Cereal Choices for Blood Sugar Management 

Cereal is such an easy breakfast option, but let’s be real, it can become a big problem for your blood sugar. Many cereals are high in processed sugars and low in fiber, leading to quick rises in blood sugar. It’s also easy to eat several servings in one sitting, greatly increasing the amount of carbohydrate in your meal. That being said, you don’t have to give up on all breakfast cereals to reach your blood sugar goals. But you do need to pay close attention to the nutrition facts and portion size. We can help you simplify how to choose a diabetic friendly breakfast cereal.

Here are a few tips to better incorporate a diabetic friendly breakfast cereal into your diet: 

 

1. Read the nutrition facts label. 

diabetic friendly breakfast cereal

Choose a cereal that is low in sugar, high in fiber. As a general rule of thumb, I’m looking for at least 3 grams fiber and less than 6 grams sugar. When looking at the ingredients, whole grain should be the first ingredient!

2. Measure it out!

diabetic friendly cereal

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

 

It is so easy to eat several servings without even realizing it. The serving size for most cereals is 1/2 cup to 1 cup. 

3. Consider what you eat with your diabetic friendly breakfast cereal.

 

diabetic friendly cereal

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

 

Try using unsweetened almond milk. It contains less carbohydrates than cow’s milk and soy milk. You can also try a ultra filtered milk, like Fairlife, that is higher in protein and lower in sugar. Adding fruit will increase the amount of carbohydrate. Only add if it fits within your carb count goals for the meal. Carbohydrates (grains and dairy) are digested quickly, leaving you hungry not long after eating your cereal, and can cause a blood sugar spike. Pairing your carbohydrate with a good source of protein and/or fat can keep you satiated longer, and keep your blood sugars more stable. Try adding nuts to increase the protein/healthy fats, or round out the meal with Greek yogurt, eggs, or other lean proteins. 

 

Don’t have time to compare labels?

Here are a few diabetic friendly breakfast cereal options to try! 

Fiber One Original: 2/3 cup serving contains 34 g carbohydrate, 18 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein  

fiber 1

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

General Mills Total: 3/4 cup serving contains  25 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 2 g protein

total cereal

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

Kellogg’s Special K Protein: 1 1/3 cup serving contains 39 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 15 g protein (this one has more than 6 grams of sugar, but 15 grams of protein

special K protein cereal

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

 

Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon: 1 cup serving contains 33 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 4 g protein

diabetic friendly cereal

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

Barbara’s Original Puffins Cereal: 3/4 cup serving contains 24 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 3 g protein

puffins

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

 

If you are having difficulty controlling your blood sugar, a registered dietitian can help create a meal plan that works with your lifestyle and food preferences to better manage your diabetes. Click Rebecca Bitzer & Associates: A Dietitian for Every Condition or call 301-474-2499 to make an appointment. 

 

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