They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but the truth is that if you start by choosing poorly what you eat as soon as you wake up, the tendency is that the rest of the day will continue with not so healthy habits.
By opting for a healthy breakfast, you are preparing for a day that will be more productive and energetic. A bad choice, on the other hand, can make it slower and far from productive.
According to WebMD, here’s a list of popular breakfast choices that are best avoided – and you might be surprised at some of them – especially number 15!
1. Sweetened or highly refined cereals
Most of these are marketed to children, but are also enjoyed by many adults, but being a ‘children’s’ product, they are not healthy at all.
Cereals are an easy and nutritious way of what to eat in the morning, but only if they are made with whole grains and contain no added sugars.
The most popular cereals are often made with absurd amounts of sugar. In addition to overconsumption of sugar, a sweet breakfast is very quickly digested, sustaining us for a short time while our bloodstream is flooded with sugar.
Once the sugar is digested, we will soon feel hungry and probably go back to eating a not so healthy food.
Read the labels, choose a whole grain cereal that is high in fibre and will keep you satiated for longer. Choose whole wheat cereals, corn flakes that are not coated in sugar, oatmeal, and mueslis and granolas with no added sugar with or without added dried fruit.
2. Bread with margarine
No, it’s not about the bread. Even a bread made from white flour, it is in the choice of what you put in the bread that you get it right. Wholemeal bread contains more fibre and nutrients, but it is the margarine that is the biggest mistake.
Margarine is a type of processed fat that may have added trans fatty acids, also known as partially hydrogenated oils.
Trans fat has a potential link to some health problems, such as high blood pressure and high levels of fat and blood sugar.
Butter, although also a source of fat, is a better option as it is not as processed and contains no trans fats. But in any case, don’t overdo the quantity! Or prefer something more protein-based, which will give you more satiety.
3. Fruit juices
Relax, there’s nothing wrong with drinking a glass of natural fruit juice (about 150ml) to boost and balance your breakfast. The bad choice is if you drink a lot more every day.
Think about oranges, they are healthy of course. How many of them do you eat at once? One or two, right? And how many do you squeeze to make a glass of juice? Maybe twice as many or more depending on how many you prepare.
Fruits contain fructose, which is a fruit sugar. So if you eat one or two oranges, you don’t consume much fructose at once. But if you eat four or more oranges at the same time, in liquid form, you are consuming more sugar than you think.
Also, fruit juices can remove the fibre from the fruit, depending on the type of preparation. If it is carton juice, it is even worse. Therefore, prefer to eat whole fruits and keep fruit juices to a minimum. And of course, fruit juices without added sugar!
4. Low-fat or fat-free yoghurt
Yoghurt, whether made with animal milk or a non-dairy alternative like soy, is a healthy option because it is rich in protein and probiotics (good bacteria that help keep your gut healthier).
Many people think low-fat or fat-free yogurt is the even healthier choice. But be careful. As well as compensating for their texture by adding additives to their composition, the seemingly healthy fruit varieties often contain more added sugar than the whole-fruit varieties!
By removing one component from the composition of a food, the other is usually added to improve the taste. So if a product is advertised as low in fat, always check the ingredients list and nutritional information to see if they have not compensated in sugars. These may be listed as sugar, sugar syrups, honey, glucose or dextrose.
The best option is whole natural yoghurt. For added flavour, add fruit of your choice and add oats or granola for a deliciously healthy and satiating breakfast.
5. Cereal bars
A food that has emerged as a healthy option when it is not, are the famous cereal bars. Seen as a practical and nutritious alternative, it is necessary to be careful when consuming cereal bars, even more so at breakfast time.
Once again, it is important to read the label. Like many cereals, some cereal bars have high added sugar content, most often from sugar syrups, corn and honey.
By eating just a few of these bars for breakfast you will probably soon feel that hungry again.
In the rush, prefer low-sugar bars, with no added sugars and a protein bar, but of good quality.
6. Bacon and other processed meats
Bacon, sausages, hams, salami and even the innocent turkey breast, are processed meats high in sodium, rich in saturated fats and processing techniques used to enhance flavour.
The salt content often found in this type of meat can, at best, make us feel very thirsty and dehydrated. In addition, processed meats have nitrite and nitrate which are linked to stomach and intestinal problems with prolonged consumption.
It doesn’t mean you should never eat bacon, sausages etc again. If you enjoy eating them, save them for the occasional weekend breakfast and avoid eating them every day.
7. Saltines and crackers
Many people like to eat the innocent and “light” water and salt biscuits for breakfast. And even with margarine… But come on, I’ll explain. The cracker is not healthy at all.
Even the integral, are poor in fiber, full of saturated fat and sugar, yes that’s right, sugar. Besides they are very caloric. 4 crackers have the same amount of calories as a French bread. What makes you fuller?
These are some options that may be ruining your breakfast, when many times you think you’re making an effort to be as healthy as possible. With these tips, your breakfast and your day will be so much better!