You’ve heard it a million times in a million different ways; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There is some truth to this considering what you add to your system in the morning is what your body will spend the rest of the day processing. Eating a healthy meal first thing in the morning tends to help curb unhealthy eating patterns over the course of the day and will contribute to even blood sugar levels and even lipid (fat) levels in the blood. That being said there are some unhealthy breakfast foods options, masquerading themselves as beneficial, that should be avoided.
1. Fruit Juices
Fruit juices can contain shocking levels of sugar which undoubtedly will spike your blood sugar levels, eventually leading to a crash. Even worse, many juices are from concentrate and lack essential vitamins and nutrients. If you absolutely cannot go without your morning O.J. make sure to purchase real juice, not from concentrate, with no added sugars, or consider purchasing an economy juicer and making your own!
Most people don’t look at an apple turnover of cherry-filled strudel and think “this will greatly benefit my metabolic rate for the rest of the day!”. Most people are able to identify pastries as much more of a dessert item than a healthy breakfast item. The theme you’ll observe throughout this list simply does not start your day with tons of processed sugar.
3. Fatty Meats
Bacon, ham, and pretty much any fried meat should be a no-go for breakfast. These items are full of fat and salt and will increase lipid levels in the blood for the remainder of the day. This increase in lipid levels will likely lead you to crave oily, fatty, and salty foods for the rest of the day.
4. Certain Egg Dishes
If you’re filling egg omelets with tons of cheese or piling on hollandaise sauce (or whole milk, sour cream, cream cheese, salt, etc.) you’re mostly negating any health benefits that eggs possess. If you enjoy eggs in the morning try to use more whites than yolks and go for low-fat cheeses and veggies in your omelets.
5. Sugary Cereals
There is simply no way to make Captain Crunch or Lucky Charms healthy. These cereals are essentially cardboard dipped in sugar and served in full-fat milk. What’s truly scary is that these cereals are marketed specifically for children! By choosing to serve yourself or your children processed sugary breakfast cereals you can be damaging the overall health of generations to come.
6. Some Yogurts
Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit can be an extremely healthy start to the morning, but many brands of flavored yogurt contain chemical preservatives, dyes, and sugars. Avoid ‘diet’ yogurt options as many of these items contain aspartame, a sweetener, and sugar substitute linked to cancer.
A whole-wheat bagel in and of itself isn’t too bad, although I’d argue it’s still a lot of carbohydrates to start your day with. What really kills the integrity of this breakfast foods is the slathered on cream cheese. If you really love a morning bagel switch to whole wheat and use a healthier spread like hummus or maybe vegan butter.
8. Jams/ Jellies
Most jams and jellies contain a ton of processed sugar and preservatives. This one-two punch can leave your system weakened and fighting all day to process what was ingested first thing. Try using organic peanut butter as a spread substitute instead.