Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day. I’m sure you’ve heard this, but does it actually happen? Between busy schedules, wrangling kids, or long commutes, it is often neglected! Taking extra time to make breakfast happen is always a good idea! Starting the day off right fuels your body, stabilizes blood sugars, and jumpstarts your metabolism. Not only is eating breakfast important, but you should also try to eat a better breakfast. What makes a better breakfast? I’ve compiled a list of 12 things that you should avoid eating for breakfast:
1.A Breakfast Without Protein
Starting your day with a balanced meal that includes protein will help you feel more full and satisfied. Protein is digested slower than carbohydrate, so it will keep you feeling fuller, longer. Try peanut butter on your bagel, chopped pecans on your oatmeal, or a boiled egg with your fruit.
2. A Large Glass of Juice
While 1/2 cup of fruit juice is considered a serving of fruit, juice contains a large amount of sugar, without the healthy fiber. You’re better off eating the whole fruit. But don’t forget some protein!
3. A Cup of Joe…and Nothing Else!
Not only do you need more nutrients to fuel your body, a strong cup of coffee can be very hard on the stomach. Coffee can still be a part of a balanced breakfast when paired with a balanced meal.
4. Packaged Smoothies
Pre-made smoothies often contain a large amount of fruit and sometimes sweeteners, making the sugar content quite high. Instead, make your own smoothie, and make sure there is yogurt, protein powder, cottage cheese, or hemp hearts to add some protein.
5. Energy Drinks
These drinks are loaded with sugar and caffeine. While you may feel a surge of energy immediately afterwards, it usually ends in a crash. You’re much better off with a nutritious, balanced breakfast that will help sustain you through the day.
Just kidding! Pizza and other dinner leftovers can make a great breakfast! There is no rule saying you have to eat breakfast foods in the morning
7. Sugary Cereals
When choosing cereals, read the nutrition facts label. Try to choose ones that are lower in sugar, contain whole grains, and have at least 3-4 grams of fiber per serving. You can also add more fiber by sprinkling your cereal with chopped nuts, flax, or chia seeds.
8. Spoiled Milk
You definitely don’t want to be eating anything rancid or moldy! Get into the habit of frequently checking the dates on your refrigerated items.
9. Packed Breakfast Pastries
These items are typically very high in sugar and total fat. Consuming something super sweet for breakfast will often lead to a crash later in the day. If you are going to have an occasional sweet treat, stop by your favorite bakery or donut shop and get one that is truly going to satisfy your craving, and then round out the rest of your day with balanced meals.
10. Candy Bars
Resist the temptation to grab a candy bar when you stop by the 7-11 on your way to work. Most convenience stores are now offering much more nutritious options, like boiled eggs, cut fruit, and yogurt! Take a look around the store next time you stop in.
11. A Meal That Only Contains One Item
Variety is key to a healthy, balanced diet. Try incorporating more food groups into your meals.
12. Media-Filled Meals
You should not be immersed in the tv, computer, tablet, or phone during your morning meal (or any meal). Make an effort to eat your breakfast in a way that is relaxing and memorable. Take the time to SAVOR your food so you feel more satisfied!
If you find it difficult to plan healthy, home-cooked meals that fit your lifestyle, call or set up an appointment with a Registered Dietitian today!
To make an appointment with Kaitlin or another one of our nutrition professionals, please call 301-474-2499 or click here.
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.