Although you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t skip breakfast, eating just anything to start your day can be just as bad. What you eat for breakfast matters, and the choices you make at the beginning of the day can affect your body many different ways. Whether for weight loss and metabolism, or to simply eat healthier to prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, there are several foods you should avoid eating for breakfast.
First, you should never skip breakfast, and if you are going to eat on-the-go, you should have something that is correctly portioned and body-fuel centered, so that you don’t just grab something that is either too high in calories or that simply provides empty calories with little benefit. For instance, unless you are drinking freshly squeezed orange juice with all the pulp, grabbing a glass of orange juice is really just providing you extra sugar; it has no fiber benefit to keep you full, and can spike your blood sugar significantly when you eat nothing with it. It’s better to just have water, green tea, or coffee, and eat something that can keep your hunger away and keep you satisfied a little longer.
You should also avoid sugary cereals and baked or fried goodies, like pasties and donuts. The former is for obvious reasons, because no matter how “fortified” the cereals are with vitamins and minerals, the bottom line is this: sugary cereals spike blood sugar levels, provide very little fiber content, and provide very few nutrients. They offer a quick burst of energy followed by a hard crash, and that’s all going to happen way before lunch. The latter (pastries and donuts) on the other hand, may or may not contain a significant amount of sugar, however, they are generally high in calories and fat content — neither of which you need when you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Other foods to avoid are foods like pancakes with heavy syrup (more sugar), but also processed meats like bacon and sausage. While it’s true that eating protein for breakfast is generally a healthy choice, these particular meats are extremely high in saturated fat and sodium. Even if you aren’t worried about the fat, the excess sodium will cause water retention and bloating, and may cause problems with your blood pressure as well.
Better options for breakfast include foods that are high in fiber, or that provide just a little fat or protein to keep you full most of the morning. Granola and yogurt, bran or other whole grain cereals with milk, and eggs are all great choices. If you really enjoy bread in the morning, though, try to opt for whole grain breads, or perhaps abagel with a little low-fat cream cheese. Carbohydrates are not always bad, you just have to ensure you are choosing the right ones: those that have higher fiber, or that are paired with a little protein or fat (like cream cheese) to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Breakfast shouldn’t be you largest meal of the day. It’s just a little kick-start for your metabolism and it keeps your hunger at bay. So, if you avoid foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat, then you are on the right track towards healthier living.
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