Traditional cereals are high in calories and sugar and are not safe for people with diabetes. There are some healthy grain alternatives that are good for diabetics, but is raisin bran one of them? The simple answer is no.
Learn why raisin bran is bad for diabetics in this article. Plus, you’ll find more cereals that aren’t safe for people with diabetes and those that are okay to eat.
Why should diabetics avoid raisin bran?
Raisin bran is a grain consisting of whole grain wheat, raisins, bran flakes, brown syrup, sugar, salt, vitamins, and minerals.
It is considered a healthy alternative to traditional cereals. However, the calories contained in raisin bran come directly from sugar. Indulging in it can lead to an increase in blood sugar, therefore, diabetics should avoid it.
What cereals can diabetics eat?
Since raisin bran is bad for people with diabetes, what grain options are safe to eat?
People with diabetes are advised to eat cereals that contain more fiber and less fat, salt, and sugar.
That said, if you’re watching your blood sugar levels or managing diabetes, some cereal options you can eat with confidence include:
Made with low fat, sugar, and lots of soluble fiber to help lower LDL cholesterol levels, cheerios is the perfect breakfast cereal for everyone, including diabetics.
However, flavored cheerios may raise your sugar levels, so as a diabetic, your safest bet is whole-grain, unflavored, or plain cheerios.
Another safe grain option for diabetics is the popular oatmeal. Pure, unprocessed oatmeal is low in sugar and high in fiber, which can help slow down sugar metabolism.
One cup of cooked oatmeal contains only about 30 grams of carbs. That said, it’s important to watch your oatmeal intake, as more servings mean more calories.
Because steel-cut oats are the least processed type of oatmeal, people with type 2 diabetes can do themselves a lot of good by eating them more.
Compared to steel-cut oats, rolled oats have a higher glycemic index and are not cooked well, thereby increasing their sugar content.
3. Shredded whole wheat grain
Shredded wheat contains a lot of fiber, making them a diabetic-friendly grain choice. They also contain low sugar and moderate amounts of protein as supplemental nutrients.
To make them even safer, they can be taken with low-fat milk to lower their high glycemic index. Another benefit is that they fill up your stomach for a long time due to their high protein content.
4. Kashi cereal
At 30 grams per cup, along with 10 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein, Kashi is a healthy grain option for diabetics to indulge in.
It is low in sugar and consists of whole cereals such as wheat, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, and triticale, which makes it very high in fiber and great for people with diabetes.
Types of cereals diabetics shouldn’t eat
As a diabetic, because of your health, you want to avoid foods that raise your blood sugar levels. In addition to raisin bran, you should also avoid the following other cereals:
1. Corn flakes
Corn flakes are a popular cereal that is said to be a healthy breakfast for children and adults. However, corn flakes are coated with sugar, which can raise sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Moreover, it’s high in carbs and has almost no fiber. In addition, the presence of the glycemic index in it proves that it is not friendly to diabetes. Flavored corn flakes are even worse due to the added synthetic flavors and extra sugar.
2. Instant oatmeal
While oatmeal is a safe whole grain, instant oatmeal isn’t a healthy grain option for people with diabetes. The basic difference between instant oatmeal and regular oatmeal is the sugar content in them.
Regular oatmeal contains only 1 gram of sugar. In contrast, instant oatmeal contains about 12 grams of sugar. The added processing also reduces the protein content compared to regular oatmeal.
Granola can be a nutrient-dense grain; however, many varieties are high in calories and excess sugar. A hearty breakfast bowl of granola contains about 250 calories.
For diabetics, this is a red flag. Adding milk increases the available calories by 80. Its saturated fat content also poses some health risks to the body. Granola is one meal you should let go of when it comes to managing your sugar levels.
4. Cinnamon toast crunch
Cinnamon toast crunch is a small piece of wheat and rice covered in cinnamon and sugar. Although it’s a whole grain, most of it is unhealthy for people with diabetes.
A typical breakfast bowl of cinnamon toast crisps contains about 170 calories, which is too much for a diabetic. Plus, most of its calories come from sugar.
5. Froot loop
Front Loop is a great breakfast that many people enjoy. However, for diabetics, this is one grain you should avoid. A meal contains a lot of calories and carbohydrates, with 44% of the calories coming from sugar.
For those trying to lose weight, avoid the front loop because of its high-fat content.
6. Kellogg’s Special K
Kellogg’s special K is classified as healthy rice cereal. It is a good source of vitamins A, C, D, B12, and B6. But it’s not a good grain option for people with diabetes because it’s low in fiber, which is needed to slow down sugar digestion and insulin production.
Special k contains 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Plus, there are about 73 grams of net carbs per 100-gram serving. This makes it a less nutritious grain option for people with diabetes.
Tips for eating cereals for diabetics
People with diabetes don’t have to avoid cereals entirely. An occasional bowl of healthy and balanced cereal shouldn’t be a problem. Also, the most important thing is to stay within your daily carbohydrate intake and avoid foods that can raise blood sugar levels.
If you wish to enjoy healthy cereal from time to time as a diabetic, these tips can help:
1. Reduce portion size
Since the amount of carbohydrates available in a meal depends on the size of the food, eating smaller amounts of cereals per serving is a great way to reduce your carbohydrate intake.
For example, instead of an average portion of oatmeal, a small portion will help you stay within the limits of your sugar levels. Check cereal labels for recommended serving sizes and calories per serving. This will help you determine how much to reduce.
2. Read nutrition labels
Before buying cereal from any store, be sure to read the dietary label on the cereal to confirm its sugar and fiber content. You should buy more bran- and whole-grain-rich cereals, as they contain more fiber and less sugar and carbs.
That said, avoid buying cereals that contain:
- Added sugar such as high fructose corn syrup
- Hydrogenated oil
- Refined flour
Pay attention to the carb content of the cereals, as eating a whole serving of high-carb cereals can bring you closer to your daily carb limit. Also, if you want to add any extra ingredients, such as milk or yogurt, you’ll want moderate-carb cereals.
3. Add extra ingredients
You can increase the nutritional value of cereals by adding fruits, nuts, and seeds. They are packed with protein and vitamins, and they add more flavor to your cereals.
They are also a good source of fiber which is highly recommended for diabetics.
4. Choose whole grains or bran-rich cereals
Instead of cold cereals, choose oatmeal or cereals rich in bran or whole wheat. These options contain less sugar and carbohydrates and more fiber than other cereals.
Avoid instant oatmeal and sweetened or flavored cereals, as the additives in them can increase the sugar level and cause other health problems for your body.
Why is raisin bran so high in sugar?
Raisin bran is usually tasteless, so manufacturers add a lot of sugar to sweeten them.
What is the best low-sugar cereal?
Oatmeal, shredded wheat, and Kashi cereal.
Is raisin bran healthier than cheerios?
No. Cheerios are healthier than raisin bran because they contain less sugar and carbohydrates and more fiber which is what diabetics need.
Eating a balanced diet and monitoring sugar intake is an effective way to control blood sugar levels. Clearly, raisin bran is not good for diabetics because it contains too much sugar and carbohydrates.
Also, if you’re managing your blood sugar levels, stay away from foods like special k, instant oatmeal, corn flakes, and more. Healthy alternatives, such as oatmeal, cheerios, and Kashi cereals, are best for people with diabetes because they are high in fiber and low in sugar and carbohydrates.
Finally, you should read this article to know if toasting bread reduces carbs.
I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.