We’ve combed through a thousand articles that say a breakfast of champions is the best way to start out your day, but a thousand others refute that very claim. Does breakfast make you hungrier or keep you more full? Does it make you sluggish or jumpstart your engine? The claims are a little contradictory, but we’re going to go with what our mothers have always told us on this one. Breakfast —most important or not — is critical to a good start. A healthy meal never hurt anyone, and preparing a hearty, full plate of food for yourself before heading into work is in itself a form of self care. It can take any form too. Eggs and sausages, a bowl of cereal, an apple to go, or a plain mug of steaming, sharp black coffee. Not all breakfasts were created equal, though. There are certain foods that you should avoid as your first meal of the day at all costs! They aren’t doing you any favours. Here’s your guide to the foods that need to be taken off your breakfast meal plan.
1. Low Fibre Cereals
Cereals are one of the most popular breakfast items around, perhaps simply because of how convenient they are. Here’s something you might not have known though: most cereals are super high in carbohydrates, added sugar, and surprisingly low in fibre despite what the packaging might seem to claim. This can cause your blood sugar to first spike and then quickly drop. As a result, you’ll feel hungry again mid morning, and not just a little peckish — your appetite will become ravenous. You’ll be more likely to eat something unhealthy and quick at hand to satiate yourself, and this fires off a cycle of eating sugary foods to compensate for your lack of lasting fullness. If cereal is still the most convenient thing for you, then choose a high fibre, whole grain one. You can also add berries and chopped almonds to increase how much fibre you consume.
2. Store Bought Sandwiches
When you’re running late for work or college, grabbing a sandwich on the way as breakfast sounds like the best option. You couldn’t be more wrong! Pre-packed, quick sandwiches are usually loaded with sodium, preservatives, and unhealthy fats. A homemade sandwich made of whole grain bread and egg or a protein filling of your choice is a much better option. Prep the ingredients the night before so that assembly in the morning takes less time.
3. Fruit Juices
Fruit juices are a popular choice among those that can’t eat so early in the morning. It’s still healthy, and provides us with a necessary burst of energy. We don’t blame you for thinking boxed juices are the answer — they had us all fooled. These juices can make your blood sugar rise and then drop quickly, leaving you dizzy and tired. They are also chock full of sugar, which sneak into your system through one seemingly innocent glass of juice. Fresh juices are a better alternative, but even they shouldn’t be consumed in isolation. Always drink your juice with a side of something else, that offers other nutrients.
4. Flavoured Yogurt
Yogurt qualifies as one of the best options for a healthy breakfast. Having said that, the non fat, flavoured yogurts lining your refrigerator wall do not fall in the same category. They contain roughly the same amount of sugar as a serving of ice cream of the same quantity. Non fat yoghurts make up the taste with added sugars. Instead, go for plain full fat yogurt, and sweeten it with fruits or honey.
5. Toast With Butter
A toast topped with butter is the quickest and easiest breakfast — but it won’t keep you full for long. A single toast lacks protein, whereas most butter spreads and margarines contain trans fat, which can raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, and increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Toast isn’t a bad option, but it should generally be paired with a more substantial breakfast, like eggs.
Muffins have been masquerading as healthy breakfast options for far too long. Just because they look wholesome and filling, and come with blueberry fillings, doesn’t mean they’re doing you any favours. They’re just dessert. Muffins, like a lot of baked goods, are high in refined flour, refined vegetable oils, fat, and sugar. The chocolate chip and dried fruit toppings add even more to the sugar and caloric value of these snacks.