Making a Healthy Choice for Breakfast

For people with diabetes, breakfast is more than just a morning meal. According to recent research, it may hold the key to good blood glucose numbers for the rest of the day.

That key, apparently, is eating breakfast foods with a low glycemic index. A low GI indicates that the sugar in the food is absorbed more slowly by the body. According to the study, that slower absorption appears to influence behavior at lunch and dinner: People who ate low-glycemic foods early were likely to eat less for the rest of the day.

Participants in the study ate almonds — that’s right, simple almonds — for their breakfast treat. In addition to eating less for lunch and dinner, they had lower blood glucose readings during the day.

While food manufacturers haven’t rushed to create low glycemic breakfast foods, there could be a booming market for such products. Rates of type 2 diabetes are expected to skyrocket over the next two decades, and doctors are desperate for ways to reverse or slow the trend.

“Most of the risk factors are things that can be managed and modified,” said Dr. Kantha Shelke of the nutrition think tank Corvus Blue. “We can reverse prediabetes and prevent it from becoming diabetes. Food has become the reason for what’s ailing us, but it can actually be a solution in a number of different ways.”

Needless to say, most of us do not eat almonds for breakfast. Cereal is by far the most common morning dish, followed by eggs. What’s the alternative? Low glycemic options include nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, whole grains, rolled oats, yam flour, durum pasta, flax seed, and a variety of other foods. So how about a nice yam and almond breakfast for a change?

The research on almonds was conducted by Richard Mattes of Purdue University and appeared in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.


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