July 13, 2017

It’s summer and millions of Texans like to hit the road for their vacations. Often one of the first stops is breakfast at a roadside favorite like Waffle House, Denny’s, or Cracker Barrel. If you have type 2 diabetes, however, making smart choices for breakfast can be a tasty shortcut to managing your A1c for the rest of the day.

Don’t Skip Breakfast to Lower Your A1c

Several studies have shown that choosing to skip breakfast altogether is a bad idea, while others show you should skip the pancakes in the grand slam and go for a double like eggs and Canadian bacon.

In a small 2015 study, researchers compared blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes on days they skipped breakfast with days when they ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Published in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers measured the glucose and insulin levels after meals in 22 individuals in their mid-50s with type 2 diabetes. They discovered that on days they skipped breakfast, their blood sugar levels measured significantly higher after lunch and dinner than it was on the days the participants also ate breakfast.

Double Down on Protein and Lighten up on Carbs

In another study in the journal Obesity, 59 overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to eat a small breakfast high in carbohydrates or a large breakfast high in protein and fat for three months.

The results showed that the people in the larger, high-protein and fat breakfast group had greater reductions in their HbA1c and lowered their blood pressure more than the people in the small high-carbohydrate breakfast group.

These studies make sense when you consider that blood sugar levels tend to be higher in the morning because your liver produces sugar in the evening when you’re in a fasting state. Consequently, eating a large carbohydrate meal for breakfast boosts your blood sugar throughout the day.

Expert Recommendations for Menu Choices for Managing A1c

Based on these and similar studies, dietitians at Diabetic Living recommend avoiding the typical eggs, pancakes, bacon, and hash browns combination breakfast. Instead, choose the omelet with veggies with lean bacon and a side of fresh fruit for a better balance of protein and sugar.

The American Diabetes Association recommends looking at menu choices that include eggs, or egg whites, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables.

The dietitians at HealthyDiningFinder.com recommend looking for Healthy Dining-approved menu items that meet strict criteria for whole grain carbohydrates, and lean proteins like eggs, beans, seafood and lean meats. As an example, Denny’s Fit Fare® menu items meet their criteria. The menu includes the loaded veggie omelet and the build-your-own Grand Slam with egg whites, turkey bacon, wheat toast, and seasonal fruit.

If you have type 2 diabetes while out on your road trip, you don’t have to drive by your favorite breakfast diner. Simply skip the traditional grand slam combos and look for menu items that double down on protein and lighten up on carbs to keep your A1c goals from getting lost.

At Healthcare Associates of Texas, we work with you to find the optimal treatment for you. We offer an integrated approach to your health with primary care and diabetes specialists working together to ensure that you stay on track to reach your A1c goals while enjoying your life. Call our Appointment Line at (972) 258-7499 or contact us by email.

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