You might not have diabetes, but you probably know someone who does — nearly one in ten people have it.
Believe it or not, just 100 years ago, this common disease was once thought to be a death sentence. Fortunately, the discovery of insulin and the advent of blood sugar monitors transformed this once compromising disease into a totally manageable and practically invisible condition.
Of course, diabetics still have to be careful about what they’re putting in their bodies. After all, carbohydrates break down into sugar in the bloodstream. Does that mean diabetics have to avoid carbs entirely?
The foundation of a diabetes-friendly diet is the foundation of any healthy diet — nutrition and balance. Diabetics simply have to consume carbohydrates in moderation and try to incorporate complex carbs into their diets rather than refined carbs.
Refined carbs like high fructose corn syrup and sugary breakfast cereals are broken down quickly in the stomach and can elevate your blood sugar. This can be especially dangerous for someone with diabetes, whose body can’t deal well with frequent blood sugar spikes.
Instead, diabetics should seek out high-fiber complex carbohydrates that lead to a more gradual blood sugar uptick like fresh fruit, starchy veggies, oats, and other whole grains.
That’s where we come in.
Read on to learn all about how a healthy instant oatmeal brand fits into a diabetic-friendly diet along with some low-sugar recipes that can slot right into your recipe book!
Can Diabetics Eat Oatmeal?
Absolutely! Oatmeal is one of the cornerstones of many different healthy diets, especially for diabetics.
One of the key benefits of oatmeal in comparison to other breakfast choices is its low glycemic index — this measures how quickly the body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars.
Heavily processed foods like waffles and syrup or sugary cereals have a high glycemic index, meaning our bodies easily break them down and pump the sugars into our blood. This can give us a quick energy rush but inevitably leads to a future crash.
By contrast, oatmeal delivers slow-releasing, long-lasting energy to power us through the full day rather than just the next hour or two.
A low glycemic index is only one of the many health benefits of oatmeal. Oatmeal also has a high soluble fiber content, which is linked to long-term heart health and lower cholesterol.
The long-lasting energy of complex carbs also lowers the need for constant snacking. In contrast to refined sugars, complex carbs like oats and legumes digest slowly in the body, preventing any spikes in your blood sugar. This also keeps you full for longer and reduces weight fluctuations.
Of course, not all instant oatmeals are created equal. A single serving of Nature’s Path Apple Cinnamon instant oatmeal contains a whopping 14 grams of refined sugar. Quaker’s Apple Walnut Real Medley instant oatmeal really tips the scales at 17 grams of added sugar and 250mg of sodium.
Steer clear of brands laden with tons of refined sugar or sodium, as these negate many of the health benefits that come with heart-healthy oatmeal. Instead, look towards brands designed with a nutrition-first mindset, keeping added sugar and sodium low without sacrificing taste.
Delicious Toppings for Oatmeal and Diabetes
What if you want to add some tasty toppings to your oatmeal? Go for it!
The only thing to watch out for are those extra-sweet toppings that might spike your blood sugar. While they’re delicious in moderation, try and keep your high glycemic index fruits and sweeteners like honey and maple syrup to a minimum.
Instead, open up your spice cabinet and sprinkle in some cinnamon. This simple ingredient is practically a cheat code when it comes to adding spice and sweetness without any sugar content.
A dollop or two of Greek yogurt adds an extra boost of lean protein and a healthy serving of Vitamin D. If you’re seeking some healthy, plant-based fats, you can’t go wrong with a creamy spoonful of almond or cashew butter. While you’re at it, sprinkle in some chopped walnuts or pecans for crunchy texture!
When they’re in season, juicy blueberries and raspberries make a delicious contrast with our Sun-Ripe Strawberry and Madagascar Vanilla oatmeal cups.
Oatmeal Recipes for Diabetics
Now that we’ve covered the do’s and don’ts of incorporating instant oatmeal into a diabetic-friendly diet, let’s dive into 3 of our favorite low-sugar oatmeal recipes.
Everyone knows cake is delicious, but it’s not exactly diabetic-friendly. That got us thinking.
Could we capture the essence of mouthwatering, moist cake in a lighter, low-sugar snack?
You bet we can.
These blueberry almond baked donuts are designed to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding any refined sugar in the baking process!
This recipe combines two of our most popular flavors, Blueberry & Vermont Maple and Roasted Almond & Himalayan Pink Salt, with starchy banana, scintillating cinnamon, and a handful of juicy blueberries to create a pastry perfectly suited for Sunday mornings.
Simply combine your ingredients in a food processor, fold in the blueberries, pop the batter in the oven for twelve to fifteen minutes, and voila!
You’re ready to get munching on a low-sugar, highly delicious baked blueberry donut.
Building on a scrumptious base of our Toasted Coconut and Cassia Cinnamon oatmeal cups, our Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oatmeal puts your empty Mason jars to good use. Or, keep it simple and throw it all together directly into the original oatmeal cup!
This recipe mixes high-fiber flax seeds with freshly peeled apples, creamy cashew butter, and your pick of plant-based yogurt to form a refrigerated snack sure to please.
High in protein and healthy fats, these low-sugar overnight oats are perfect for your busiest mornings. Simply grab & go out the door with a fruity, nutty, and nutritious start to your day.
There’s a reason Medjool dates are often referred to as the “fruit of kings.” But can these juicy fruits be a healthy part of a diabetic-friendly diet?
Mouthwateringly juicy and dripping with natural caramel flavor, Medjool dates deserve a spot on your next grocery list, especially considering how well they feature in our Salted Caramel Apple Energy Bites.
In this divine dessert recipe, our Granny Smith Apple and Sunflower Cinnamon oats mingle with maca, cinnamon, cashew butter, and a handful of marvelous Medjool dates to form a low-sugar snack that’s anything but low on flavor.
Delicious, Diabetic-Friendly Diet With Mylk Labs
Diabetics deserve to eat delicious, convenient meals just like everyone else. With that in mind, no instant oatmeal brand achieves a perfect blend of simple, sweet, and satisfying like Mylk Labs.
With less than 5 grams of added sugar per serving, our delicious instant oatmeal cups slot perfectly into a diabetic-friendly diet, especially when compared to the whopping sugar counts found in many other leading brands.
Choose instant oatmeal created with a nutrition-first mindset, designed with care to infuse long-lasting energy and improve heart health. Look through our 5 mouthwatering flavors including Toasted Coconut and Cassia Cinnamon and Roasted Almond and Himalayan Pink Salt.
While you’re waiting for your order to arrive, browse through our blog to discover everything there is to learn about even more delicious, healthy oatmeal toppings and creative ways to infuse more protein into your bowl.