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Diabetic Menu Diabetic Diet Plan

Diabetic Friendly Breakfast Foods

Eating breakfast has received a lot of publicity in recent years. Touted as the most important meal of the day by nutritionist, skipping breakfast can disrupt the body's ability to function properly. Charging the body, which has been resting during the night, is as important as adding fuel to your car, batteries to your watch or an electric current to your desktop pc. Performance is the first symptom noticed when energy sources are running low. Automobiles sputter, watches lose time, computers don't boot up and the body runs amuck.

For diabetics, eating breakfast has an even greater impact on overall health when compared with the non-diabetic. Why?

For people with diabetes special consideration must be given to how they fuel the body. Diabetes is a disease that hampers the production of insulin, the hormone responsible for converting what we eat into energy, produces erratic blood sugar levels and puts the diabetic at an increased risk for developing complications such as heart disease, stroke, retinopathy, kidney failure, neuropathy and infections. A diabetic has the same need to charge his or her body in the morning as the non-diabetic however they haven't the same privilege as the non-diabetic who can eat whatever they want. That is, not if they intend to enjoy a long and prosperous life.

Belgian waffles, French toast or a stack of pancakes smothered in syrup are without question delicious as are fried eggs, bacon, sausage, scrapple, buttered toast, cinnamon buns, lucky charms or any other sugar coated cereal sitting on the supermarket shelf but they aren't exactly diabetic-friendly foods nor what a physician would prescribe. Fortunately, there are viable options that can satisfy both the diabetic's taste buds and metabolic processes.

In recent years, the focus of the diabetic meal plan has shifted from solely cutting back on carbohydrates to providing the body with a better source of carbohydrates. According to researchers at the University of Toronto, some carbohydrates are converted into glucose and enter the bloodstream at a faster rate than others. The data, referred to as the Glycemic Index, collected through their research indicates that choosing complex carbohydrates, which have a glycemic rating of 55 or below, such as soybeans, barley, cauliflower and strawberries can greatly reduce the tumultuous fluctuation in blood sugar levels after eating because they are metabolized at a slower rate.

According to Dr. Ray D. Strand, author of What You're Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You, "When these low-glycemic carbohydrates are combined with good protein and good fats in a balanced meal, the blood sugar does not spike. This is critical in controlling diabetes. If the blood sugar doesn't rise significantly after a meal - a major factor in diabetic control - there is no problem of having to bring it back down with drugs."1

So what does this mean in terms of breakfast?

Diabetics need to eat a breakfast that will fuel their body without spiking their blood sugar. The traditional breakfast menu is packed with carbohydrates and fat. As a result, diabetics must think out of the box! Why wait for lunch to enjoy your veggies? A vegetable patty made from combining 1 cup of cooked, mashed soy beans and 1 cup cooked barley, which have glycemic ratings of 14 and 22, respectively, with cups chopped or shredded vegetables such as celery, carrot, coriander and cabbage and .5 cup of wheat flour fried in a small amount of oil and topped off with a tablespoon or two of chili sauce is an ideal substitute for pancakes and waffles. Oatmeal, having a glycemic rating of 54, is always good to eat however an even better choice would be a soybean porridge made from cooking 1 cup soybeans, which have first been roasted then grinded in the blender for 30 seconds, ... teaspoon salt and a pinch of baking soda in 3 cups water for about 30 minutes. Serve with sliced strawberries, which have a glycemic index of 32, if desired. Both oatmeal and soybeans help reduce cholesterol levels however soybean's glycemic rating is 74% less than oatmeal. A bowl of soup, fresh fruit, especially those with a low-glycemic rating such as apples, cherries, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, plums, and pears, or a small salad are also suitable alternatives for awakening and recharging the body after a good night's sleep.

Breaking away from the traditional breakfast menu is a worthwhile investment when you consider that most diabetic's wake up to blood sugar levels above normal, which is the criterion used for diagnosing the disease in the first place. Substituting traditional breakfast foods, which typically have a high-glycemic rating; with foods having a low-glycemic rating refuels the body without elevating blood sugar levels further.

References:

Ray D. Strand, M.D., What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You, Advantage Quest Publications, pg. 156

By CT Aisyah - Formerly a food columnist and lifestyle freelance writer for several South Jersey Newspapers.  





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