Breakfast Foods You Should Avoid Eating to Stay Healthy
Updated: Jul 10
Breakfast has been regarded as the "most important meal of the day" since childhood, so why fill it with foods that won't nourish your body or give you the energy you need for the day. Many of the most popular breakfast items for Americans aren't the healthiest. Even though many people are looking for healthier options that will benefit their body, it's easier to either skip breakfast or reach for something quick to grab and eat or heat up in order to start their day as fast as possible - treating their taste buds and not necessarily their body.
Here are some of the worst breakfast foods that you should skip:
5 Breakfast Foods to Avoid
The fact that Americans don't necessarily seem to have the time to sit down and enjoy their breakfast, leaves many susceptible to go for a more unhealthy option, simply for ease and accessibility. Savoring the food that they're eating to nourish the body has gone out the door.
With that in mind, here is a list of 5 of the top breakfast foods to avoid if you're looking for a healthy way to start your day and 5 alternatives to some healthier options that will still taste as good as your favorite breakfast items.
1. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is often a mixture of water and a fruit concentrate loaded with added sugars, sometimes almost as much as a can of soda per serving. They don't offer fiber to slow down the digestion process or off much of anything for your health. It's widely known and acknowledged that sugar is bad for you but with advertising from corporations wanting to sell more of a product, it's important to read the nutritional facts to find out what exactly is going into your body.
If you do want some fruit juice it's much better to use a juicer and make your own so that you can get more of the vitamins from the fruit while monitoring the sugar intake.
Pastries are some of the most delicious breakfast foods and often serve as a complement to that morning cup of coffee, but most of them are filled with refined sugar and saturated fats. They have almost no nutritional value to them, thus placing them quite high on the unhealthy breakfast foods ranking. Bear in mind that pastries are also considered desserts when thinking about what to start your day off with.
For a healthier alternative, find a healthy recipe for simple loaves of bread-- banana, pumpkin, or anything else you'd want; you'll know what you're intaking, feel a closer connection to your food, and have a healthier substitute that is still delicious.
3. Artificially-Sweetened Flavored Yogurt
Often marketed as a healthier option to parents and children alike, artificially-sweetened flavored yogurt really isn't all that healthy for you. Natural yogurt is fermented milk and has a more sour taste to it, something that wasn't as appealing to the mass American market, thus an increase of additives and sugar added in it.
Instead, try having unstrained natural or greek yogurt for a healthier alternative. These options taste very similar but without all of the artificial sweeteners.
4. Processed Meats
Processed meats are any meats that have been preserved or enhanced in flavor, including some breakfast favorites such as bacon, sausage, and cold cuts. In highly-processed meats, the ingredients list will contain some ingredients that might raise an eyebrow, but the main concern is surrounding carcinogens and associations with chronic diseases in processed meats.
Instead, try some more natural cuts of meat and add your own spice to them instead of relying on nitrate-ridden processed meats.
5. Store-Bought Breakfast Sandwiches
A sausage-cheese-and-egg sandwich, whether frozen or from a fast-food restaurant, seems to be a ubiquitously American breakfast. Although they will deliver adequate amounts of protein and carbd per serving, they also contain extremely large amounts of salts and saturated fats and have a low fiber content.
For a healthier alternative, meal prep your own breakfast sandwiches, customized to your liking. Freeze them to have the same ease of grabbing one from the fridge, microwave it, and run out the door.
What Constitutes a Healthy Breakfast?
There is a lot of research being done on foods that are bad for you and foods to avoid, so what actually makes a breakfast healthy? A proper breakfast should not contain foods that are processed and high in fats and sugars and low in fiber, protein, and other vitamins and nutrients vital to our body's success.
Instead, try to look for foods with lean protein, high fiber, low sucrose sugar content that aren’t processed. In every regard, making food from scratch is healthier, but sometimes it just isn't feasible in a society that runs on being busy and constantly working, but if you can spare the time and effort, you will surely notice a difference in your body.
A Note on Moderation
Something that I want to take the time to mention is about avoiding food and moderation; like everything, you should exercise moderation. However, eating a pastry for breakfast one morning isn’t the unhealthiest backtracking someone can make. It’s important to nourish your body— especially during breakfast, but it’s okay to have a treat in moderation.
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