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Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas

6 min read

By Olivia DiPede

Medically Reviewed by Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE
  • It’s important to pick breakfast options that are filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fats for those with diabetes.
  • Some healthy options for diabetes-friendly breakfasts include eggs, low-carb pancakes, and chia seed pudding.
  • It’s key to select breakfast ingredients that are low in sugar and carbs to keep blood sugar steady and avoid spikes.

Breakfast is an important meal to start the day with energy. In today’s world, many breakfast options are filled with unnecessary sugar and carbs which can be challenging for those with diabetes. Many people with diabetes must manage their blood sugar levels, so it’s important to opt for breakfast foods that are filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to stay full while not overdoing it on the carbs. Follow along for a few ideas for diabetes-friendly breakfast recipes:

Breakfast Foods and Diabetes

Breakfast is an important meal to start the day on a healthy note for anyone, but perhaps even more so for those with diabetes. WebMD explains that a meal first thing in the morning can help to keep your blood sugar steady all day long, which is critical for those with diabetes.

One study even showed that skipping breakfast caused higher blood sugar spikes after lunch and dinner. With that being said, some breakfast foods may do more harm than good if they’re loaded with carbs and sugar. Be sure to opt for breakfast foods that are full of fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats to ensure this meal is nourishing your body in the best way possible.



Eggs are a great breakfast option for those with diabetes. Healthline explains that eggs are low in calories, but high in protein, which makes them a perfect low-carb option for those with diabetes. A 2018 study found that people with diabetes hoping to maintain a healthy lifestyle may eat up to seven eggs per week.

Eggs are versatile and can be cooked in many different ways to have variety in your breakfast. You could make them scrambled, fried, or poached. You could also consider adding in some vegetables such as spinach, mushroom, and bell pepper for added nutrients and flavor.


Greek Yogurt with Berries

If you’re looking for something simple yet tasty, greek yogurt with berries is another delicious breakfast option that’s diabetes-friendly. According to Healthline, eating dairy may help to improve blood sugar control and lower blood sugar levels. This may be due to the yogurt’s probiotics, which help your body break down sugar.

Be sure to opt for yogurt that is low in fat when grocery shopping. You could opt to top the yogurt with a handful of berries for a boost of antioxidants, or a handful of crushed or slivered nuts for a boost of healthy fats without increasing carbs.

Shutterstock/Elena Veselova

Vegetable Omelet

An omelet filled with savory vegetables and cheese is not only delicious but also diabetes-friendly. Be sure to opt for non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, or kale. These are high in fiber and nutrients, but low in carbs, which is important for those with diabetes.

These vegetables are also a great source of vitamin C, which may help manage blood sugar. You could opt to top your omelet with some low-fat cheese for extra flavor, and serve it with a slice of whole-grain toast to keep you feeling full all day.


Overnight Chia Seed Pudding

A great diabetes-friendly breakfast idea that you can prepare the night before is overnight chia seed pudding. Healthline explains that chia seeds are great for those with diabetes since they are low in digestible carbs, yet high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Begin with a mason jar to make overnight chia seed pudding. Add in 1 oz of chia seeds with 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and a dash of vanilla extract. Shake well to mix ingredients and refrigerate overnight. For extra flavor, you could also consider adding in coconut shreds, chocolate chips with no added sugar, or cocoa nibs.


Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl

If you’re a fan of cottage cheese, a great idea for a diabetes-friendly breakfast is a cottage cheese fruit bowl. Cottage cheese is creamy, soft, and delicious, and may help with insulin resistance, according to Healthline.

To make this bowl, begin with cottage cheese and top with blueberries and almonds, or other fruits and nuts of your choice. You could also consider whipping the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender to make it even creamier. This nutritious breakfast contains a healthy amount of protein and fat while still being low in carbs, which is perfect for those with diabetes.

Shutterstock/Daria Medvedeva

Egg White Bites

Egg whites are a great source of protein for those with diabetes, and adding veggies to this recipe can add even more nutrients. Another bonus to this egg white bites recipe is that you can prep them over the weekend so they’re available and easy to reach for throughout the week.

To make this recipe, you’ll need egg whites, cheddar cheese, spinach, and whatever other chopped veggies you prefer. Mix the ingredients and bake in a muffin tin, filling each cup 3/4 the way full. These delicious bites are filling, packed with protein, and a delicious diabetes-friendly breakfast.

Shutterstock/Arina P Habich

Low Carb Pancakes

Pancakes are a delicious breakfast option, and it’s actually quite easy to make them diabetes-friendly. The key to making pancakes diabetes-friendly is to make them low-carb by swapping out the white flour for almond or coconut flour.

You could also consider boosting the protein and fiber in your pancakes by pairing them with fruits such as bananas, blueberries, or pumpkin. Be sure to top them with sugar-free syrup to keep the pancakes as healthy as possible.

Shutterstock/Mila Naumova

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is a simple and popular breakfast dish, and it’s one that is also diabetes-friendly. According to Healthline, avocados are loaded with fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids that may help prevent blood sugar from rising too high, especially after a meal.

Be sure to add your avocado to multigrain bread for an additional boost of fiber. You could also consider topping your toast with a boiled or fried egg for more protein and healthy fats. If you’re looking for extra flavor, you could consider adding a pinch of salt and pepper or a drizzle of balsamic or low-carb chili sauce.

Shutterstock/Nelli Syrotynska

Low Sugar Smoothie

A breakfast smoothie is a delicious breakfast option that can be customized to be low-sugar and low-carb for those with diabetes. Everyday Health explains that the key to ensuring a smoothie is diabetes-friendly is to pack it with protein and fiber, but limit the sugar. It’s also recommended to stick to a small glass since moderation is important.

It’s key to keep the ingredients simple when it comes to making a diabetes-friendly smoothie. One simple diabetes-friendly smoothie is to use yogurt, mixed berries, and milk. It’s packed with protein and fiber to keep you feeling full and satisfied all morning.

Shutterstock/Luna Vandoorne

Wheat Bran Cereal

Cereal is a classic breakfast option that can easily be catered to for those with diabetes. Cereal is typically served with milk or yogurt, but can also be served with extra ingredients such as berries and cinnamon for enhanced flavor.

The key when selecting a cereal is to opt for one made with wheat bran, which means the outer layer of the wheat kernel is stripped away during the milling process, according to Healthline. The wheat bran then becomes processed into flakes or pellets as it is made into cereal. This means there is a high level of nutrients and fiber with a low glycemic load, meaning it will raise blood sugar slowly rather than quickly.

Shutterstock/Daxiao Productions

Toast with Nut Butter

One simple breakfast that’s quick to make and diabetes-friendly is a classic toast with nut butter. Healthline explains that research has shown that eating healthy fats may prevent blood sugar spikes and slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

This breakfast is relatively simple but can be customized to your liking. Be sure to opt for a multigrain toast for an additional boost of fiber and reduced sugar. Top with natural nut butter such as peanut, cashew, or almond butter. Be sure to choose natural versions that do not contain added sugar.



Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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