A healthy breakfast can set the tone for nutritious choices all day long. Consider these not-so-healthy breakfast foods sabotage.
1. Low- or no-fiber cereals
Cereal that is high in carbohydrates and sugar and low in fiber will cause your blood sugar to spike, then quickly drop—which can lead to mid-morning cravings and moodiness. Nutritionist Mitzi Dulan, RD, author of The Pinterest Dietrecommends choosing cereal with at least three grams of fiber per serving. Boost the fiber further by adding berries, a sprinkle of wheat germ or flaxseed, or sliced almonds.
2. Breakfast bars
“Most are loaded with sugar and have little to no protein and fiber,” says Rania Batayneh, MPH, author of The One-One-One Diet. She recommends looking for those that combine protein, fiber, and healthy fats such as KIND bars, many of which have fewer than 5 grams of sugar and at least 5 grams of protein.
3. A cup of non-fat yogurt
It's not a knock against dairy; this is a case of a too-small morning meal. “I see many people who eat too little for breakfast” and then are ravenous by mid-morning, says Batayneh. Depending on your weight and activity levels, she recommends a calorie range of 250 to 400. So to your yogurt, add a small bowl of oatmeal, for example, to make a more complete and energy-boosting meal.
4. A glass of juice
Dulan is surprised by how many non-breakfast eaters grab a glass of juice and call it a meal. “It’s all carbs, all sugar, and you’re not balancing it out with other nutrients,” she explains. Same goes for healthy-looking, cold-pressed green juices, too; just because it contains kale doesn’t makes it a solid breakfast. “These often don’t have enough protein, which will accelerate your hunger by mid-morning,” says Janet Helm, RD, a blogger at Nutrition Unplugged. She suggests taking in something with fiber, protein, and fat like an apple and peanut butter.
5. Coffee deluxe
Another popular choice among people who aren’t hungry for a morning meal is coffee. But many add-ons can be carb or sugar bombs, says Dulan: “Many people like their coffee with added syrups, sugar, and other ingredients that can add calories without protein or fiber.” The caffeine boost may give you an immediate energizing jolt, but it won’t provide all-morning nourishment.