Bone up on a big breakfast to control diabetesBy Shayna Brouker • Published: December 5th, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
Looking to lower your blood sugar levels, decrease the amount of diabetes medication you take and feel healthy, wise and satisfied? Kick off your day with a hearty meal of cheesy eggs, bacon and toast. If you’re diabetic, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. An Israeli study found that those who indulge in a big breakfast packed with protein and fat saw a striking change in management of their diabetes.
Scientists had one group of people with Type 2 diabetes indulge in a big breakfast containing one-third of their daily caloric intake, with a higher portion of protein and fat. The other group snacked on a smaller breakfast with just 12.5 percent of their daily calories.
Amazingly, after 13 weeks, big breakfast-eaters enjoyed a dramatic drop in blood sugar levels — three times that of people who had a smaller morning meal. They also saw a decrease in their blood pressure four times greater than the other group and felt more satisfied throughout the day. The others grew hungrier. What’s more, one-third of the big breakfast group reduced their daily diabetic medication versus just 17 percent in the small breakfast group.
So what’s the secret behind a big breakfast? It’s called ghrelin, otherwise known as the “hunger hormone.” Protein helps stifle ghrelin, controlling cravings. Protein also helps regulate blood sugar because it takes longer to turn into glucose, while carbohydrates cause blood sugar to spike quickly.
Pack your morning meal with protein and you’ll be off to a good start. Aim for at least five grams. Good sources include, of course, the almighty egg, but switch it up with cottage cheese and fruit, Greek yogurt and walnuts, or oatmeal made with protein powder. A whole wheat bagel with lox or ham is also a solid solution. Pick protein and take control of your diabetes.