Cereals are a great alternative to get all of that important morning nutrients, especially if you are in a hurry and you don’t have time to prepare a well-balanced breakfast.
But you can’t just choose any brand of cereals if you are diabetic because a lot of these breakfast cereals come with fast-digesting carbohydrates that can cause blood sugar spikes in your body.
Here we have listed some of the best brands of cereals that deliver slower-digesting carbs, and some other useful nutrients for diabetics. We have also included some general tips on what to look for while choosing a good brand of cereals.
- 1 What is Glycemic Index?
- 2 10 Best Cereals for Diabetics
- 2.1 1. Alpen No Sugar Added Muesli
- 2.2 2. Wildway Vegan Granola
- 2.3 3. Quaker Instant Oatmeal
- 2.4 4. Three Wishes Grain-Free Cereal - Unsweetened
- 2.5 5. HighKey High Protein Keto Cereal
- 2.6 6. Diabetic Kitchen Cinnamon Pecan Granola Cereal
- 2.7 7. NuTrail™ - Keto Blueberry Nut Granola Breakfast Cereal
- 2.8 8. Evoke Morning Zen Gluten-Free Muesli Cereal
- 2.9 9. Livlo Keto Granola Cereal
- 2.10 10. Multi-Grain Cheerios with Strawberries Cereal
- 3 What to look out for when shopping for cereals?
- 4 Sugar-free vs No Added Sugars vs Unsweetened
- 5 Final Take
What is Glycemic Index?
Glycemic index is a system used to denote how fast or how slow a particular food item raises blood sugar levels.
Generally, a glycemic index (GI) of 70 or below is suitable for diabetics, and will not cause any spikes in their blood sugar levels.
Glycemic load is also another useful measurement that takes into account the number of carbohydrates in a portion of food together with how quickly it raises blood glucose levels.
If you take 3 meals a day, a glycemic load (GL) less than 30 per meal would be the recommended intake for diabetics.
10 Best Cereals for Diabetics
We ‘ve listed some of the 10 best cereals for Diabetics. Lets have a look in detail0
It comes in a pack of 6, 14 oz boxes of Alpen Muesli.
Mueslis are great for diabetics as they have a low GI rating of 66 and a glycemic load of 16.
It is comprised of raw rolled oats, wholegrain wheat flakes, crunchy hazelnuts, nutty almonds, and juicy raisins. It follows a traditional, Swiss-style muesli cereal. They provide a good source of fiber with over 7g of dietary fiber per serving of 60g.
The protein content is also good with over 8g per serving, and they boast of zero trans-fat, which is a great feature.
Even though they come with zero added sugars, there are still trace amounts of sugars inside that can add up to 6g per serving, which is safe for diabetics.
They are made with just nuts (Dates, walnuts, roasted cashews), seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg), dried fruits, and a touch of spice.
With every 60g serving, they provide 8g of plant-based protein, 4g of fiber, and a good amount of fat as well from its nut mix.
These cereals come in 4 packs of 8 oz boxes of different fruity flavours such as Apple Cinnamon, Banana nut, Vanilla bean expresso, and coconut cashew. They are vegan-friendly and a certified non-GMO product
Oatmeal is probably one of the healthiest options for diabetics with a GI rating of just 55 and a glycemic load of 13. This particular variant of oatmeal from Quaker is specially made for diabetics, as it comes with 35% less sugar than its other variants.
This item comes in a 4-flavor variety pack, with varying levels of nutrition. But on average, each pack has less than 5g of sugar per serving of 30g.
It also has a decent protein content that averages about 8g per serving of 60g, in each pack. Another great feature is that they come free from artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, or added colours.
This item includes packs of – 13 Apples and Cinnamon, 23 Maple and Brown Sugar, 7 Cinnamon and Spice, and 5 Original mixes, totalling 48 packets.
They contain zero sugars, so they are particularly beneficial to diabetics.
One of the best features about these cereals is the whopping 8g of protein that comes with every 35g serving.
They also provide a decent amount of dietary fibre of about 3g per serving. Because of their grain-free composition, they are gluten-free and certified kosher, and non-GMO. It contains no soy or any dairy products either and is completely vegan-friendly as well.
HighKey is providing a wholesome breakfast cereal that is made with real fresh almonds and honey, to deliver a whopping 10g of protein with every 28g serving.
This is one of the highest protein-rich cereals in this list, and because it comes with 0g of total sugars, this is probably one of the best cereals for diabetics.
Fiber content is decent, providing 3g per serving, and it is low in carbohydrates, making it an ideal option for a keto diet.
These cereals are free from grain and gluten. They are not particularly on the tastier side, as some reviewers claimed that they thoroughly disliked the flavor. But the majority of users were fine with its taste. And, with its superior nutritional properties, it still makes a great option for diabetics.
This is another great granola variant that is keto-friendly and comes with low fasting-acting carbs. They are delightfully tasty both ways – hot, or cold, with almond milk or heavy cream for minimizing the carbs.
It contains a decent amount of protein of 4g with every serving of 31g, and its sugar content is limited to just 2g per serving, with zero added sugars.
The fibre content is also decent, providing 5g of dietary fibre with every serving.
It has a considerably good fat content of 14g per serving, making it extremely suitable for those on a keto diet. Although it contains no soy or gluten, it is processed in a facility that handles soy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, and eggs.
It provides 5g of protein with every serving (34.5 g), and dietary fiber of 4g.
It includes no added sugars; it is gluten-free and it’s a certified non-GMO.
With its whopping 16g of healthy fats per serving, it is ideally suitable for a ketogenic diet and its carb content is only 3g per serving.
This product does not contain soy and it is free from gluten. Still, they are processed in a facility that handles soy, milk, wheat, tree nuts, and seeds.
It packs a good amount of protein (9 g), that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, per serving size of 41g, and a decent amount of dietary fiber of 5g with each serving.
It does pack 5g of sugar, but it is balanced out with fruit sugars in their dehydrated fruit mix. It comes in a 12 oz pack and they also provide other flavors such as – classic swiss, cocoa cherry chia, super muesli, athlete fuel, and antioxidant.
It comes in an 11 oz bag, and 2 other flavors – frosted blueberry and cinnamon almond pecan. It provides a decent amount of protein (5g) with every 35g serving and they contain less than 1g of sugar, making it excellent for diabetics.
It also provides a decent amount of fiber content (4g of dietary fiber with every serving). And with an impressive fat content of 17g, it goes well with your keto diet plans.
Fiber content is decent, providing 4g with every serving. Its sugar content is slightly higher than most other variants on this list, with 8g of added sugar with every serving. The best thing about these cereals is that they provide 19g of whole grain per serving and the 100% daily value of 9 vitamins and minerals in each bowl. It includes no artificial flavors or colors and free from gluten.
What to look out for when shopping for cereals?
✅ Sugar: It’s a no-brainer. Sugar content is something you should be extremely cautious about, especially for diabetics. 24g of sugar for women, and 36g of sugar for men, are the recommended daily intakes. So, it is recommended that you only go for those breakfast cereals that have the lowest sugar content.
✅ High Protein content: Always go for cereals that have a good amount of protein content. An ideal benchmark is to have at least 10g of protein for every 45g serving. Adding milk will of course increase your protein intake, and you can always compensate with a sunny side up or scrambled egg whites. Protein is an essential part of every meal and it is required for muscle building. It can also leave you full for longer hours so it is excellent for weight loss as well.
✅ High Fiber Content: Cereals rich in fiber is essential for promoting healthy gut microbes and aiding the digestion process. Anything higher than 5g of total dietary fiber in every 45g serving will do great.
✅ Artificial flavoring and colorings: These things can be harmful to our health when consumed regularly, so look for options without them.
Sugar-free vs No Added Sugars vs Unsweetened
You might come across multiple terms like sugar-free, no added sugars, and unsweetened when you are trying to buy certain products in the market. Although all of them are safe for consumption in limited quantities, learning their difference is important if you have diabetes
Sugar-free substances are free from naturally occurring sugars and added sugars but aren’t necessarily free from artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. Checking the ingredient list will reveal this. While these are generally harmless in smaller quantities, it is always important to keep an eye on your daily intake of these products. So, sugar-free substances can still contain small quantities of sugar.
No added sugars mean that no sugar was additionally introduced during the manufacturing of that product. It will still contain all naturally occurring sugars, artificial sugars, or sugar alcohols. These tags are generally found in fruit-related items such as fruit juices, dry fruits, peanut butter, etc.
These kinds of sugars are usually healthy sugars as they occur naturally in these products so they are not nearly as harmful as industrial sugars manually added.
Unsweetened means that such products contain no added sugars, no artificial sugars, and no sugar alcohols whatsoever. But it is not completely sugar-free as it can contain naturally-occurring sugars. Unsweetened products are generally the healthiest option but since their sugar content can be varied, they may not be completely safe for diabetics.
Cereals are always an easy-to-make, nutritious, and of course, a delicious breakfast option or snack. And there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a hearty bowl of your favorite cereals if you are diabetic.
Just make sure that the sugar content and glycemic index of the cereals that you are eating are within the safe levels and always go for those variants without artificial flavours or colourings.
Almost all of the items we have listed here are great for diabetics. Please go through them and try out the ones that you liked the best.