It's well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, an unhealthy breakfast is worse than no breakfast. If you're not eating the right foods for breakfast, Payal Kothari, Integrative Nutritionist and Life Coach says "this makes the body release excess insulin and store fat as a result." Hence, it is important to kick-start the day with a breakfast meal that provides the right combination of the required fibre, protein and healthy fats.
Thanks to the fast-paced lives that we lead, we intentionally or unintentionally scarf down greasy and unhealthy quick fixes for breakfast. These quick breakfast foods can take a toll on our bodies in the long run. To ensure we don’t continue making these breakfast mistakes, we asked nutrition experts to share the worst breakfast foods according to them.
Sugary Breakfast Cereals
Ask nutritionist Kavita Devgan about breakfast cereals and without hesitation she will say that they are nothing but a combination of refined carbohydrates and sugar which spike our blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar leads to rebound hunger and makes us eat more at the next meal.
Agreeing with Devgan, Kothari adds, “Many breakfast cereal labels proudly advertise that they are good sources of nutrients like vitamin A and iron. In reality, they are more harmful than beneficial as these are artificially added. Making sure where the sugar is on the ingredient label would be a good way to pick a cereal box. The higher on the list the greater damage to our bodies. Reading a label wisely is important before choosing your breakfast cereal”.
Between oats and muesli, which is the better cereal for breakfast? If you're confused and don't know which cereal to choose for breakfast, let this story help you decide.
Just Coffee or Tea
Downing just a single cup of tea or coffee for breakfast and thinking you’re good to go? Devgan says think again, “Coffee for breakfast on an empty stomach can severely impact our digestion system in the morning. Plus, it is acidic, which is again bad news. Same goes for black tea.”
It is a similar situation for fruit juices. It’s easier to gulp down a glass of juice for breakfast rather than eating a whole fruit before heading to college or work. But Kothari suggests otherwise. She shares that eating a fruit for breakfast instead would not just satiate our hunger but also give us energy all day long. “Drinking juice for breakfast causes your blood sugar to rise very quickly making you tired and shaky. Lack of fibre or fat does not satiate your hunger. Most bottled or canned fruit juices from the market hardly have any fruit juice in them. It is sweetened with sugar/high fructose corn syrup, thus, increasing your risk of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases,” explains the expert.
Instead of fruit juices, how about trying wheatgrass smoothies for breakfast? With their high nutritional value, they ensure a power-packed breakfast. Check out these wheatgrass smoothie recipes shared with LF chefs.
Yoghurt is a good alternative, but picking up yoghurt from the store which comes loaded with 9 to 10 grams of sugar, preservatives and stabilisers is a huge mistake. Kothari provides an insight, good fats in your breakfast meal keep you full throughout the morning and help absorb essential nutrients from the foods you eat. Excess sugar makes the yoghurt tasty but causes sugar spikes which make you feel happy for a short duration. Then follows the slump and sugar craving.” The expert also adds that preservatives and stabilisers, when consumed on a daily basis, are harmful to the gut bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Hence, she suggests going for home-made yoghurt over the ones available in stores.
Also Read: Probiotics May Not Be Healthy For Everyone
Sugar-free energy bars made at home can be a healthy shortcut for
breakfast when you don't have the time or want to eat on the go. Follow this recipe to make your own batch of sugar-free energy bars at home.
Coming to this type of meat, Devgan says, they contain a high dose of sodium and filler ingredients like dextrose and corn sugar. In addition to this, they are also calorie-heavy due to the high fat content in them.
Thanks to this list of unhealthy breakfast habits, you may think you have run out of breakfast options. But that's not true. Indian cuisine offers several snacks that make for tummy-filling breakfast options. This list of Indian breakfast options will leave you with many ideas.
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