"Unlucky Charms"...Breakfast Cereals? What's your perfect breakfast?

What’s for Breakfast? What Works for You?

It’s always one of the first things they offer as part of my “diabetic diet” during a hospital stay (alongside a bran muffin or toast and orange juice). I have never had luck eating any breakfast cereal in my 20 years with diabetes. Fighting off dawn phenomenon is usually about all my mornings can take!! I came across this article tonight and wondered what you eat for breakfast?!

Unlucky Charms

By Dr. Davis | April 27, 2016

Are there any HEALTHY breakfast cereals?

Simple answer: No.

Let’s consider the most common ingredients in breakfast cereals: wheat flour, corn, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar. In effect, they therefore contain sugar, sugar, sugar, and sugar. That ain’t good. It explains why the glycemic index of breakfast cereals are all exceptionally high, usually 70 and above. (Sucrose is 59-65, depending on which study you look at.)

How about those coarser cereals with whole grains like oats, millet, buckwheat, etc., such as muesli? Same issues. Followers of the Wheat Belly conversation understand that whole grains are wrongly called “low” glycemic index; they should really be called “less-high” glycemic index. If, for instance, a bowl of sugary cornflakes raises blood sugar from 90 mg/dl to 190 mg/dl, but a bowl of muesli raises blood sugar to 170 mg/dl–it’s not low, just less high. This is true even if there is no added sugar.

The wheat component of cereals, of course, carries all the excess baggage unique to this grain, including appetite stimulation by the gliadin protein via binding to the brain’s opiate receptors, direct small bowel destruction by wheat germ agglutinin, abnormal bowel permeability from gliadin that initiates autoimmune diseases, and unique allergens such as alpha amylase inhibitors and omega-gliadins.

Breakfast cereals are big business. They have come to dominate breakfast (and snacking) habits. They dominate entire supermarket aisles, floor to ceiling, and generate some $11 billion in annual sales. Incredibly, the industry has even managed to persuade the public that breakfast cereals are an essential part of breakfast every day for good nutrition and weight management. They have also co-opted the science demonstrating that fibers from vegetables, fruit, legumes, and nuts can somehow be replaced by the inert bulk of cellulose through bran cereals for bowel health.

Breakfast cereals by definition, in all their various shapes, varieties, flavors, colors, and marketing angles, are all grains with optional sugar. It should therefore come as no surprise that there is no such thing as a healthy breakfast cereal. After all, the whole notion of breakfast cereal originated with William and John Kellogg who, in the late 19th century, operated a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, where you would stay for a month or two and receive four enemas per day, along with three meals of gruel to “cure” your lumbago, rheumatism, or cancer. One day, while preparing gruel, William was called away, only to return hours later to find his gruel on the table, dry. Being frugal, he wondered if there was a way to salvage it; putting it through a roller, a light bulb of inspiration went off: thus was flaked cereal invented. So the notion of breakfast cereal started with two men who believed that four enemas a day cured cancer.

For anyone missing the crunchiness of a breakfast “cereal” without the health issues, see the Coconut Almond “Granola” recipe here in this blog, the Grainless Granola recipe in the Wheat Belly Cookbook, or the grain-free Classic Granola and Slow Toasted Flakes from Wheat-Free Market. No grains here!


I do intermittent fasting so often my breakfast is coffee with cream only. But if I do eat food it is typically fried eggs, sometimes plain, sometimes with sardines or avocado or some green veges added. Very very rarely I might have a single slice of toast with butter and vegemite added if I’m feeling particularly Australian.


I eat scrambled eggs, melted cheddar cheese, sausage and 1/4 of an English muffin. I drink coffee with half and half.

It took me a while after diagnosis to understand that breakfast cereals are a sure rocket to 300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L). I’d rather eat the eggs and breakfast meat and watch my BG mildly rise and fall, all within range.


Love cereal, but it’s been a no-go for me. Lately, I’ve either had a smoothie, with about 15g carbs, or eggs, or a yogurt and blueberries. Sometimes a flaxseed muffin. Have to stick to low carb breakfasts, as I, too, have been fighting with DP lately. Tried intermittent fasting, but, I don’t usually like the results - same reason, DP.

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Love cereal, can’t eat it. Insulin just won’t keep up, and it is a sure fire way to go from a nice level 80 to a 215 for me, followed by a low.
I usually have a Myoplex AdvantEdge shake or an Atkins shake, or some eggs and sausage. I don’t get much of a rise out of these, so they work well. I buy the pre-made egg/sausage patties so I can nuke them and get out the door.
I do miss cereal and pop tarts though. :frowning:


I also have not eaten any cereal in years. This morning I had two eggs scrambled with jalapenos, cheese and a packet of lemon pepper salmon and wrapped in two low carb tortillos. Sunday is a big breakfast day.

Oatmeal seems to be working for me. I can’t tolerate eggs anymore.

I think it is the meds but that is the only thing I seem to have trouble digesting.

Cynthia, that looks like a bowl of “organic” kitty litter to me. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

My low-carb “breakfast of champions” is a delicious cup of Keurig-brewed dark roast with heavy “whipping” cream. Keeps me satiated until my low-carb lunch every time!

I wish I could get my 14-year-old Type 1 daughter to follow my example. But she either skips breakfast entirely or eats a plain Eggo waffle or an ice-cream sandwich on the drive to school. Not exactly BG-friendly to say the least.:frowning:️️

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Curious: I’ve always been told or read that skipping breakfast is bad. Yet it seems like many people who eat low-carb and who do intermittent fasting skip breakfast. For me, if I was to do intermittent fasting, it’s the only way I’d be able to do it (I was thinking about this the other day). I went off eating low-carb for a few weeks but am now steering back in that direction, and am wondering if skipping breakfast may help me lose weight by eating fewer calories, doing intermittent fasting, and not be detremental to my health in any way.

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That’s better for BG than a bowl of cereal, I imagine.

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an ice cream sandwich. she is a legend!

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i have not eaten cereal since diagnosis. my old standby was all bran chocolate. in the weeks before diagnosis, i was eatlng like a box a day sometimes-so very hungry.
as a kid, me and my brothers would gobble down cereal to get the free prize inside. golden grahams, any kind of chocolate cereal…the year before i got D, i was at my brother´s house and he had reese´s peanut butter cup cereal! i goobled that in like 5 seconds. me and my brothers would always fill the cereal bowl to the top, fill it again to soak up the milk. we´re pigs.
i still get wistful going down the cereal aisles in the supermarket. every. single. time. its such crunchy, sugary goodness. sometimes i get angry at the unfairness. still. this only happens with cereal. everything else ive given up im ok with not having, even pasta.
my perfect breakfast would be so many carbs, all from a diner: pancakes and french toast, eggs benedict, just everything. since the D, my breakfast is according to my meter. usually scrambled eggs with veg and cheese and coffee with milk or half and half. if i am at a suitable number, i might have half a sandwich thin (8 or 9 carbs) or 2 wasa crispbread (the fiber kind only has about 2.5 carbs each) with butter.
i dont have DP and i always go to the park with the dog for about 45 min or an hour and then sometimes ill go to the gym, so i dont shoot up at all.

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wow, i can really go on about cereal. ive had to stop myself from going on. if there is ever a cure for D, i will eat cereal EVERY DAY.


For me carbs have an addictive quality. I’ve read that simple carbs light the same part of the brain as cocaine. The only way I’ve found to extinguish that allure is to keep my carb consumption limited. When I was diagnosed I was eating Corn Pops, sliced bananas, and low fat milk for breakfast. None of those ingredients make sense to me anymore.

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CORN POPS! YES!! i completely agree, they are so very addictive.
today i went low on a cycle very early on in the route this morning and my friend gave me a banana that he had. i hadnt had a banana in like 2 years. the half that i ate was unbelievably good!

At least a banana is real food. I’ll allow myself a half of a banana at times.

I not only ate breakfast cereal every morning growing up, after I was diagnosed with diabetes I ate it every night before bed as well. This was back in the R and NPH days, so either we really did need the massive load of carbohydrates to get us through the morning and overnight, or we spiked to astronomical levels and just didn’t know. No telling which it was. But I can say that eating cereal twice a day for the first 20-25 years of my life has made cereal my favourite food. I’m in the mood for cereal regardless of the time of day. Not sugary cereal, though, I never did eat that. But plain things like Corn Flakes or Shreddies, yum. Of course, when I went on a “blinded” CGM trial for a week in 2009, by which point I was pumping, I saw what cereal did to my blood sugar, and I’ve tried to reduce my consumption ever since. Since going on a low-carb diet (on and off) I’ve started eating eggs and susage for breakfast, but it’s just not the same. I actually found some low-carb cereal I could make from almond and coconut flour, and it’s not too bad, but it’s a lot of effort to make. Every single time I’ve “fallen off the low-carb wagon” over the past six months it’s been because I give in and buy a box of cereal. Nothing I can prepare in the morning is as quick or as satisfying as that, and it’s a very hard habit to break (I’ve had no trouble giving up things like rice and pasta).

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Ah, Corn Pops; I really miss those. :frowning:️️

And I have fond memories of eating bowls of Lucky Charms in my own peculiar way that would drive my parents absolutely mad. I would use plenty of whole milk over my Luckies, then selectively eat the cereal-y parts first, saving all the pseudo-marshmallows for last. If I took my time, the “marshmallows” would get wonderfully soft and soggy and more marshmallow-like by the time I got to them.

My little sister used to torment me by sneaking into the Lucky Charms box and stealing about 50% of the “marshmallows” before I had my first bowl from a new box. She and I are still not on speaking terms…

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:slight_smile: When you see how much shelf space that cereals occupy in the typical grocery store, it’s impressive.

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“Shreddies”? Are those a for-Canadians-only cereal, because I’ve never seen 'em? Are “Shreddies” yet another nummie, like Nanaimo Bars, that you Canucks (please let me know if this word is actually a national slur!) are trying to keep secret from your neighbors to the south?

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