Chances are, when you wake up in the morning, you’re either starving or you don’t want to touch food until at least noon. For those who swear by breakfast as the most important meal of the day—which is not necessarily true—it’s more important to steer clear of the refined fibers and sugars, which are in several of the most popular breakfast foods. Here are the seven foods you should avoid eating if you want to be more energetic throughout the day and healthier in general:
1. Pancakes and Waffles
This one is fairly obvious, but it needs saying. The basic ingredients of these beloved breakfast dishes are eggs, sugar, flour and milk. Because of the eggs, pancakes and waffles do contain protein, but when you slather maple syrup and butter all over them, you can say goodbye to this food’s only redeeming quality.
The high fructose corn syrup in maple syrup is known to cause insulin resistance, which can lead to type two diabetes. Combine this with the refined flour used in the batter of pancakes and waffles (which also leads to insulin resistance), and you’ve got yourself a pretty unbalanced breakfast.
Like pancakes, the only good thing inside a muffin is the eggs and the occasional nut. Muffins usually contain vegetable oils, so they are essentially cupcakes. They are also often sold pre-packaged and larger than their typical portion size. If you add chocolate, butter, fruits and sugar, you’re well on your way to feeling lower in energy and sluggish from the sugar.
3. A Loaded Bagel
Besides 100 percent whole grain bagels, most tasty bagels are 250-500 calories worth of refined carbohydrates and starch. Like pancakes, once you add the butter or cream cheese, you can have 700+ calories packed into a bagel. A diet high in refined carbs and sugars can lead to cardiovascular disease and the dreaded diabetes.
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4. Fast Food Breakfast Sandwich
This convenient sandwich is packed with sodium, which is just waiting to spike your blood pressure. If you pick a sausage biscuit, you are choosing to subject your body to the sneaky nitrates that hide in sausage and are linked to certain cancers. To make matters worse, if you suffer from hypertension, eating a diet heavy with sodium can cause a stroke.
Even though cereal boxes claim these often brightly-colored, fruity cereals are “high in calcium” and “full of whole grains,” they are extremely processed and have artificial nutrients added to them. Don’t be fooled by “healthy” looking cereals containing oats, either, because they’re often loaded with sugars.
6. Fruit Juices
Pairing orange juice with a bowl of cereal is one of the worst choices you can make to start your day. Most juices have less actual juice than they do high fructose corn syrup and sugar. In fact, fruit juice consumption can have the same effects on your body as drinking soda, which is a known cause of diabetes. Drinking nothing but juice in the morning will cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop, causing you to be hungry and defeating the purpose of breakfast.
7. Light/Non-fat Sweetened Yogurt
Even though they are marketed as “low in fat” and “fit,” the word “non-fat” yogurt is just code for high in sugar. Some fats are beneficial, so replacing them with sugar is not going to make food any healthier. Dairy contains natural fats which help you stay fuller longer, so cutting them out will leave you hungry an hour after breakfast.
The best thing you can do for your body in the morning is to have a breakfast that is rich in protein, good fats, and fiber. You will feel better than if you settle for something convenient like cereal, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day!