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My 5 Go-To Breakfasts for Type 2 Diabetes

Diet and Nutrition

January 30, 2023

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Photography by Jeff Wasserman/Stocksy United

Photography by Jeff Wasserman/Stocksy United

by Mary Van Doorn

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Medically Reviewed by:

Kim Rose-Francis RDN, CDCES, LD

•••••

by Mary Van Doorn

•••••

Medically Reviewed by:

Kim Rose-Francis RDN, CDCES, LD

•••••

It can be hard to fit in a nutritious meal during busy weekday mornings, but these breakfast options are easy to make, full of variety, and tasty, too.

Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day, but you may find yourself frequently skipping it or rushing through it without much thought. A bit of planning and prepping can make mornings much easier — not to mention much tastier, too.

When it comes to breakfast, I tend to be a creature of habit and eat the same things every day, but I do like to mix it up from time to time.

Before I share my favorite breakfast options, it’s important to note that type 2 diabetes affects each of us differently when it comes to how our food choices affect our glucose management.

When trying a new food or recipe, be sure to check your blood sugar 2 hours after you eat to see how it responds. That way, you’ll know if a recipe or food doesn’t work for you.

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Egg muffins

In my opinion, egg muffins are one of the easiest, most versatile breakfast foods out there. They’re a quick grab-and-go option, and they’re packed with protein — which, when compared with carbs, causes much smaller increases in blood glucose and helps keep you full throughout the morning.

For a base recipe, mix eggs, cheese, and whatever veggies you have on hand. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray, pour the egg mixture evenly among the cups, and cook at 375°F (190.5°C) for about 20 minutes.

Mix it up: The possibilities are endless with this dish. Make your egg muffins spicy by using chorizo, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese. Create a BLT egg muffin with bacon, spinach, and tomato. This recipe is great as leftovers, stores well in the fridge or freezer, and heats up easily for an on-the-go breakfast.

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Avocado toast

The healthy fat and fiber in a slice (or two) of avocado toast may help balance your blood sugar levels. What I love is this meal takes less than 5 minutes to throw together and is absolutely delicious.

Just spread some mashed-up avocado on your choice of whole grain or low carb bread. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Mix it up: Instead of salt and pepper, use everything bagel seasoning on top of the avocado. To add additional protein, throw a chopped-up hard-boiled egg or smoked salmon on top.

Greek yogurt parfait

Make your morning meal a bit fancier with a layered Greek yogurt parfait. This dish is packed with protein, and it’s easy to prepare in advance for breakfast. In a glass, layer plain Greek yogurt with your favorite berries. For texture and extra crunch, I like to add some low carb granola on top.

Mix it up: Use whatever fruit is in season or on sale. You can also use cottage cheese instead of plain Greek yogurt if you prefer. Be sure to read the nutrition labels on Greek yogurt, as many brands have added sugar.

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Egg omelet (or scrambled eggs)

Don’t underestimate the power of a traditional egg breakfast! If you have time in the morning, cook up an omelet with a side of your favorite breakfast meat.

I like to prepare my omelet ingredients the night before. I mix my eggs, veggies, cheese, meats, and seasonings ahead of time, throw them in a Ziploc baggie, and store them in the fridge so they’re ready to go in the morning.

Mix it up: Branch out with different cheese and veggie options. For example, add some feta, spinach, and grape tomatoes for a Mediterranean-style omelet. Or add peppers, onions, mozzarella, and leftover steak for a Philly-style omelet. If you’re looking for a plant-based option, simply crumble up some tofu and add your seasonings and veggies as usual.

Protein smoothie

A protein shake is an easy way to get your veggies in if you’re a picky eater like me. My favorite blend includes:

  • about 10 ounces of water
  • crushed ice
  • chocolate protein powder
  • a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter
  • a handful of spinach
  • half a cup of frozen riced cauliflower
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a dash of cinnamon

Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth. I know what you’re thinking: “Cauliflower? In a protein shake?” Yes. Trust me on this one. You get the nutritional benefits of cauliflower, but you can’t even taste it.

Mix it up: There are thousands of variations on this breakfast treat. Experiment with different flavored protein powders, extracts, spices, fruits, and veggies. Be mindful of nutrition labels when adding ingredients to your shake and be sure to calculate the carbs and calories for the added items.

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The bottom line

Learning what works for you and your diabetes by trying new foods and recipes is key to deciding how to fuel your body and keep your blood sugar levels in range.

The good news? Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. Setting aside a short amount of time on the weekend to plan and prepare for the week ahead can save you valuable time during a busy weekday morning. You’ll start your day feeling good, having made a choice that works to nourish your body with what it needs, all while helping you manage your type 2 diabetes.

Medically reviewed on January 30, 2023

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