Everyone has their own definition of what makes a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Some people start the day with hot oatmeal, others with cold cereal and fruit juice. Many baby boomers prefer to eat light in the morning so that they have enough energy for an active lifestyle without being weighed down by food. However, even if you are eating only fruits and vegetables for breakfast, there are still some foods you should avoid.
1) Home Fries
Home fries are simply fried cubes of russet or Idaho potatoes. This is one of those breakfast foods everyone knows is loaded with unhealthy ingredients like butter or oil, but it’s also seasoned with salt and pepper to make it taste better. you order them at a restaurant check out the nutrition facts and you’ll see that there are over 200 calories in just half a serving. Even if you only eat one serving, it’s still too many calories to have at breakfast.
2) Cereal with Whole Milk
People who prefer hot cereal for breakfast do so because they believe that eating light will keep them from feeling sluggish. However, there are plenty of unhealthy cereals to avoid even if you don’t add cream or sugar. One study found that people who ate sugary cereals for breakfast were 78% more likely to be obese than those who choose low-sugar options. Also, while it might seem like eating whole grain would make a cereal healthy, not all whole grains are created equal. Look for cereals that are labeled “100% whole grain” rather than just “whole grain.”
When you think of white bread, the first thing that comes to mind are French fries or a glazed doughnut. But did you know one bagel can have 300 calories and almost 11 grams of fat? That’s worse than a Big Mac! Eating this for breakfast will definitely leave you feeling sluggish throughout your morning. Studies have also found that eating white bread early in the day makes it harder to control your appetite later on . If you really want something carb-laden for breakfast, try an Ezekiel English muffin instead. Not only is it 100% whole grain, but it also contains 6 grams of protein.
4) Large Cinnamon Roll
It is not unusual to see “cinnamon roll” on restaurant menus at breakfast time. Like bagels, these cinnamon rolls are made with white bread dough and they’re generously frosted with cream cheese icing. It’s no surprise that one cinnamon roll can have more than 700 calories! When you spread the icing on top of the roll, it adds even more calories and fat. Try eating whole grain toast instead or just skip it altogether if you want something sweet for breakfast. You don’t need a pastry to get your fix. If you really crave sugar in the morning, try some fruit instead.
5) Blueberry Muffin
Muffins are muffin tops… in more ways than one. At 330 calories per average muffin, blueberry or not, you definitely don’t want to be eating these for breakfast. If you must have something sweet with your morning coffee, try an oatmeal raisin cookie instead. It’s still got all the flavors of a blueberry muffin and would only set you back about 200 calories. Blueberries themselves are great antioxidant foods and can help reduce cancer risk, making them a good addition to any diet – just not as the main ingredient in a high-calorie breakfast pastry!
There is nothing quite so American as enjoying pancakes for breakfast on the Fourth of July or at a family brunch. However, this classic breakfast isn’t very diet-friendly, no matter how you top them. According to the American Heart Association, a single buttermilk pancake contains 160 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat. That’s not including syrup or any other toppings! While some people might think they’d feel fuller if they took their time eating pancakes, one study found that even when participants ate at a slow pace, their bodies produced insulin spikes from the carbs in pancakes just as if it were white bread. Pancaking breakfast time up with a morning workout is definitely the way to go for staying healthy.
7) Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Having a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast may seem novel at first glance. After all, most people have had this classic comfort food for lunch or dinner. However, most people don’t realize that a single grilled cheese sandwich can have more than 450 calories! This high-fat dish is made worse with the addition of bacon, which adds even more saturated fat to your morning meal. If you are craving the flavors of a grilled cheese in the morning, substitute some whole wheat bread instead and add an egg for protein.
8) Coffee Cake
Just because something has “cake” in its name doesn’t mean it’s actually good for you! Coffee cakes are usually just miniature cakes baked into bar form. While they might seem harmless, one coffee cake can have up to 680 calories! That’s almost twice what you should be eating in a day! The good news is you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of coffee cake in a much healthier version. Make an apple cinnamon bread instead and cut it into slices to serve. You’ll get all the morning flavors you want without loading up on calories!
9) Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast burritos are very popular, especially when eaten at fast food chains like Chipotle. What many people don’t realize is that these burritos often contain more than 1000 calories! If you’re planning to eat out for breakfast, stick to restaurant chains where you know they will include whole grains and lean protein in their dishes. This way, even if they do load up the burrito with junk, at least it won’t be as fattening as it would be otherwise.
10) Sausage McMuffin with Egg
McDonald’s is one of the most well-known fast food chains in America, but very few people realize just how unhealthy their breakfasts can be! The Sausage McMuffin with Egg has 550 calories, 29 grams of fat and 1100 mg of sodium. It may seem like a good idea to grab some breakfast on your way to work, but think again. This sandwich alone contains nearly all the calories you should eat in an entire day! If you are looking for something quick on the go, make yourself an egg white omelet instead with low-fat cheese and whole grain bread. You’ll get more protein and fiber without all the fat and sodium.
When choosing a healthy breakfast, it’s best to make your own at home and bring it with you in a cooler. This way, you can control the amount of fat, calories and sodium in your meal. Plus, cooking for yourself is always healthier than going out!
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