They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even though science doesn’t fully back up that claim – and many people do just fine skipping it altogether – it still pays to eat smart first thing in the morning. To know which dishes to avoid, we rounded up the worst foods to eat first thing in the morning.
Toaster pastries are packed with sugar.
Toaster pastries may be delicious, but they have little to no nutritional value and are usually packed with unhealthy fats and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to She Finds. HFCS is high on the glycemic index, according to Healthfully, which means it will give you a sugar high followed by a crash, according to Men’s Journal.
Too much sugar in any form can cause myriad problems, such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high triglyceride levels – which all increase your risk of heart disease, according to Mayo Clinic.
To make matters even worse, toaster pastries have surprisingly high amounts of sodium; preservatives; and, often, artificial colours, according to She Finds.
Many nut spreads are packed with sugar and fat.
It’s common to spread a bit of nut butter on toast to grab and go in the morning. Although this simple butters can be a good source of protein, when they get fancy, these spreads can also be high in sugar and fat.
Nutrition action recommends sticking to a simple peanut or almond butter and skipping or limiting your use of spreads that boast chocolate or hazelnut flavours.
Most breakfast cereals are high in sugar and provide little nutrition.
Most breakfast cereals are high on the glycemic index, especially cornflakes, according to Harvard Health Publishing, which, again, will cause an inevitable crash in energy.
Plus, cereals are made with refined grains, according to Healthline, which have been stripped of almost all fibre, vitamins, and minerals – thus providing little nutritional value, according to Healthline.
Pancakes and waffles are tasty but may not give you the best start to your day.
Like cereal, pancakes and waffles are made from refined grains (refined flour, to be exact), which offers little in the way of nutritional value. Couple that with the fact that these sweet treats rarely contain protein and you may be hungry for more quickly, according to Eating Well.
Pastries will give you a sugar high, – and a subsequent crash.
What’s better than a freshly baked croissant in the morning? Well, your taste buds might like it, but the rest of your body will not, as pastries are made with refined sugar, refined grains, and added fats, according to Healthline. Prepare for fatigue as you come down from your sugar high.
Fruit juice is basically sugar water.
Although it’s reputed to be healthy, fruit juice is often little more than sugar water, according to The Washington Post. That’s because most of the nutrients in the original fruit are stripped away in the juicing and peeling process, and juice provides a concentrated amount of sugar.
Plus, it won’t give you the feeling of being full like whole fruit would.
Store-bought smoothies are also very high in sugar.
The same thing goes for bottled, store-bought smoothies: They’re packed with sugar and won’t keep you feeling full, according to The Guardian.
Granola bars are full of unhealthy sugar, oils, and MSG.
Another seemingly healthy food that’s actually bad for you is a granola bar. According to Greatist, a granola bar isn’t much better than a candy bar due to the high amounts of sugar. They can also contain hydrogenated oils, which can boost cholesterol levels.
White bagels are essentially a ton of white bread, which isn’t exactly a healthy breakfast.
White bagels are basically white bread, which is high on the glycemic index, according to Harvard Health Publishing. They’re also made of refined flour and, since they’re so dense, are packed with calories, according to Food Network.
Fast-food breakfasts are convenient but can be very unhealthy.
You might be tempted to swing by the drive-through before work, but it’s usually best to avoid this route. Although there are some fairly healthy fast-food breakfast options out there, most fast-food breakfasts contain high amounts of calories, fat, and sodium, according to WebMD.
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