Lifestyle and Wellness for Patients and Families living with Glycogen Storage Diseases

What’s the Best Breakfast for Glycogen Storage Disease?

For people with Glycogen Storage Disease, the “most important meal of the day” can be the most confusing. Typical American breakfast options—bagels, cereal, pancakes, muffins, bacon, eggs—are loaded with refined carbs, sugar, and saturated fat, the exact things that we’re told to limit. So what should we eat for breakfast?

Research confirms that eating breakfast is generally a good idea—it can help with weight management, help you feel fuller throughout the day, and help keep blood glucose in range.

Just because breakfast is important doesn’t mean it has to be an elaborate meal. It can be as simple as a piece of toast smothered in avocado or peanut butter, a string cheese and a handful of nuts, or a hardboiled egg.

4 Tips for Building a Healthy Breakfast

What works for you for breakfast will depend on your personal meal plan, food preferences, health goals, schedule, and budget, but here are a few tips for building a healthy breakfast:

  1. Limit or avoid refined grains and sugars. This means most breakfast cereals and pastries are best avoided. If cereal is your go-to breakfast, look for options that are without added sugar (aim for less than 5 g per meal) and higher in fiber (at least 3g per serving). The best options are whole-grain toast, oatmeal, and whole-grain rice cake.

  2. Be carb-conscious. The total amount of carbs you have at breakfast will depend on your personal meal plan and how your body handles carbs in the morning. A lot of traditional breakfast foods contain carbs, so it’s important to keep track of what foods in your breakfast contain carbs and what it all adds up to. In GSD must be limited to 10-15 grams of carbs per meal.

  3. Choose healthy fats. Fats can help you feel fuller longer, but choose wisely. Bacon, sausage, and eggs fried in butter are all high in saturated fats which can increase the risk of heart disease. Instead, fry eggs in a little bit of olive oil, choose turkey, bacon, or chicken sausage instead of their pork counterparts, and incorporate healthy unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, and avocado.

  4. Include lean protein and fiber. One of the main goals of breakfast is to keep you full until lunchtime. Protein and fiber digest slowly and stave off hunger hormones so you feel fuller longer. A breakfast high in protein and fiber can help reduce cravings before lunch and help keep blood sugar in range.

Lean protein options:

  • Eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are a portable option. Poaching is a great way to cook eggs without adding any fat. If you prefer fried or scrambled eggs, use olive oil instead of butter.

  • Turkey is a healthy protein option as it is high protein as well several essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Low fat cheese. Eat it plain. For something savory, try adding chopped vegetables as spinach, cucumber and a sprinkling of dill

  • Nuts or nut butter.

  • Tofu. You can make vegan scrambled “eggs” with crumbled tofu, or add silken tofu to a smoothie for a protein boost.

High fiber options:

  • Oatmeal and other whole grain breads or cereals.

  • Seeds like chia, flax, or hemp seeds. Adding 1-2 tablespoons to a smoothie, cereal, or yogurt is an easy way to boost fiber in your breakfast

  • Beans. While less popular in American, baked beans on toast is part of traditional English breakfast. Or, try adding black beans or pinto beans to a breakfast burrito or a breakfast hash. In GSD must be limited to 10-15 grams of carbs per meal.

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