A lot of people believe that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day.” This is true, but of course, all other meals are important too. However, breakfast has a special function – it kick-starts your metabolism. A great breakfast will provide you with the right amount of energy and must also satisfy your hunger. Although people aren’t usually hungry when they wake up in the morning, it’s imperative that they don’t skip this meal. It will help control one’s blood sugar, and it has the potential to help a person start the day off right.
Of course, merely eating breakfast isn’t good enough. People need to choose the right foods to eat in the morning to have enough energy for the rest of the day. Usually, a great breakfast involves protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These can be acquired from whole, unprocessed foods. There are also some foods to avoid in the morning. Some of these foods may surprise you as they are the “common” breakfast options. Here are the top 12 foods to avoid in the morning:
Bagel has always been an energy booster for people on the go. It will make one feel full, not wanting to eat for some period. Not all bagels are “unhealthy.” People who want to eat bagels for breakfast should choose those which are made from whole wheat as they offer more beneficial nutrients.
Opting for whole wheat bagels is important because they are a great source of dietary fiber, some protein, and several important minerals. Whole wheat bagels have become an integral part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
Breakfast bars (protein or granola)
Don’t depend too much on commercial breakfast bars because, most often than not, these are filled sugars and chemicals. Advertised protein and granola bars are tempting but consuming them as a go-getter for breakfast will most likely make a person hungry even before mid-day. Might as well munch on a real candy bar.
When looking at the ingredients on a granola bar, people are surprised at its high levels of sugar, honey, and corn syrup and this does not even include the sugars found in chocolate chips and other flavors. Furthermore, they contain no proteins, and they lack fiber.
People who have early starts every morning, need to change their eating habits, especially if they have been accustomed to breakfast bars that are loaded with unhealthy contents. The breakfast of granola bars shows that a person isn’t on a low-carbohydrate diet. Avoid sugar-loaded bars. Instead, switch to some whole-wheat bread, spread some sugar-free peanut butter on them. That by itself is an easy, healthy breakfast!
Cereals with little or no fiber
Not all cereals are that healthy. Most of them are high in sugar and carbohydrates but lacking in fiber. Such contents may cause the blood sugar to shoot up, then just quickly drop and this would leave one to experience before-noon-moodiness and cravings. A person can prevent such predicaments by choosing cereals with lower sugars and contain some fiber. One can even further raise the fiber content of breakfast by adding some berries, wheat germ, some flaxseeds or even sliced almonds.
Choose breakfast cereals based on their nutrient contents. The health-conscious people always read the box labels to determine their contents. Cereals in boxes are processed products and may contain unhealthy elements like sugars, artificial colorings, with little cereals. These can all contribute to increasing the risk of heart diseases, obesity, and other health issues.
It doesn’t mean that people should totally abstain from cereals, just choose those that have fewer sugars, no additives, made from organic grains and with high-fiber contents. Make breakfast exciting by adding berries, nuts, and seeds to the healthy cereal chosen.
Donuts and muffins
Traditional doughnuts are very popular breakfast items with ingredients that are all to be avoided. They are carb-circles, deep fried in oil and powdered with sugar plus some sprinkles to just add more “insults to injury.” Having them as a special treat is allowable but not as regular breakfast food. But if a person must indulge himself, at least couple the doughnut with some healthy fat or protein, maybe some nuts or a hard-boiled egg.
Muffins may look cute, innocent and appealing. But all these are just a front for muffins are cakes in disguise, packing calories more than one realizes. But if a person has that uncontrollable urge to eat muffins, eat just a half of it and pair it with some protein. Try Greek yogurt, it tastes good and is healthy. To save time on morning rush-hours, make a healthy batch of muffins, store it in the refrigerator and defrost one for breakfast when in a hurry.
Fast food sandwiches and pastries
Don’t be too sold on breakfast sandwiches from drive-thru eateries. Nutrition-wise, these foods may contain proteins, carbs, and some vegetables but often, the meat is greasy and processed, the bread is white, and mostly there is no fiber content. Without the latter, food craving will be happening sooner than a person thinks.
Burgers-on-the-go in the morning should also be avoided. Burger patties are not necessarily unhealthy, but that depends on how they are made. Those without preservatives will do you good. But what goes with the burgers like white bread, mayonnaise, and other additives will do you harm. Not to mention the greasy potatoes chips or French fries or onion rings that go on the side.
Pastries like donuts, Danishes, and Pop-tarts are also not recommended for morning meals. These are made from refined white flour with no whole grains involved. Besides, they contain tons of sugar that will cause your blood sugar to elevate, then crash and will be leaving a person hungrier much sooner.
Find substitutes for these foods for breakfast that are healthier. A simple egg and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread is a filling option. If possible and it is, make the sandwich from home. It isn’t that hard.
Fruit juices are a popular item for dieters. They will help people lose those extra pounds, and they’re a refresher for hunger pangs. But beware of packed juices available in stores because most of them have been sweetened and they contain less actual juice. The high sugar contents can be risky for type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. Juice alone will not suffice to constitute a meal. Some proteins and healthy fats are essential, even when going on a diet.
People can be more innovative when taking natural fruit juices in the morning. Using a blender, try sneaking in some greens like kale, celery, carrots, and spinach. People are often amazed at how good this will taste. Aside from this drink, one will still need a supplement of some protein and healthy fats. Otherwise, the craving for food will happen early before lunch.
Toast with butter or jam
What people spread on their whole wheat bread should also is alarming. Butter substitutes have proliferated in the market and consumers need be warned that many of these spreadable contain unhealthy compounds like trans fats. This is a synthetic fat that can do much damage like raising bad cholesterol, lowering good cholesterol and increasing the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Don’t use substitutes. If a person wants butter, sparingly spread the real one on whole wheat slices. Or to make butter more substantial, make a vegetable omelet.
Toast topped with margarine spread seems like an ideal breakfast since it does not contain saturated fats or sugar. That is a misconception on two fronts. First, on the toast. The flour used in making bread is refined and contains very little nutrients and fiber. Because of this property, consuming them will spike the blood sugar levels very quickly. A sudden elevation of this level will lead to feelings of hunger which will make a person eat more for the next meal.
Second, on the margarine. This spread contains trans fats, the worst and most unhealthy type of fat anyone can eat. These fats are created by manufacturers by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to mimic the appearance of saturated fats. Studies have shown that saturated fats do not cause harm but trans fats will. There are massive amounts of evidence that they are very inflammatory and can increase your risk of heart diseases.
Kids tend to gravitate towards sweet spreads on their bread for their early meal. This isn’t helping either for the health conscious as jams are loaded with sugars. Instead, let them have eggs on their toast, which by the way should be multi-grain bread.
Pancakes and waffles
There are no more temptations about having pancakes and waffles for breakfast. It has become part of the daily morning meal and sadly, our culture. Pancakes and waffles are made with flour, eggs, milk, and sugar. Even though these foods may contain proteins, basically they are made from plain wheat flour which contributes to insulin resistance and obesity.
But that is not the worst of it. When served, both pancakes and waffles are topped with a heavy syrup made from corn. That combination will contribute to a major sugar crash. But people need not veer from the standard. When having pancakes or waffles for breakfast, use the real all-natural maple syrup. It may be more expensive but health-wise, it will be worth it. Greek yogurt can also be added to pancake recipes for an additional dose of protein.
Smoothies from the store
An average individual would rather pick a smoothie than a green juice drink for the obvious reason that a smoothie is sweet. But do consider what goes into a smoothie aside from the sugar load. Some of them even contain ice cream or full-fat milk. When so, the smoothie becomes a misnomer as this concoction should be called a milkshake. To get all the benefits of a good smoothie, make them at home. Use blended fruits and veggies and for protein, some Greek yogurt.
Sweetened, flavored or light yogurt
An ideal breakfast will be some Greek yogurt with fresh fruits. It’s easy to make and super healthy. Make this breakfast at home as the ingredients are readily available at the grocer. Do not buy packed ones in stores as they usually contain preservatives, artificial flavorings, and lots of sugar.
People have different choices of yogurt: light, sweetened or flavored. Light seems to be the best choice but not necessarily. Many packaged yogurts may be low in calorie content but can be high in artificial sweeteners and chemicals. This is true with the flavored kind. Just be consistent health-wise. Choose plain Greek yogurt. They contain protein that will keep a person fuller longer, and there are no sugar additives.
Not all yogurts, by the way, are good. The flavored ones are not recommended because they can pack as much sugar as that Danish cinnamon roll one was smart enough to avoid. Instead, go for the plain low-fat yogurt or even full-fat. Either one has been shown to be good for a healthy diet. In case a person prefers some sweetness, just add honey, maple syrup or fruits.
There are no doubt veggies are an important part of the diet but sadly, not in the morning. Eating them on an empty stomach may result in stomach pain. Furthermore, the amino acids present in them can lead to flatulence, heartburn, and can even irritate the linings of the stomach. Tomatoes especially should be avoided in the morning. Their high-concentration of tannic acid will increase the stomach acidity which can lead to gastric ulcers.
Processed meats are the worse and most harmful type of meat. Studies have shown that just 1.8 ounces of processed meat can increase your risk of heart disease by as much as 42%. Eating processed meats should be done on special occasions and in limited portions. Serve them as condiments or appetizers but never the main course. If in case, the urge to indulge is strong, just be sure the other breakfast foods are all made with healthy ingredients.
We all know these processed villains, and they include sausages, hams, bacon, salami, bologna, and more. They all contain nitrates, a chemical that has been linked to colorectal cancer. Next time, at the deli or grocer, check the meat’s labels to be sure that nitrates were not used in its manufacturing. Foods with nitrates should be off your breakfast table. Foods without, enjoy but in moderation.
How a person starts, his day will depend on what he will have for breakfast. Eating healthy will make anyone feel positive. First, choose foods that will keep the body full until lunchtime, without any cravings in between. Avoid foods that are devoid of nutrients. Juices or some health drink are not sufficient to sustain your morning. Proteins and fats should also be part of the daily breakfast regimen.
Most people consider breakfast being the most important meal of the day. What better way to make it so by eating the right foods. Eating the wrong ones will sabotage the entire day. When one feels hungry way before lunchtime or feels tired and lethargic at midday or eating more than one usually does at lunch, then that person isn’t eating the right foods to start his day.