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What Is a Good Breakfast Protein Source for Diabetics?

by Maggie McCormick, studioD

If you or a family member are diabetic, it's important to get the day off to a good start with a healthy breakfast. Though Diabetes.org reports that combining protein with carbohydrates in meals does not affect the peak postprandial glucose response, eating protein can still help diabetics stay satisfied until their next meal. The American Diabetes Association does not recommend a high-protein diet -- rather, diabetics should try to keep protein intake to around 15 to 20 percent of their overall caloric intake.


Eggs are rich in protein and a traditional food for breakfast. The great thing about eggs is that you can prepare them in a variety of ways, so they'll never get boring. You could make scrambled eggs one day and an omelet the next. Add nutrition by throwing in some chopped vegetables like green peppers or onions, or topping with salsa. Serve your eggs with whole grain toast on the side for your carbohydrates.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are rich in protein and you can choose low- or no-fat versions to reduce overall fat intake. A small container of yogurt can combine with fruits or granola. Carefully read the labels of yogurt, though, as many brands have a lot of added sugar. Stick with the plain varieties to be safe. Alternatively, you could serve a glass of milk with any other foods you choose for breakfast. Cheese also contains adequate protein, but it can be high in fat.

Breakfast Meats

Traditional breakfast meats like sausage and bacon are typically high in fat, and the American Diabetes Association recommends limiting your fat intake. This doesn't mean that you can't serve them occasionally, especially if you plan low-fat meals for the rest of the day. You can also choose lower-fat versions, like Canadian bacon or even vegetarian versions, which are soy-based.


When your diabetic child needs something quick and convenient for breakfast, a breakfast shake could be the way to go. Meal replacement shakes contain sufficient protein along with added vitamins and minerals. Some versions can contain sugar, so read labels or choose shakes that are specially formulated for diabetics. Purchasing a powder and mixing it at home can save you money over pre-mixed shakes.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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