Making a Healthy Choice for Breakfast

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.

| May 11, 2012

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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Categories: Blood Sugar, Blood Sugar Control, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Diet, Diet Choices, Food, food choices, Glycemic Control, Glycemic Index (GI), Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Low Blood Sugar, Low Gylcemic Index, Prediabetes, Purdue University, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by chanson3633 on 15 May 2012

Eggs are not just low - glycemic: they're zero - glycemic. I have to wonder, too, whether it's the low-glycemic nature of the almonds that make a difference or the fact that they contain some protein and fat.

Posted by cde on 16 May 2012

I would like to make a point of clarification:

A low GI value merely indicates that the carbohydrate (CHO) contained in the food will be absorbed (and converted to blood glucose [BG]) less rapidly than would glucose or the CHO contained in a piece of white bread. WILL nonetheless be absorbed in its entirety and therefore can easily produce abnormally elevated BG (depending on the grams of CHO eaten...each gram raising BG by about 5 mg/dL in a normally-sized adult) at some point, whether immediately as in the case of glucose tablets or over minutes or hours as with low-GI foods.

QUOTE: "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."

Note that all of the possibilities mentioned are largely or entirely CHO. Eating them at breakfast, because of the low GI value and slow subsequent BG rise, sounds like a reasonable idea...but it in fact is probably the worst meal at which to eat them, because in almost every person with DM, insulin resistance is highest in the morning hours.

Thus, even with delayed absorption of the glucose from low-GI CHO, any rise in BG level may not be attenuated by the presence of sufficient, active insulin.

Also, it is important to note that the positive effects of eating low-GI foods at breakfast were seen eating ONLY almonds (which contain fat, protein, AND CHO). Only almonds (quantity matters!) for breakfast or any other meal could easily produce pretty normal levels of BG, especially in those with DM2 and those with DM1 who reduce their a.m. rapid or ultrarrapid insulin dose to correspond with a decent (if untypical and possible not "filling" enough) breakfast option.

Dr. Stan De Loach
Certified Diabetes Educator
México, Distrito Federal

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