Re-Defining Breakfast

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” How many times have we heard that?

And has anyone else noticed that what passes for “breakfast food” is the nutritional equivalent of Halloween candy?  How did we get bamboozled into starting our day with snacks and dessert?

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Before I became T1, breakfast was always a bagel with peanut butter or a bowl of cereal. After diagnosis, armed with a blood glucose meter, I was horrified to see what a typical American breakfast did to my blood sugar. Ok, no problem. I decided to eat more “healthy whole grains” because they get absorbed more slowly due to their increased fiber content and contain more nutrition…right? I guess the marketing genius of big food companies have duped us all, even the nutritionists and diabetic educators.

As a T1, I have found controlling blood sugar in the morning to be the trickiest of all. Other T1 may be different, but if you find your blood sugar soaring in the morning after meals containing carbs, well you’re not alone. I have found that skipping breakfast or eating a couple fried eggs works best for me. In fact, I tend to completely avoid carbs until dinner time when it seems I can best handle them. I am certainly not a low carb diet guy, but T1 has forced me to take an honest look at what passes for normal in this country. If you’re not eating a pile of carbs with every meal, then you’re labeled as some kind of low card freak.

Therefore, I’m dedicating this post to a new definition of breakfast. Let’s abandon all the starchy nutritionless junk that passes for food and then re-examine what real food remains for breakfast. Here’s what immediately comes to mind. Eggs, bacon, bone broth, coffee, grass fed beef or lamb, full fat dairy (as unprocessed as possible), fish, nuts, leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit. I don’t feel like doing the math, but the tiny list I just compiled could be put together in about 6,000,000,000 ways. The list of foods mentioned above won’t spike good sugar and the food contains actual nutrition…remember why we’re eating in the first place. Our bodies need nutrition, not just calories.

There appears to be some evidence that intermittent fasting can have some health benefits which has inspired me to experiment with eating only lunch and dinner on some days. This takes a little experimentation with insulin regimes and possibly some additional testing throughout the morning. I have heard of T1 having trouble with high blood sugars when attempting to fast. According to the articles I’ve read, fasting windows of 16 hours are adequate to gain the health benefits.

Whatever your breakfast routine is, if you’re having difficulty controlling your blood sugar eating a typical American breakfast, try cutting out the cereal grains, baked goods, and sugary coffee drinks altogether and find the time to prepare some real food with real nutrition.


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