Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gives you energy to begin the day.

Lara Rondinelli By Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE

If you were like most Americans, you were cheering for Michael Phelps during the Olympic games. He has amazing athletic ability and endless energy, and it was reported that he eats between 10,000-12,000 calories per day during a competition! It was reported that a typical breakfast for him includes: 3 fried egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions, and mayonnaise; a 5-egg omelet; a bowl of grits; 3 slices of French toast with powdered sugar; 3 chocolate chip pancakes; and 2 cups of coffee. This is the breakfast of a champion — but definitely not a champion breakfast for the average person with diabetes.

Unfortunately, too many people skip breakfast or make unhealthy choices. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gives you energy to begin the day. Often, people skip breakfast because they don't have time, are trying to lose weight, or have gotten into the habit of not eating breakfast so are not hungry in the morning.

Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day because you end up ravenous. If you are skipping breakfast because you are in a rush, you need to make the time to eat and it will be well worth the 15 minutes of your day. For those of you that say you are not hungry in the morning, try making yourself eat breakfast around the same time every day for two weeks. Yes, this means eating even if you aren't hungry. After two weeks, you'll start getting used to eating at that time and your body will begin expecting breakfast.

There are many unhealthy breakfast choices loaded with carbohydrates and bad fats such as: pancakes, sausage and egg biscuits, muffins, scones, and bagels. Choose your breakfast foods wisely and your days will get off to a great start. You may even find that your blood glucose levels are easier to control, especially if you have been overeating later in the day.

Here are some good breakfast choices with various (approximate) carbohydrate counts:

Four 15-gram Carbohydrate Breakfasts

  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast, veggie omelet
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup strawberries with 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 egg, 2 turkey sausage links, 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup low-carb yogurt, 3/4 cup raspberries

Click here for dLife breakfast recipes sorted from lowest-carb to highest!

Five 30-gram Carbohydrate Breakfast

  • 1 cup oatmeal with 2 tablespoons walnuts, 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup low-carb yogurt (15 grams carb), 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 whole-wheat English Muffin with 2 teaspoons peanut butter, 2 teaspoons sugar-free jelly, and 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 whole-wheat English Muffin with 1 egg and 1 slice Canadian bacon
  • 1 cup Special K Protein Plus Cereal and 1 cup milk

Five 45-gram Carbohydrate Breakfasts

  • 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 1 cup skim milk
  • Egg sandwich (2 slices whole-wheat bread, 1 slice cheese, and 1 slice Canadian bacon), 1 cup cantaloupe cubes
  • 2 whole-wheat waffles, 2 tablespoons sugar-free syrup, 1 cup milk
  • Smoothie made with 1 cup milk, 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, 6 ounces low-carb yogurt
  • 1 bottle low-carb yogurt smoothie (15 grams carbohydrate), 1 slice whole-wheat toast, 1 small apple

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Last Modified Date: June 17, 2013

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by Brenda Bell
Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...
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