It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I always advise people to NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST, however there are some things you need to avoid completely.
Eating an unhealthy breakfast can be worse than not eating breakfast at all.
A healthy breakfast should fuel you for the day ahead and should contain fibre, protein and healthy fats that will energise you and help you feel full.
Unfortunately with today’s smart marketing of food products, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re grabbing something “healthy” for breakfast because it’s low fat, low in sugar, zero calories, energy for the day. The truth is, the foods that do kickstart your day, don’t have to say it on the pack!
I bet you’ve picked up a breakfast bar or cereal and you felt great and an hour later you’re feeling sluggish, bloated and tired. And that’s where the vicious circle begins, you grab a coffee or another sugary snack. If you’re thinking “oh yeah that’s me” you need to keep reading.
1. Breakfast Cereal
You could be forgiven for thinking you’re doing the right thing by eating a breakfast cereal. It’s what we’ve known since we were kids. We’re told they’re low in sugar and full of vitamins. This couldn’t be further from the truth, they are all so highly processed and contain refined sugars and grains. Some cereals contain more sugar than a dessert!!! Kellogs Special K, a cereal marketed to make it look like one of the healthier cereals contains a whopping 17g of sugar per 100g!!!!!! (source Irish Independent)
Pancakes contain refined flour, sugar, milk. Researchers have found that refined grains have been linked to insulin resistance and obesity. And let’s be honest, what’s a pancake without pancake syrup which is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. HFCS has been known to cause inflammation which drives insulin resistance, which can lead on to type 2 diabetes.
3. Toast with Margarine
Most people who eat toast in the morning opt for white bread and margarine. Because it’s a small breakfast it might seem like it’s one of the better morning choices. White bread and margarine is actually one of the worst food combos ever! White bread is high in refined flour and sugar and low in fibre. And while margarine is low in saturated fat, it is high in trans fats which can contribute to high cholesterol and heart disease.
4. Fruit Juice
Unless you’ve made a juice or smoothie yourself from scratch, avoid fruit juices! Even if they say on the label that they are 100% fruit still contain a very large amount of sugar. Any store bought juice is a processed juice.
Because of the high sugar content in fruit juices, they can cause your blood sugar to rise very quickly because they have no fibre to slow down the absorption.
Here’s a simple fact, a muffin is a small cake! That has to change your mind about the blueberry muffin you thought was ok to eat for breakfast. They are made from vegetable oils, refined flour, sugar and eggs. The dried fruit or chocolate chips also increase the sugar level. If you want a muffin top, keep eating those muffins.
6. Sweetened Low Fat Yogurt
Did you know that a lot of low fat yogurts contain more sugar than ice cream??
To remove fat from food, it needs to be replaced with sugar. So instead of choosing the low fat strawberry yogurt next time you’re in the supermarket, go for a plain whole milk Greek yogurt. Fat takes longer to digest than carbs so believe it or not, you’ll feel fuller.
Unless it’s a Greek yogurt, start making yogurts an occasional treat.
7. Granola Bars
Granola bars seem like great breakfast options but you might as well have a mars bar. Some of them contain a lot of added sugar, corn syrup and honey. Increasing the sugar content again, some granola bars contain chocolate or dried fruit. They are also low in protein and fibre so provide very little.