What To Avoid: Worst Breakfasts for Your Waistline

A high-quality breakfast can start your day off right providing you with lasting energy to fuel your day, curb your cravings and help lower your risk for some chronic conditions. images

Worst Breakfast 1: No Breakfast at All

In the largest sample of successful dieters, 78 percent reported eating breakfast every day.  What’s more, a Harvard study reported that men who skipped breakfast were 27 percent more likely to develop heart disease and that female breakfast skippers had a 28 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Eating breakfast may also give you more energy: One study found that breakfast eaters burned 400 more calories during a day through increased daily activity.Orange_Julius_smoothies__2012

Worst Breakfast 2: Smoothies

Smoothies have a health halo, but unless you make it yourself, your smoothie may have more calories than a Big Mac and fries. Even grocery-store smoothies can have a natural sugar content similar to soda. And, despite the flavor, they’re usually just dressed-up apple juice.

Top Picks: Enjoy DIY smoothies with a base of Greek yogurt, frozen fruit (no added sugars) and milk.

Worst Breakfast 3: Juices or Juicing

Despite being lower in calories than smoothies and rich in myriad vitamins and antioxidants, juices aren’t the best way to start your day because most lack filling fiber and often pack in more natural sugar than a cola. Liquid sources of natural sugars cause a more rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, compared with eating solid foods of similar nutritional value.

Top Picks: Stop juicing and start eating! Opt for breakfasts with whole fruit and lean proteins like a bowl of Greek yogurt with fresh berries or sliced banana.


Worst Breakfast 4: Waffles, Pancakes, Bagels and Muffins

Waffles, pancakes, bagels and muffins are common breakfast choices, but they are rich in one thing you don’t want to start your day with: refined flour. They also lack filling fiber or protein. In fact, one study of dieters found those who ate a egg-based breakfast lost 65 percent more weight and lost more belly fat.

Top Picks: If you’re craving carbohydrates, make a pancake, waffle or mini muffin using whole grain flour as a side dish to your eggs.

Worst Breakfast 5: Egg Sandwiches

One of the most popular breakfast choices is a classic egg sandwich a fried egg, ham and cheese on a toasted bagel or English muffin. Breakfast sandwiches have about 300 to 400 calories, but most have up to four times as much low-quality carbs as protein. Because they generally are made with one egg, they fall short of the recommended 25 to 30 grams of protein needed for increased satiety and muscle protein synthesis.

Top Picks: Make your own sandwich using two eggs and one slice of lean bacon served in a whole-grain English muffin, bread or tortilla. When eating out always ask for your egg sandwich on a skinnier English muffin and check to see if the option of a breakfast “bowl” is available.

Worst Breakfast 6: Specialty Coffee Drinks

More than one third of coffee drinkers enjoy specialty coffee drinks every day. But many of these beverages have more than 300 calories and can pack in more sugar than a bowl of Froot Loops, making them more like liquid candy. A sugary start to your day may lead to increased hunger and cravings for sweets once the blood sugar levels plummet.

Top Picks: Opt for cappuccino or lattes and downsize to a small (12 ounce). Skip the added whipped cream and syrups. And if you like almond or soy milk, ask if it’s unsweetened.

Worst Breakfast 7: “Whole Grain” or “High Fiber” Cold Cereals

Don’t let claims like “made with whole grains” or “high fiber” fool you. Research from Harvard published in Public Health Nutrition suggests whole-grain claims may indicate that the food is rich in sugar, sodium and higher in calories. The best bets they suggest are grains with one gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbs.

Top Picks: Some of the healthiest options : Post Shredded Wheat Original, with 40 grams of carb and six grams of fiber, and Quaker Old Fashioned oats, with 27 grams of carbs and four grams fiber.

Worst Breakfast 8: Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is heralded as a super food because it contains twice the protein and about half the natural sugars of regular yogurt if it’s made using the traditional straining process. A plain Greek yogurt has about one gram of natural milk sugar per ounce, or eight grams (two teaspoons) per cup. But some flavored varieties have three to four times that.

Top Picks: Opt for low-sugar, protein-packed plain Greek yogurt and flavor with fresh or dried fruit.

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