- A person with diabetes can continue to eat and enjoy granola.
- Granola can be a good source of protein, fat, and fiber, all of which can contribute to building a balanced meal or snack for a person with diabetes.
- Certain types of granola will be more beneficial for blood sugar management, which is why it can be helpful to work with a dietitian for diabetes meal planning.
Granola is a popular breakfast food that is often added to cereal bars, trail mix, and yogurt parfaits. There are many different ways to make granola, but common varieties usually include a combination of oats, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, oil, and some type of added sugar.
Depending on the variety, granola can be a good source of protein, fat, and fiber, all of which can help to keep blood sugar levels stable in people with diabetes. However, because some types of granola can also be high in carbohydrates and added sugars, people with diabetes should consider monitoring their intake of granola in order to ensure they’re eating a balanced meal that won’t spike their blood sugar.
Nourish offers personalized nutrition counseling to help you customize your diet to meet your diabetes needs. If you’re ready to take the next step in your health, book a virtual appointment with a registered dietitian.
Can People with Diabetes Eat Granola?
Put simply, yes: people with diabetes can eat granola. Many types of granola are good sources of protein, fat, and fiber. However, not all granolas are made using the same ingredients. Some types of granola can contain higher amounts of carbohydrates and added sugars than others. Monitoring total carbohydrate intake (including sugars) is important if you have diabetes because foods higher in carbohydrates affect your blood sugar levels more than other types of foods.
There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation when it comes to portion sizes of granola for people with diabetes. Factors to take into consideration include what the granola is made of and whether or not you’re eating the granola with other foods, like yogurt, milk, or nut milk.
Generally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sticking to one serving size of carbohydrates, or about ¼ of a cup. Working with a registered dietitian is a good way to ensure that you’re eating balanced and well-portioned meals that don’t spike your blood sugar levels.
The Best Types of Granola for a Person with Diabetes
Granola comes in many different varieties and flavors, including homemade. When meal planning for diabetes, there are several things to keep in mind when selecting a type of granola that best fits your tastes and health needs.
Low in added sugar
Monitoring your intake of added sugars is an important component of diabetes management. Limiting your consumption of granola with added sugars can help to keep your overall carbohydrate intake at recommended levels and your blood sugar levels stable. Examples of added sugars you may find in granola include dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar. If you’re unsure about whether a granola product contains added sugars, you can always check the ingredients listed under the nutrition facts label on the back of the package. If you’re making the granola from scratch, you can limit or omit incorporating any added sugars.
High in fiber
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can help people with diabetes to control their blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates after eating, and keep them feeling full for longer. Choosing a granola that’s higher in fiber is one way to help to keep your blood sugar levels stable after a meal.
High in protein
Containing healthy fats
Eating foods with fat can help to slow the digestion of carbohydrates and their conversion into sugar after eating, which can help with blood sugar management for people with diabetes. However, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), prioritizing healthy fats can be more beneficial for heart health and diabetes management. Sources of healthy fats include those that come from olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
Paired with yogurt
Yogurt is another great source of protein and fat that can help to balance a meal when paired with granola. Some research even suggests that, because of its probiotic content, regular consumption of yogurt may help to manage blood sugar and blood pressure in people with diabetes.
Flavors that you enjoy
Eating balanced meals that contain foods that are low in added sugars and rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats can help to benefit your health and blood sugar management. But it’s also important not to completely eliminate foods that you enjoy. If you prefer the flavor of granola sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or dried fruit, you should continue to honor your unique tastes and preferences. Working with a dietitian can help you to incorporate these foods in a balanced way.
Does Granola Spike Blood Sugar?
Understanding which foods spike your blood sugar is an important part of diabetes management. For example, some foods may cause a higher spike in blood sugar levels in some people than in others. However, general guidelines for diabetes meal planning indicate that carbohydrates can affect blood sugar levels more than other foods. This is because carbohydrates get converted into sugar by our bodies after eating.
Because granola contains carbohydrates, it can spike blood sugar levels in some people with diabetes. However, whether or not granola spikes your blood sugar levels, and how quickly it may cause a blood sugar spike, will vary depending on what type of granola you eat and what you pair it with. For example, a granola that contains higher amounts of carbohydrates and added sugars but less protein and fiber may be more likely to spike your blood sugar.
If you’re interested in adding granola into your diet in a way that won’t spike your blood sugar, Nourish can connect you with a registered dietitian specialized in diabetes management and meal planning. If you need help optimizing your nutrition, consider booking a virtual appointment today.
Granola is a popular breakfast and snack food that can be a good source of protein, fat, and fiber. However, not all granola types contain the same ingredients, which is why it’s important to consider what type of granola you choose, and what you eat it with, if you have diabetes. Opting for a granola that’s higher in fiber, protein, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds can help to keep your post-meal blood sugar levels stable.
Managing Diabetes with a Dietitian
Understanding which foods may benefit your health when you have diabetes can be confusing. Working with a registered dietitian can help you to identify foods that can help to satisfy your tastes and manage your diabetes with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
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