4 mins

Diabetes breakfast ideas to help start your day right

Breakfast is an important meal for people with diabetes. Studies show that your first morning meal can lower your chance of overeating throughout the day, and a low carb breakfast can positively impact your blood sugar levels1.

As a person living with diabetes, picking the right foods for breakfast really matters. Many popular breakfast foods can be high in sugar and carbohydrates, both of which can increase your blood sugar levels. You’ll also want to avoid high-sugar and high-fat foods if you’re watching your weight.

Speak with your healthcare professional before making any dietary changes so you can receive personalised advice and support.  

03 June 2024
Diabetes breakfast ideas

Five breakfast foods that are good for reducing fluctuations in blood glucose levels

Start your day off in a positive way with these diabetes breakfast ideas. They're easy to make, low in sugar, and perfect for helping you to keep your blood sugar levels in range.

1. Eggs

Versatile and delicious, eggs are low in carbohydrates and make a great breakfast idea for people with diabetes. One medium egg contains around 7 grams of protein and 72 calories.

Did you know? Studies show that eating eggs can help lower HbA1c and fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.3

Tip:  For variety, alternate how you prepare eggs—try them scrambled, poached, fried, or cook a delicious omelette packed with all your favourite vegetables.

Egg yolks are heavy in fat and cholesterol, so be mindful of the amount you include in your diet. 

2. Porridge oats

While porridge is higher in carbohydrates, it’s still a good breakfast choice for people with diabetes, because the high fibre content may help reduce blood glucose levels.4,5,6

Tip: Keep it healthy but with a hint of sweetness and flavour by using unsweetened Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nuts, or your favourite berries. Remember that fruits contain sugar, so be mindful of how much you add.

Take a look at our homemade hearty porridge recipe!

3. Unsweetened yogurt

For a healthier breakfast option, avoid flavoured yogurts, which are often high in sugar and fat. Instead, choose unsweetened yogurts, like Greek or natural yogurt, which is a more nutritious choice for diabetes food.

Did you know? Some studies indicate that eating dairy products like yogurt may help lower blood sugar levels and make it easier to manage blood glucose.4

Tip: Add some texture and sweetness with blueberries, raspberries, nuts, or even pumpkin seeds. As always, watch the amount of fruit since they contain sugar.

Try this yogurt and granola pot recipe.

4. Multigrain avocado toast

Avocado toast has become a popular breakfast dish, and it’s also a healthy one.7

Avocados provide healthy fats,8 and combined with the fibre in multigrain bread, can keep you feeling full.

Tip: Keep it vegan by adding a bit of vegan-friendly chili sauce, salt, or pepper. If you eat eggs and dairy, top your toast with a fried or boiled egg to add more protein.

5. Cottage cheese with nuts or fruit

Cottage cheese, a type of fresh cheese, is a popular option for a high-protein breakfast that's mild in flavour.

Did you know? As a dairy product, adding cottage cheese to your diet may help reduce insulin resistance.9 And research shows that cottage cheese can keep you full for about 3 hours,10 making it ideal for managing your appetite and keeping your energy steady—something particularly valuable for managing diabetes.

Tip: If you like a sweet start to your day, pair cottage cheese with some fruit; if you are more of a savoury morning person, try some vegetables.

More diabetes breakfast tips

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when choosing what to eat for a diabetes-friendly breakfast:

  • Skip white bread: Choose whole-grain options instead. This healthy oat bread recipe could be a good alternative.
  • Choose whole fruits: Eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking fruit juice for breakfast. Fruit juices tend to have a high glycaemic load and lack the helpful fibres found in whole fruits. That is why drinking fruit juice instead of eating whole fruits can make you feel hungry sooner and cause a rapid increase in glucose and insulin levels.11 If you’re trying to manage your blood sugar and feel full, eating whole fruit is your best bet.
  • Get plenty of protein: Low-fat dairy, legumes, nuts, and animal products are good protein sources and can keep you feeling full.
  • Keep track of carbohydrates: Using your favourite diabetes management app to count your carbohydrates is important because they can add up quickly. 
  • Look for high-fibre foods: Your body digests fibre more slowly, so you won’t get hungry as fast.12 Foods containing high fibre include whole-grain cereals and bread, seeds, fruit, and beans.
  • Choose fats from healthier food: Instead of sausage and ham, try chicken sausage or turkey bacon. Nuts are a good source of fat, too. Fats from vegetables, red, unprocessed meat, and dark chocolate have all shown health benefits.13
  • Watch your portion sizes: Managing your portion sizes won’t can help lower the risk of hypoglycaemia and support maintaining a healthy weight.14,15
  • Keep an eye on condiments: Jams, jellies, and syrups have lots of sugar.

Remember, breakfast is essential for people with diabetes.1 A healthy meal can start your morning off well and make it easier to stick to a healthy diabetes meal plan all day long. The good news is that some of these diabetes breakfast ideas aren't limited to breakfast. Enjoy them as snacks throughout the day, or turn them into other meals.


  1. Chang CR, Francois ME, Little JP. Restricting carbohydrates at breakfast is sufficient to reduce 24-hour exposure to postprandial hyperglycemia and improve glycemic variability. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;109(5):1302-1309. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy261
  2. Open Food Facts, Accessed 20th June 2024. https://uk.openfoodfacts.org/product/5018374888341/6-free-range-eggs-tesco
  3. Pourafshar S, Akhavan NS, George KS, et al. Egg consumption may improve factors associated with glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in adults with pre- and type II diabetes. Food Funct. 2018;9(8):4469-4479. doi:10.1039/C8FO00194D
  4. Ryan Raman. 14 Best Breakfast Foods for People with Diabetes. Healthline. Published March 23, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2024. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/breakfast-foods-for-diabetics
  5. Hou Q, Li Y, Li L, et al. The Metabolic Effects of Oats Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2015;7(12):10369-10387. doi:10.3390/nu7125536
  6. Chen V, Zurbau A, Ahmed A, et al. Effect of oats and oat ß-glucan on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2022;10(5):e002784. doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2022-002784
  7. Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-750. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.556759
  8. Open Food Facts, Accessed 20th June 2024. https://uk.openfoodfacts.org/product/10096369/avocado-tesco
  9. Sochol KM, Johns TS, Buttar RS, et al. The Effects of Dairy Intake on Insulin Resistance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2237. doi:10.3390/nu11092237
  10. Marsset-Baglieri A, Fromentin G, Nau F, et al. The satiating effects of eggs or cottage cheese are similar in healthy subjects despite differences in postprandial kinetics. Appetite. 2015;90:136-143. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2015.03.010
  11. Bondonno NP, Davey RJ, Murray K, et al. Associations Between Fruit Intake and Risk of Diabetes in the AusDiab Cohort. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021;106(10):e4097-e4108. doi:10.1210/clinem/dgab335
  12. Mao T, Huang F, Zhu X, Wei D, Chen L. Effects of dietary fiber on glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Funct Foods. 2021;82:104500. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2021.104500
  13. Astrup A, Magkos F, Bier DM, et al. Saturated Fats and Health: A Reassessment and Proposal for Food-Based Recommendations. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;76(7):844-857. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.05.077
  14. Rolls BJ. What is the role of portion control in weight management? Int J Obes. 2014;38(S1):S1-S8. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.82
  15. Evert AB, Dennison M, Gardner CD, et al. Nutrition Therapy for Adults With Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report. Diabetes Care. 2019;42(5):731-754. doi:10.2337/dci19-0014

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