Kellogg’s All-Bran, Quaker Oatmeal, and B&G Foods Cream of Wheat are some popular breakfast cereals that are good options for people with diabetes.
Many types of breakfast cereal contain fast-digesting carbohydrates. These cereals usually have a high glycemic index (GI), which means your body breaks them down quickly, causing your blood sugar levels to rise quickly.
If you have diabetes, this may lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which could be life threatening.
But not all cereals are the same. If you have diabetes, you can enjoy some types of cereal.
We’ve listed our cereal recommendations for people with diabetes from the highest GI to the lowest.
- Low: 0–55
- Medium: 56-69
- High: 70-100
It’s best to choose low GI cereals if you have diabetes because your body
Several factors, such as cooking time, acidity, and food combinations, may also influence a food’s GI.
Therefore, the GL may be a better way to identify more ideal and less ideal carbohydrate choices. Some foods may have a high GI but a low GL, which would make them healthy options for people with diabetes.
A food’s GL falls into one of the following three categories:
- Low: 0–10
- Medium: 11–19
- High: 20 and over
On average, cornflakes have a high GI of 79 and a GL of 20 for a 1-cup serving.
The primary ingredient is milled corn, which has a higher GI than whole grain alternatives. Milling removes the hard outer layer of the corn. This leaves behind a starchy product that has little nutritional value and lots of quickly digestible carbohydrates.
The most popular brand is Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. It’s best to buy plain cornflakes rather than the sugarcoated or honey and nut varieties. These may spike your blood sugar levels faster.
Discover more about Type 2 Diabetes
Grape-Nuts cereals are a good source of:
- slow your digestion
- stabilize and manage your blood sugar levels
- maintain a healthy digestive system
- feel full
Rice-based cereals, such as Kellogg’s Special K, may affect your blood sugar levels slightly less than Grape-Nuts. Special K cereal sold in the United States has a GI of 69 and a GL of 14 per serving of 30 g.
There are numerous varieties of Special K, which differ in their calorie content and nutritional values. These include:
- Red Berries
- Fruit & Yogurt
- Oats & Honey
Cream of Wheat is a type of breakfast porridge made from farina, a finely ground whole grain wheat.
It has a smooth texture and subtle flavor. Malt-O-Meal is another popular brand of farina porridge.
A 250-g serving of regular Cream of Wheat has a GI of 66 and a GL of 17. The instant version has a higher GI of 74 and a GL of 22.
With its base of oats, muesli is a great source of fiber.
Oatmeal is made from raw oats. You can opt for specialty, organic, or popular fortified brands such as Quaker.
It’s also best to avoid the sweetened varieties since they contain added sugars and extra calories.
Wheat bran cereals, such as Kellogg’s All-Bran and Post 100% Bran, are winners when it comes to having the lowest GI and GL ratings.
On average, they have a GI of 45 and a GL of 10 per 1-cup serving.
The wheat bran in breakfast cereals is processed into flakes or pellets. These cereals are heavier than rice-based cereals due to their high fiber content.
Wheat bran cereal is also rich in:
|wheat bran cereals
|Cream of Wheat
There are many other breakfast foods that are good to eat if you have diabetes, including:
- plain Greek yogurt
- low carb smoothies
- avocado on multigrain toast
- cottage cheese with fruits and nuts
It’s best to be mindful when choosing beverages, especially fruit juices, as these have higher GI ratings than whole fruits.
Are Cheerios okay for diabetics?
Cheerios have a GI rating of 74, which classifies them as a high GI breakfast cereal. A person with diabetes should consider other cereal options instead, such as wheat bran cereals like Kellogg’s All-Bran and Post 100% Bran.
What kind of cereal can I eat with diabetes?
The best kinds of cereal to eat if you have diabetes are typically those with a low-to-medium GI. It’s also best to eat a cereal made from whole grains rather than refined grains.
Options may include:
- wheat bran cereals
- regular oatmeal (not instant)
Is there a diabetic breakfast cereal?
There’s no breakfast cereal specifically made for people with diabetes. However, if you have diabetes, you’ll want a breakfast cereal that:
- has a low GI
- is high in fiber
- has no added sugars
- is made from whole grains
Eating a balanced breakfast is important if you have diabetes. It can help you regulate your blood sugar and manage your hunger throughout the day.
Some breakfast cereals may be good options. It’s best to choose cereals with a low GI, since they may get absorbed more slowly into your bloodstream and are less likely to cause a rapid blood sugar spike.
It’s best to avoid cereals that are made from refined grains, contain added sugar, and are low in fiber.