10 Breakfasts Ideas For Balanced Blood Sugar
10 Breakfasts Ideas For Balanced Blood Sugar

10 Breakfasts Ideas For Balanced Blood Sugar

If you can’t seem to work out why your energy plummets at 11am, your breakfast could be to blame. Keeping blood sugar balanced improves everything from energy and mood to cravings, sleep quality and skin health, but many of us are unknowingly throwing it off kilter by making poor choices first thing. From low-sugar granola brands to clever ways with porridge, here’s what four nutritionists recommend you try instead…
By Tor West
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Image: NATASA MANDIC/STOCKSY UNITED

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Go Savoury

“Having a savoury breakfast is one of the best things you can do to improve your blood sugar levels. After fasting overnight, the first meal of the day is what sets the stage for balanced blood sugar, consistent energy and fewer cravings. It’s important to avoid a glucose spike first thing in the morning, as that will most likely lead to a day-long blood sugar rollercoaster, which can make you feel moody and fatigued. Make an omelette with leftover veggies and a small amount of goat’s cheese or add avocado to toast instead of butter and jam. If you’re in a hurry, try an egg-white omelette with Two Chicks’ ready-to-cook mix, and serve it with a slice of Seedful bread.” – Marilia Chamon, nutritional therapist & founder of Gutfulness Nutrition

Level Up Your Porridge

“Always pair starchy carbohydrates with fibre, protein and healthy fats – this will slow down starch absorption and avoid a glucose spike. When making porridge, opt for jumbo oats and add ground almonds, chia or flaxseed; or add egg whites or a couple of scoops of protein powder, topping it with high-fibre, low-sugar fruits like blueberries, raspberries and coconut. If you enjoy other sweet breakfasts like pancakes, consider using high-fibre flours like buckwheat, teff, almond or coconut and go easy on the added sugar, sweetening it instead with whole fruits.” – Marilia

Drink Your Coffee Black

“Instead of a flat white or latte, go continental with an espresso. The link between coffee and blood sugar regulation has been firmly established. Scientists have found that drinking a cup of coffee after eating reduces blood sugar spikes. It all comes down to chlorogenic acid, a key component in coffee that reduces glucose absorption and improves the way our body uses insulin. Coffee also contains magnesium, which helps to keep blood sugar balanced. Drink your coffee black for the best results – milk contains sugar, which can negate the benefits.” – Kathryn Danzey, founder of Rejuvenated

Having a SAVOURY BREAKFAST is ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO for better blood sugar levels.

Use Protein Powder

“If you’re having breakfast on the go, a smoothie can be a great option to keep blood sugar stable. Use a quality protein powder made with pea protein, which is absorbed quickly and maintains a longer insulin release than other forms of protein. Avoid protein powders that contain sugar. Instead, choose products sweetened with stevia, which has a negligible impact on blood sugar. You can also stir protein powder through porridge or add it to pancake mixes.” – Kathryn 

Avoid Fruit Juice

“Although 150ml of fruit juice counts as one of your five a day, you should get the majority of your daily intake from whole fruit. When we eat a whole fruit – such as an apple or pear – the body needs to work hard to break down the fibre, resulting in a slightly slower release of glucose compared to the juice on its own. Be wary of fruit-laden smoothies. We often wouldn’t sit down and eat that volume of fruit in one sitting, and even if we did we’d still get a slower release of glucose due to the fibre that’s present in the skin. If you love bananas, eat them before they start browning. The less brown a banana is, the less readily available starch it contains. Therefore, eating your bananas when they are yellow can help reduce your blood sugar response.” – Jodie Relf, dietician & spokesperson for MyOva

PEXELS/ANNA TUKHFATULLINA FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER/STYLIST

Add Nuts & Seeds

“Instead of worrying about what you need to cut out, think about what you can add to your breakfast for better blood sugar control. For example, sprinkle nuts and seeds on your porridge for a dose of healthy fats and to slow the release of glucose. If you are a fan of overnight oats, try baking them, which lends itself well to adding nutritious ingredients like grated carrot, ground almonds and cinnamon.” – Jodie

Swap Your Granola

“Granola and muesli can appear healthy, especially when filled with fruit and nuts, but both can contain significant amounts of added sugar. Instead, choose a granola or muesli made without added sugar, or start making your own so you can control how much sugar goes into it. There’s nothing wrong with using honey as a sweetener when you make granola – it’s what you have alongside it that matters. I make mine with oats, mixed nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and raisins. Then, serve it with a source of protein – like Greek yoghurt – to keep your blood sugar balanced. Also, remember that milk alternatives like oat and almond milk contain less protein than cow’s or soya milk. Greek yoghurt also contains more protein than regular yoghurt, which can slow the release of glucose.”

GREEK YOGHURT CONTAINS MORE PROTEIN THAN REGULAR YOGHURT, which can be helpful to slow the release of glucose.

Experiment With Chia Seeds

“Chia seeds may be small but they pack a nutritional punch. One of their unique qualities is their ability to turn into almost solid gel form when soaked in liquid. This chia gel slows the absorption of carbs, which is great for sustained energy. They’re also versatile and work well with endless flavour combinations – try making a breakfast ‘pudding’ with chia seeds, Greek yoghurt and fruit for sweetness. Mash a banana or top with berries and flaxseed. Frozen berries are more affordable and last longer – pop them in the microwave for one minute to release their juices.” – Jodie

Make Your Own Bread

“Toast and croissants are some of the worst breakfast offenders when it comes to blood sugar. Instead, try making your own bread, which you can freeze in slices so you always have a fibrous, nutritious option to hand on busy mornings. My go-to loaf contains eggs, ground flaxseed, coconut flour, grated carrot, seeds and herbs like dried onion, basil and rosemary – it’s rich in protein and each slice is filling and satiating.” – Mays Al-Ali, nutritionist, nutritional therapist & naturopath

Know The Good Brands

“For a weekend treat, make your own healthy, low-sugar pancakes using flaxseed, a mashed banana, a drop of vanilla essence and Nuzest vanilla protein powder, a very clean protein powder that only contains pea protein and stevia. Fry in a small amount of coconut oil and serve with almond butter and coconut yoghurt. I’m also a fan of Raw Gorilla granola, which is low in sugar and rich in protein and fibre.” – Mays


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