Good Breakfast/Bad Breakfast: 4 Foods You Should Avoid In The Morning
As we work more and more hours for less and less pay, usually the first casualty in terms of our health is our sleep.
The second is often our diet. Making sure you get healthy, fresh food to eat costs money, and it takes time, two commodities that are exceedingly rare in this modern age of overwork and wage cuts.
But there are strategies to maximize the healthy foods we consume. And one good place to start is knowing what to avoid. To that end, here are a few of the worst ways to start your day.
• Breakfast cereal – There was a time when we really thought sugary breakfast cereal that was touted as “a part of a balanced breakfast” was anything other than a bowl of empty sugar and carbs, but that time is no more. When manufacturers use weasel words like “contains whole grains,” or “a source of vitamin A and iron,” you can be sure there are shenanigans involved. The vast majority of grains in cereals are refined, and any vitamins have been added after the fact and are of dubious efficacy anyway. In fact, one study showed that kids who ate a “fortified” cereal ended up getting sick just as often as those who did not. Whatever good things may have accidentally fallen into a bowl of cereal, they are not worth the sugars consumed–one cup of cereal is about equal to three chocolate chip cookies.
• Pancakes and waffles – Oh man, are they ever good as part of an unbalanced, Bloody Mary weekend brunch once in a while. But with all the refined flour and high-fructose corn syrup, they are best kept to special occasions only.
• Toast with margarine – Well, with this one we’ve at least gotten away from the sugar bombs of cereal and pancakes. But toast with butter is still not an optimal choice. For one thing most bread is made of refined flour, which offers little in the way of nutrients and fiber. Also the refined carbs it contains can cause glycemic spikes which lead to a sugar crash and the too-rapid reemergence of hunger. Also, margarine contains trans fats, unhealthiest of all fats.
• Muffins – O, muffins. Why must you lie to us so? Haven’t we loved you? Haven’t we shown obedience to your fluffy, sweet lordliness? But no, your humble muffin, pretending to be an appropriate food to eat with coffee in the morning is in fact little more than cake with ridges along the edges. They’re made up of refined flour, vegetable oil, sugar and eggs, the only part of which you should eat for breakfast is eggs.
The bottom line is refined flour and sugar are two of the worst things you can put into your body, especially first thing in the morning. You will be hungry again sooner than later, and tired from a sugar crash at the very time of day you want to become alert. Stick with high protein, low-carb choices along with some fresh fruit and you will feel better all day long, plus you are likely to eat less the rest of the day too.