Not all foods are good for you and choosing the wrong foods can turn a healthy breakfast into a high-calorie, nutrient-poor breakfast quickly. Here are some common ways that people ruin a healthy breakfast.
Making Breakfast Too Sugary: Next time you go to the grocery store, take a look at all of the pre-sweetened cereals. Basically, these sugary cereals are just boxes of candy with a few vitamins and minerals added in. The sugar problem isn't just in boxes of cereal -- many people associate breakfast with sweet pastries and things you pop into the toaster. Sugary, high glycemic breakfasts have been associated with poorer mental performance. And in one study, women who ate high glycemic breakfasts burned less fat than women who ate low glycemic breakfasts. Stay away from extra sugar:
- Choose unsweetened, whole grain cereals. Just add a little sprinkle of sugar on top, but no more than a teaspoon.
- Instead of a pastry, pop a slice of whole grain bread into the toaster and then top it with a 100-percent fruit spread. You still get the sweet flavor, but a lot less sugar.
- Have a bowl of hot oatmeal with fresh berries and chopped walnuts. Not sweet enough? Add just a dab of real maple syrup or a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Not Enough Protein: Isn't it interesting how we associate certain foods with breakfast? Sugary cereals, pancakes and waffles smothered in syrup appeal to many people. These foods are high in sugar and starches, but low in protein. Protein keeps you feeling full longer so you won't feel so hungry in the middle in the morning. Make sure you get some good quality protein:
- Have a piece of 100-percent whole-grain toast with peanut butter or almond butter and a glass of milk.
- Eat an egg or two. Eggs help you feel full, and they are a great source of lutein that helps keep your eyes healthy.
- Use protein powder in a fruit smoothie.
- Eggs are an great source of protein. Choose omega eggs, which contain omega-3 fatty acids. Have a poached egg served over 100-percent whole grain toast.
- Lower fat meats like chicken or turkey can be eaten at breakfast. You can buy turkey sausage and turkey ham, but they may still contain nitrites and large amounts of sodium.
- Try salmon or tuna with a light mayonnaise on 100-percent whole grain toast. Each is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eat whole grain, unsweetened hot or cold breakfast cereals.
- Use whole grain bread instead of white bread for your toast.
- Make low fat oat bran muffins.
- Make an omelet with mushrooms, peppers and onions.
- Slice a grapefruit or orange in half and serve with a slice of 100-percent whole grain toast with peanut butter.
- Add berries, raisins, or bananas to your whole grain cereal.
- Keep ready-to-eat foods handy like hardboiled eggs, nuts, and fresh fruit.
- Make a fruit smoothie for breakfast.
- Make your own breakfast cereal bars with healthy whole grain cereals.
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