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The #1 Best Oatmeal to Manage Blood Sugar, Says Dietitian

Oats are already one of the healthiest breakfast foods, but you can add even healthier toppings.

The body is constantly performing functions to keep us healthy without us even noticing. For example, every time you eat food, your body breaks the food down into nutrients. When your body breaks down carbohydrates, it turns them into glucose.

This is a good and necessary function, but unfortunately, if too much sugar is consumed at once, it can cause a spike in blood sugar. And for those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic, this is especially problematic because their bodies can't use the glucose properly.

Thankfully, there are foods people can eat to help them manage their blood glucose levels. One food in particular is oatmeal.

According to medical expert Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, the best way to make oatmeal to manage your blood sugar is making you sure you have enough protein and fiber-heavy ingredients to add to it.

"A combo of protein and fiber is key to balancing blood sugar and keeping you full," says Burak. "You can make a blood-sugar-friendly bowl of oatmeal by adding enough protein and sweetening the mixture with natural fiber-containing sugar sources like fresh or frozen fruit, instead of just sprinkling good ol' brown sugar on top."

Oatmeal and managing blood sugar

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Carbohydrates, especially those with heavy amounts of sugar, can sometimes cause a spike in your blood sugar. This is because when you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into glucose at a rapid rate.

You may be thinking, oats are a carbohydrate, so how could they be good for managing blood sugar?

Fortunately, although oats are a carb, they are also extremely high in soluble fiber. According to the CDC, foods high in fiber are an excellent choice for controlling blood sugar because your body doesn't break down the fiber in the same way it does for other carbohydrates.

How our dietitian makes her oatmeal

oatmeal with blueberries, bananas, and raspberries
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While oats alone can be great for those trying to manage their blood glucose levels, Burak has her very own recipe for oatmeal that can give you even more of a health boost.

"My go-to creation is called 'power oats' because once the oats are cooked, I stir in two to three raw egg whites for protein, which instantly cook into the hot oats and make it taste even better," says Burak. "Then I add berries and peanut butter for more protein and fiber, and a hit of cinnamon for natural sweetness. There is even research suggesting that cinnamon may improve blood sugar management, so it is more reason to add this spice to your oats."

Try whipping up a bowl of oatmeal using these tips, and for more healthy tips, check out the Best Breakfast Habits to Lower Your Blood Sugar.