responsible for ensuring that your food intake is healthy. Cereal belongs to the category of nutrient dense food products. In other words, even a relatively smaller serving size can deliver higher nutrients. It is therefore essential to limit the serving size of cereal, and rely on other ingredients to load more proteins and healthy fat. This will ensure that you feel full, while ensuring that the blood sugar levels do not spike as a result of the carbohydrates. The healthy fat and the proteins will take a longer time to digest and this will help to control your blood sugar levels immediately after food intake.
Set a limit of carbohydrates per serving
The carbohydrates per serving should never cross 35 grams. This will ensure that your breakfast is healthy, and will help to turn your cereal into the best cereal for diabetics. It is important to put together a well-balanced nutrient intake as a part of your breakfast, and this includes the need for protein and dietary fiber. Most individuals tend to overlook the fact that cereal and processed food products have added sugar. This is primarily because added sugar is often labeled in a manner that can cause confusion. For instance, were you aware of the fact that brown rice syrup, cane syrup, agave nectar, fructose corn syrup and molasses are all a different way of describing added sugars. These ingredients make the product more delicious, but can considerably increase the blood glucose levels.
Whole grain ingredients that will help make the best cereal for diabetics
These whole grain ingredients are a good choice, and should be a part of your breakfast cereal – barley, wild rice, buckwheat, wheat bran, oatmeal, and whole wheat flour. Documented studies have shown that certain types of oatmeal preparations are low on GI levels with values that are at the healthy level of below 55. These include steel cut oatmeal and rolled oatmeal. It would therefore be a good idea to choose these types of oatmeal for your breakfast and include the right mix of ingredients to turn it into a healthy breakfast. Choose healthy protein sources to go with your breakfast – for instance, walnuts and almonds to make the best cereal for diabetics.