You must have possibly heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Indeed, it is but partially. However, it is a myth too. Though it might be true for some, others do better when they skip their breakfast. Moreover, eating an unhealthy breakfast can be riskier than not eating at all. A healthy breakfast must include protein, fiber, and all essential nutrients that give the energy to keep you active the whole day. On the contrary, an unhealthy breakfast can make you feel tired, increase your weight, and increase your risk of heart disease. Confused about what to eat and what to avoid? Here are the top healthy breakfast foods that you should stop eating right now!
1. Cereal- Yes, agreed, it is convenient. But most of the cereals are high in added sugar and contain less protein and fiber. As a result, there is a high chance that your stomach will begin to rumble again mid-morning, and ultimately you will end up having those tasty doughnuts. Instead, choose the O’s or flakes for overnight oats. They are as simple and easy to make and will keep you full and satisfied for a long time.
2. Waffles and pancakes- These are the popular breakfast choices, especially for weekends be it at home or in restaurants. Both waffles and pancakes contain eggs, flour, milk, and sugar. They are cooked differently, however, to attain a distinct texture and shape. Though they are richer in protein compared to some other breakfast items, waffles and pancakes contain a high amount of refined flour. Researchers believe that refined grains like wheat flour increases insulin resistance and lead to obesity. Moreover, waffles and pancakes are generally topped with pancake syrup, which includes high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup can cause inflammation that leads to insulin resistance, which in turn may cause Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Compared to high-fructose corn syrup, pure maple syrup is a better choice, but this too is high in sugar content, which adds extra calories to breakfast.
3. Breakfast sandwiches- This is one of the common healthy breakfast foods that you must not eat in the morning. A cheese or egg sandwich can be a filling option for your breakfast, but, yes, if you make it at home. Many of those store-bought frozen sandwiches are filled with preservatives, sodium, and many unhealthy fats. And the oily sandwiches from the corner shop near your home are not a good option. They are generally big enough to feed two individuals and are overloaded with processed meats like bacon and sausage with cheese. Instead, try a simple veg scramble on a slice of whole-wheat bread.
4. Flavored yogurt- Do you think that yogurt is good for your health? If so, you are not wrong. But not all fermented dairy products are made using the same process. Flavored yogurts are packed full of sugar and it is a must to avoid them. Plus, skipping that might put you at risk for gaining too much weight, according to studies. It is always better to go for full-fat or low-fat yogurt. And if you want to sweeten it, then add some maple syrup, honey, or any fruit to it.
5. Muffins- Despite being known as healthy, most of the muffins are small, sugary cakes in disguise. They are made of vegetable oils, refined flour, sugar, and eggs. As you can see, the only healthy ingredient in this is an egg. Also, the muffins that are sold in the market are large. A study found that a usually packaged muffin surpasses the portion size by around 333%. The remarkable increase in portion sizes over the past years is believed to play an important role in causing obesity. Sometimes, muffins are topped with extra sugar or some are even filled with dried fruits or chocolate chips, further increasing the number of calories.
6. Fruit juices- This is one of the common healthy breakfast foods that most of us have in the morning. But, if you want to keep hunger at bay, do not want to put on weight, and want to avoid chronic diseases, then you must keep fruit juices away from you. Most of the fruit juices available in the market are filled with high-fructose corn syrup or sugar. A high level of sugar can increase the risk of obesity, cause metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and other serious illnesses. Even the juices that say it is 100% fruit juice contain a high amount of sugar. Drinking a lot of fruit juice can have the same effects on your health and weight as drinking sugary beverages.
Drinking fruit juice can increase the level of blood sugar very fast as there is no fiber or fat to slow the absorption process. The resulting rise in insulin and fall in blood sugar can make you feel hungry and tired.
7. Scones with cream and jam- Scones that are topped with jam are more like a dessert than a healthy meal. Scones are made by combining refined wheat flour, sugar, and butter with desired flavors. Then, the dough is shaped into small rounds and then baked. Usually, they are topped with jam, jelly, or cream. What is the result? A high-calorie, sugary breakfast with little protein and fiber.
Studies have found that fiber has several benefits, including keeping a check on blood sugar. It also makes you feel satisfied so that you do not eat more. On the contrary, eating a breakfast that is high in refined carbs can raise your blood sugar and make you feel hungry.
In a study, obese kids reported feeling hungry and less satisfied after they ate a high-carb meal compared to when they ate a low-carb, high-protein meal. Their satiation and hunger hormones also undergone several changes.
8. Pre-mixed oatmeal- Those store-bought oats packets make your morning fast and easy. But originally, they are boxed cereal in disguise. Flavored and pre-mixed oatmeal are generally loaded with sugar. What else? They are made with instant oats, which are highly processed and low in fiber compared to steel-cut or rolled oats. If you do not have enough time for a quick bowl of regular oats, then make a batch of homemade instant oats instead. They are just like fat, but they are high in fiber. Also, you can even put a control on the sugar intake.
9. Coffee- In case, if you do not know, coffee is beneficial for you. But a plain cuppa joe is not at all a substitute for a healthy meal. Caffeine in coffee might reduce your appetite temporarily, but chances are, you will find yourself searching for mid-morning snacks later. Rather than sipping solo, try to have your coffee with a meal. Don’t you feel hungry once you wake up in the morning? Have a cup of coffee. Then pack a little snack or meal to eat a little later in the morning, maybe a cheese slice or fruit, or even a butter sandwich will do.
10. Granola Bars- Granola bars may sound like healthy breakfast foods, but they are just like candy bars. Though unprocessed oats are high in fiber, these granola bars offer just 1 to 3 grams of fiber, on average. However, they contain a huge amount of sugar. Some of the granola bars contain corn syrup, sugar, and even honey. Eating too many granola bars too often can increase blood sugar and cause inflammation.
Breakfast can make you ready for the rest of the day. It helps to keep your blood sugar level stable and control your weight and appetite. On the contrary, making the wrong choice at breakfast can make you feel hungry and tired for the rest of the day.