The hardest part of having diabetes is figuring out what you can and can’t eat without sacrificing the quality of your meals. Often, even dietary staples like cereal require in-depth analysis and perhaps even a doctor’s permission before you can enjoy a serving. Because cereal is easy, accessible, and convenient, not being able to grab a bowl can be very frustrating for a lot of diabetics.
Fortunately, not all breakfast cereals are off limits. Wondering which option proves to be the best cereal for diabetics? Check out this list of our top 10 picks and find out which breakfast cereals you can indulge in minus the risk and guilt.
Top 10 Cereals for Diabetics Table
|1. Wheaties Whole Wheat Flakes Cereal, 15.6 oz||No||$||4.7|
|2. Special K Kellogg's Cereal, Cinnamon Pecan, 12.1 Ounce||No||$||4.5|
|3. Multi Grain Cheerios Gluten Free Breakfast Cereal, 9 oz ||Yes||$||4.5|
|4. Post Grape-Nuts Cereal, 24-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) ||No||$$$||4.5|
|5. Kashi GOLEAN Cereal, 13.1-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6) ||No||$$||4.2|
|6. Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Grain Cereal, Cinnamon Raisin, 16-Ounce Boxes ||No||$$$$||4.0|
|7. Nutritious Living Hi-Lo Cereal, Vanilla Almond, 10-Ounce ||No||$$||3.9|
|8. Kix Honey Cereal, 12-Ounce Boxes ||No||$||3.8|
|9. Barbara's Puffins Cereal, Honey Rice, 10 Ounce ||No||$$$||3.8|
|10. Post Bran Flakes, 16-Ounce Boxes ||No||$$$||3.8|
How to Choose the Right Cereal for Diabetics
Diabetics process certain components in food in a different way from individuals without the condition. For that reason, diabetics can’t simply indulge in whatever food they want without facing a few health risks and potential complications along the way.
Just as you would take your time choosing any other food, it’s equally important that you consider some things before you buy a box of cereal. By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to get a satisfying breakfast treat minus the health dangers.
- Carbohydrate Content. Carbohydrates are the most common macronutrient in any person’s diet. These components provide us energy once their broken down sugars. In cereal, simple carbohydrates are the most abundant component which is one of the main reasons why they’re not commonly recommended for diabetics.
But there are some cereals that contain complex carbohydrates – carbs that take longer for the body to digest. When you consume this type of carb, your body receives energy in slower doses across a longer period of time because they’re not instantly digested.
Compared to simple carbs that can cause your sugar levels to shoot up almost instantly, this is much more ideal for individuals with diabetes.
You can tell if a cereal contains complex carbs by checking the label. The presence of whole grains and fiber and the absence of processed carbs should be a good indicator.
- High in Fiber. Some cereals are advertised to be high in fiber, and for many consumers, this really doesn’t hold much value. For individuals with diabetes however, this could be an indicator of a viable breakfast cereal option.
Fiber slows down digestion and encourages the body to use more sugar reserves in order to aid gastrointestinal activity. This decreases the amount of sugar in the blood and prevents the food from causing a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
- Nuts and Grains. The more nuts and grains in your cereal, the lower its glycemic index is likely to be. This is because nuts and grains are proteins and complex carbs that don’t release sugar into your bloodstream.
Because these components usually don’t have an effect on your sugar levels, having more of them in your cereal can make you feel fuller. Make sure to steer clear of dried fruit however, as most dry fruits are extremely high in sugar content.
Top 3 Best Cereal for Diabetics Reviews
Made from whole wheat flakes, Wheaties Whole Wheat Flakes Cereal is the best cereal for diabetics for numerous reasons.
What makes this cereal particularly ideal for individuals with diabetes is the fact that they’re rich in fiber. Each serving of Wheaties Whole Wheat Flakes Cereal contains up to 22 grams of whole grains, giving it a low gycemic index rating. This means the cereal doesn’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, and instead releases energy into the system gradually over time.
Aside from that, Wheaties Whole Wheat Flakes Cereal also boasts less sugar than other mainstream breakfast cereals. For individuals with diabetes, this is of particular importance to diabetics because of their blood sugar levels.
Finally, this cereal is rated as one of the best because of the taste. Often, food that’s marketed for diabetics compromises taste to meet nutritional restrictions. But Wheaties Whole Wheat Cereal guarantees an enjoyable breakfast treat that doesn’t pose the same health risks as other cereals on the market.
Containing a mix of nuts, rice, and wheat flakes, the Special K Kellogg’s Cereal in Cinnamon Pecan flavor can be a great pick if you’re keeping an eye on your blood sugar. The cereal contains zero saturated fat and cholesterol, which adds even more to its health benefits.
In terms of sugar, each serving contains 7g which is still much lower than other mainstream cereals. What’s more, with more nuts and whole grains in the mix, the cereal offers substantial amounts of protein and fiber for slower energy release in the body.
The cereal itself is pleasantly palatable, with a distinct cinnamon flavor and crunchy pecans throughout the mix. The only downside to the product is the texture which might seem a little stale to some consumers.
The Multi Grain Cheerios Gluten Free Breakfast Cereal is made with 5 different whole grains, making it one of the top picks for people with diabetes. Each serving contains 20g of whole grain, which guarantees slow sugar release.
Packed with 12 different vitamins and minerals and boasting high concentrations of fiber, this all around cereal promises health benefits for more than just diabetes. Plus, with only 6g of sugar per serving, it’s definitely a top choice.
The only issue with Multi Grain Cheerios Gluten Free Breakfast Cereal is that it doesn’t contain quite as much protein. For that reason, consumers might feel hungry sooner after eating this cereal compared to other options on the list.