Foods to Avoid for Breakfast
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, but that is not necessarily true. However, it is true for some people who feel better having skipped breakfast. But not eating at all is better than eating an unhealthy breakfast. A healthy breakfast should include protein, healthy fats, and, more importantly, fiber that gives you energy for the rest of the day. Meanwhile, an unhealthy breakfast makes one feel sluggish, causes weight gain, and increases the risk of diseases. Below is the list of food that should not be taken in the morning.
Breakfast cereals are presumed nutritious by a lot of people, especially among children and older adults. Eating cereals in the morning comes with health benefits such as its richness in vitamin A, B, and iron. Cereals contain whole gains. However, in the modern diet, cereals are highly processed, thereby leaving them with a small number of whole-grain contents and artificial nutrients, all of which are added through a process called fortification. A certain study showed that children who consume these fortified cereals in the morning develop an improved immune function. However, it could as well be dangerous if they continue taking it. Breakfast cereals contain a high amount of refined grains and also a very high amount of sugar. A report in 2011 by the Environmental Working Group examined some popular breakfast cereals mostly taken by children and old adults, and it was found out that a cup serving contains more sugar than 3 chocolate chips cookies. Even nutritious cereals choices such as granola are often loaded with sugar notes; high sugar intake may increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some other chronic health conditions. The addition of vitamins and minerals artificially does not make breakfast cereals a healthy choice.
Pancakes and Waffles
Most people eat pancakes and waffles as their weekend breakfast, homemade or in restaurants. Flour, eggs, sugar, and milk are used to make pancakes and waffles. Although flour is highly refined, researchers found out that refined flour or refined wheat flour contributes to obesity and insulin resistance. Furthermore, pancake syrups which are used to top pancakes and waffles, have a high level of fructose which can cause inflammation that leads to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Pure maple syrup is a healthier choice for pancakes and waffles. However, it still has a high amount of sugar.
Toast with Margarine
Toasts made with margarine can seem like a good breakfast choice since it does not contain saturated fat or sugar. But it is actually an unhealthy breakfast for mainly 2 reasons. The first is; the flour in most bread is refined. That is, it provides only a few nutrients and little fiber. In addition, it is high in refined carbs that can spike blood sugar levels very fast. High sugar levels lead to reoccurring hunger that makes people want to eat more in the next meal, which can lead to weight gain. Secondly, most margarine contains trans fat, which is the unhealthiest type of fat to consume. A food technologist creates trans fat by adding nitrogen to vegetable oils in order to make them appear like saturated fats that are solid at room temperature. Meanwhile, studies have not shown that saturated fats cause harm, but trans fat is definitely bad. There is a high amount of evidence that trans fat can cause inflammation and lead to the rise of certain disease risks, for example, heart diseases.
Muffins are mostly believed to be healthy for consumption, but most muffins have a lot in common with small cakes because the ingredients used in making muffins are refined flour, vegetable oils, eggs, and sugar. Of all these ingredients, eggs are the only healthy ingredients used in making muffins. In addition, muffins sold commercially are often times very large in size which means an increased portion of all unhealthy ingredients used in making the muffins, which has played an important role in the increase of the obesity epidemic around the world in the last 30 years. Muffins are either topped with extra sugar, chocolate chips, or dried fruits which increases the sugar and calorie content and makes the muffins further unhealthy to eat for breakfast.
Fruit juice is the worst choice you can make when trying to avoid hunger, weight gain, and even disease. Some fruit juice in the market have very little natural fruit contents and are sweetened with sugar or fructose and sometimes corn syrup. Remember, high sugar levels increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Even some fruit juices that are tagged 100% fruit juice still contain high amounts of sugar. Thus, taking large amounts of fruit juice can also have the same effect on your health as drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. Drinking fruit juice also causes the blood sugar to rise faster because there is no fiber to slow down its absorption in the body. The resulting spike in the insulin and drop in blood sugar can make you feel tired hungry.
Toaster pastries are arguably the quickest and easiest breakfast option. However, the ingredients used in making toaster pastries are very unhealthy. For example, Pop-Tarts contain high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, brown sugar, and white flour. Furthermore, toaster pastries have a large amount of sugar and refined flour and very little gram of protein. And a study showed that consuming large contents of protein and carbs would make you eat lesser lunch, unlike eating low amounts of protein and carbs. In other words, eating toaster pastries in the morning would make you hungrier and increase your food intake for lunch.
Scones with Jam and Cream
Scones with jam and cream are really more like dessert than a meal. Scones are made with refined wheat flour, butter, and sugar with preferred flavorings. Then, the dough is baked and shaped into small rounds. It is usually topped with cream, jam, and jelly, which results in high amounts of sugar and calorie breakfast with very small fiber and little protein. Research has shown that fiber has a lot of health advantages, which includes blood sugar regulation and also makes you feel less hungry during lunchtime. Meanwhile, eating breakfast that contains high refined carbs can increase your blood sugar and make you feel hungrier. In another research, obese children tend to feel hungrier after eating a meal that contains high carbs than after eating a high protein and a low carb meal.
Sweetened Non-Fat Yogurt
A good example of a healthy breakfast is a meal that contains a plain bowl of whole milk. Another good example is Greek yogurt topped with berries. However, sugar-sweetened fruit yogurt is not healthy. In reality, ice creams contain lesser sugar than many flavored and non-fat yogurts. Unlike carbs, fats take longer to digest, which means it keeps you full for a longer period than carbs do. It also enables the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). Replacing fats with sugar in our daily diet can be quite dangerous.
Granola bars may look like a good breakfast option, but they are no better than candy bars. Although unprocessed oats have a large amount of fiber, while granola bars produce a small gram of fiber compared to oat. They contain a large amount of added sugar. Most notable brands of granola bars combine sugar, corn syrup, and honey as ingredients to make their bars. Most of these sugars expose you to high insulin and high blood sugar level and also cause inflammation. Sometimes, granola bars contain chocolate chips and dried fruits. Coupled with this, granola bars are also very low on protein which makes you hungrier and weak.
Processed Gluten-Free Breakfast Foods
Avoiding gluten is not harmful. However, eating a lot of it is unhealthy. Flours that are gotten from rice, tapioca, and potatoes take the place of wheat flour in baked goods and gluten-free bread. Having a high glycemic index, these flours can raise your sugar levels very fast, which might lead to weight gain, high insulin levels, and recurring hunger. Furthermore, muffins, gluten-free pancakes have the same amount of protein and fiber content which is very low.
In conclusion, watch what you eat for breakfast.