RD with Berries

Navigating diabetes can be really hard. It’s even hard for medical professionals to do correctly 100% of the time! So, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or you want to start managing it better, let’s talk about what to eat for breakfast.

Diabetes Diet

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with diabetes meal guidelines. You may be asking, “Well, what can I eat?!”

As a Registered Dietitian, I’m here to tell you that you can eat plenty of foods! No food is off-limits, but that doesn’t give you “free reign” to do what you want.

5 Key Things Every Diabetic Meal Plan Should Have:

  1. Consistent Carb Intake: We all need carbs for energy, even with diabetes. Get carbs in every meal and snack. Not eating enough carbs can cause dangerously low blood sugar. But, overdoing carbs can cause blood sugar to spike.
  2. Limit Unhealthy Carbs: There are unhealthy carbs and healthy carbs. Unhealthy carbs are sweets, alcohol, sports drinks, soda, processed foods, white bread, white crackers and milkshakes. Healthy carbs are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy and legumes. Choose healthy carbs most often.
  3. Calorie Control for Weight: If your doctor recommends weight loss, choose a healthy weight loss eating plan. Even losing 5-10% of your current body weight may yield significant health improvements.
  4. Heart Healthy Foods: People with diabetes are also at risk of heart disease (1). Luckily, eating for heart health and diabetes go hand-in-hand!
  5. Add More Fiber: Fiber keeps you full, regular and may help lower cholesterol (2). Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes all contain fiber. Most of your diet should consist of fibrous foods.

Wow, even these 5 key things are a lot to digest! Let’s break it down further with some example diabetic breakfast ideas.

10 Diabetic Breakfast Ideas

You can eat delicious food and still manage diabetes. For a personalized diet plan, talk to a Registered Dietitian.

1. Whole Grain Toast + Nut Butter + Sliced Banana

Why it works:

  • Whole Grain Toast – Fiber to keep you full and long-lasting healthy carbs.
  • Nut Butter – Protein to hold off hunger and heart healthy fats.
  • Banana – Natural carbs and fiber with tons of potassium.

Pair it with some skim milk for extra protein.

2. (Veggie Omelet) Eggs + Mushrooms + Zucchini + Parmesan Cheese

Why it works:

  • Eggs – Lean protein source for weight loss and calorie control.
  • Mushrooms – Hearty, low-calorie and filled with vitamin D for countless health functions.
  • Zucchini – Low-calorie and high in vitamins and minerals.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Lower-fat cheese than many yellow cheeses.

Season with herbs and spices that do not contain salt.

3. Greek Yogurt (plain, nonfat) + Almonds + Dark Chocolate Chips… Say What?

Why it works: 

  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt – Packed with protein and no unhealthy fat.
  • Almonds – Fiber, nutrients and heart healthy fats.
  • Dark Chocolate – Touch of sweet but rich in minerals and antioxidants.

Choose dark chocolate that’s over 70% cocoa for more antioxidant power (and less sugar).

4. Whole Grain English Muffin + Scrambled Egg + Mozzarella Slice + Cherry Tomatoes + Spinach

Why it works:

  • Whole Grain English Muffin – Fiber and complex carbs for steadier blood sugar.
  • Egg – Lean protein that is easily absorbed by your body.
  • Mozzarella – Lower-fat cheese with protein to keep you satisfied.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Antioxidants to fight chronic disease and inflammation.
  • Spinach – Low in calories and high in nutrition (perfect for weight control).

Drizzle with a bit of fine olive oil like Papa Vince!

5. (Sweet Potato Hash) Diced Sweet Potatoes + Lean Turkey Sausage + Egg + Onion

Why it works:

  • Sweet Potatoes – Filled with fiber, nutrients and satisfying carbs.
  • Lean Turkey – Opt for the leanest turkey you can find.
  • Egg – Only 70 calories per egg and packed with protein.
  • Onion – Low in calories but packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and prebiotics.

Cook it in a healthy oil like olive, canola, avocado, soybean, vegetable, corn or flaxseed oil.

6. Quinoa + Avocado + Soft-boiled Egg

Why it works:

  • Quinoa – High fiber ancient grain that also contains a punch of protein.
  • Avocado – Heart healthy fats (but keep the portions small since they’re calorie-rich).
  • Egg – Opt for eggs that contain added omega-3s if possible.

Sprinkle some chia seeds on top for crunch!

7. Oatmeal + Ground Flaxseed + Blueberries

Why it works:

  • Oatmeal – Fiber for fullness, long-lasting carbs and lowering cholesterol.
  • Ground Flaxseed – Heart healthy omega-3 fats. (I like this brand.)
  • Blueberries – Antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Make your oatmeal with water to save on calories.

8. (Breakfast Tacos) Corn Tortilla + Skinless Chicken Breast + Avocado + Black Beans + Egg + Salsa

Why it works:

  • Corn Tortilla – Delicious, lower in calories and nutritious!
  • Skinless Chicken Breast – Lean protein source when it’s skinless and grilled.
  • Avocado – Filled with heart healthy fats.
  • Black Beans – Plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Choose a salsa that is lower in sodium.

9. Cottage Cheese (nonfat) + Cherries + Walnuts

Why it works:

  • Nonfat Cottage Cheese – Lots of protein for minimal calories.
  • Cherries – Antioxidants, fiber, juicy and sweet so you feel indulgent and full.
  • Walnuts – Healthy fats, fiber and a boost of minerals. (My favorite is Fisher walnuts!)

Don’t forget to remove the cherry pits!

10. Bagel Thin + Hummus + Over Easy Egg + Bell Pepper

Why it works:

  • Bagel Thin – Gives you the bagel flavor without all the calories.
  • Hummus – Plant-based protein that even includes fiber.
  • Bell Pepper – Low-calorie and very filling to keep hunger at bay.

Opt for a whole grain bagel thin if possible.

Main Takeaway: Healthy Foods in Proper Portions

Remember to choose lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains while limiting sugary foods. Having trouble limiting sugars? Check out our article on How to Wean Off Sugar.

If you’re trying to lose weight, control the portion sizes of these meals. While these foods are nutritious, eating too many calories can cause weight gain and/or blood sugar spikes.

See a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN) or Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) to get a personalized plan.

Lastly, if you’re looking for other breakfast ideas, check out virtual cooking classes to learn how to make meals at home with a professional.