15 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Recipes to Start Your Day Off Right

Meyer Lemon Avocado Toast
Photo: bd.weld

You already know breakfast is important. But this is especially true for people with diabetes. A balanced breakfast will power you through the first part of your day, break the overnight fasting, and keep your blood sugar stable. When choosing a morning meal, the American Diabetes Association advises that you opt for complex carbs (like fruit and whole grains) for fiber, and stick to heart-healthy amounts of saturated fat and sodium. Focusing on this nutritional criteria, our list of delicious diabetes-friendly breakfast ideas includes overnight oats, smoothies, muffins, eggs, toast, and more.

01 of 16

Overnight Oatmeal with Milk

overnight oats

Rolled oats, low-fat milk, lemon zest, and vanilla extract meld together overnight for a creamy but balanced diabetes-friendly breakfast recipe. (Skip the optional agave nectar.) Divide it into four servings, and top each with pine nuts and fresh apricot slices.

02 of 16

Diabetic-Friendly Apple Muffins

muffins on a cooling rack with apples in the background
Kim's Cooking Now

Apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg are a natural pairing, and you can add as much spice as you'd like to this diabetes-friendly breakfast recipe. "I had people asking where I got the recipe," home cook Helen Zinke Brennan says. "I used Granny Smith apples and stevia honey as my sweetener. They were delicious! A definite repeat recipe."

03 of 16

Daily Shake

blueberry shake with three blueberries on top and a straw inside

Home cook Charnel, who has diabetes, created this Daily Shake recipe as a healthy diabetes-friendly breakfast recipe that's convenient (and tasty) enough to whip up every day. While the recipe calls for fresh blueberries, you can substitute other fruits. Blackberries, raspberries, and kiwi are some of the best options for people with diabetes.

04 of 16

Meyer Lemon Avocado Toast

Meyer Lemon Avocado Toast

"I like to use this recipe when I have a ripe avocado that I don't want to waste. It is absolutely delicious and a wonderful source of fiber and fatty acids. Feel free to get creative with the ingredients! Substitute cilantro with mint or parsley, or chia seeds with sesame or poppy seeds," recipe contributor princessofmontecito says.

05 of 16

Spinach Egg White Muffins

egg white cups with spinach

Egg whites are a great source of protein for people with diabetes, and spinach makes these "muffins" extra nutritious. Balance this diabetes-friendly breakfast recipe with carbohydrates like a piece of whole grain toast or a serving of fruit.

06 of 16

Overnight Light PB&J Oats

Overnight Light PB&J Oats

"So many overnight oats recipes are loaded with calories and fat. But not this one," Allrecipes Allstar lutzflcat says. "It breaks down very well nutritionally. That peanut butter powder really tastes like the real deal and it's the perfect partner for the fresh raspberries. Have tried a number of similar recipes, but hands down, this has been my favorite."

07 of 16

Spinach and Kale Smoothie

green smoothie in a glass mug

Peanut butter and a banana mask the taste of spinach and kale in this healthy diabetes-friendly breakfast recipe. Chia seeds give you extra fiber, plus a dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

08 of 16

Breakfast Egg Salad

egg scramble with tomatoes, spinach, onions, feta

"This is a really quick, easy, and healthy breakfast for one that can easily be doubled or tripled if you're feeding a family," recipe contributor Andrea Jean says. "When it's done, it looks like a lot, but you have to realize it's mostly all veggies!"

09 of 16

Dietetic Banana Nut Muffins

banana nut muffins with pecans on top

"Made these today for my dad who is a diabetic. They were great. He loved them. My husband who is not a fan of artificial sweeteners actually said they were delicious and asked me to make them for his crew at the firehouse. Moist and full of flavor," home cook KelliCat says. "I just suggest you make sure to spray the muffin tins well or use paper liners and spray them."

10 of 16

Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

Quinoa Breakfast Cereal in a glass bowl
Tammy Lynn

Slivered almonds, flax seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg give quinoa a breakfast makeover. Top each bowl with a splash of milk and dried apricots. Just remember that the serving size of dried fruit is smaller than that of fresh fruit, so stick to about 1/8 cup per serving, as the recipe recommends.

11 of 16

Gluten-Free Hot Breakfast Cereal

Gluten-Free Hot Breakfast Cereal
Buckwheat Queen

"This is a whole grain blend of eight gluten-free grains and seeds, which are ground in a coffee grinder and cooked. Since going gluten and casein free, I have been unable to find any hot breakfast cereals that we enjoy. So I created this one and the whole family loves it," home cook Kim says.

12 of 16

Foolproof Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs Mytilene

Follow these instructions to learn how to poach the perfect egg. Serve over avocado toast, a bed of spinach, 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato, or even asparagus for a healthy brunch.

13 of 16

Healthy Multigrain Chia Waffles

Healthy Multigrain Chia Waffles

"These waffles are a little bit crunchy and super filling, with ingredients proven to regulate blood sugar. The chia seeds and flax add extra fiber and omega-3 to your diet," recipe contributor TNCook says. Reviewers say you can replace the added sugar with a diabetes-friendly substitute or omit it altogether and still get delicious results.

14 of 16

Whole Grain French Toast with Blackberry Compote

two slices of whole grain toast with blackberry sauce on top

You may assume "compote" is code for added sugar, but not here. Honey is optional, and the blackberry sauce tastes sweet enough without it. Serve it over a slice of multigrain toast — soaked in a mixture of egg, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and griddled — for a diabetes-friendly take on French toast.

15 of 16

Diabetic-Friendly Coconut Muffins

muffins on plate with cantaloupe
Debbie Isaak

"These were very good," home cook Debbie Isaak says. "My husband said they tasted like coconut cream pie. We will make these again for sure." Isaak added 2 tbsp. of milk to thin the batter, as other reviewers suggest.

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