4 Ways You’re Turning Breakfast Into a Sugar Bomb
If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that as personal trainers, we advocate a nutrition plan low-in-sugar to support any health and fitness goal. Are you accidentally turning healthy breakfasts into sugar bombs? Keep reading to find out!
The following are some popular breakfast meals widely believed to be healthy but which can be easily made unhealthy with how they are prepared or their ingredient choices. We’ll give you the scoop as to why they’re unhealthy and provide you healthier alternatives.
Despite the popular belief that dairy is healthy, we strongly recommend avoiding it altogether in your diet (read The 2 Most Important Nutrition Tips for Accelerated Results where we first blogged about it).
In that introductory post, we explained that humans lack the digestive enzymes to breakdown cow’s milk. This means it both irritates the digestive tract and the nutrients it contains are unavailable to us – so yes, it’s high in calcium BUT we haven’t the biological means to assimilate it’s nutrients when we consume it.
Dairy also contains Insulin Growth Factor causing an insulin increase in a given meal up to 300%. As diabetics can attest, too many spikes in insulin over the years leads to diabetes. Dairy is highly inflammatory and mucous-forming, wreaking havoc on our system in their own special ways.
Milk does NOT do the body good.
4 Breakfasts You May Think Are Healthy
Smoothies. Are you surprised this one made the list? Every store-bought smoothie we’ve seen is unhealthy – mainly because they use a high-fructose (ex. orange juice) or dairy (ex. yogurt) as a base. If you buy your smoothie already made, the healthiest would be those made at a Mom-and-Pop shop. The healthiest smoothies are made at home where you can control the ingredients.
If you add more fiber and protein (like kale, spinach, hemp hearts, nuts, etc.) you will lower the glycemic index of the fruit. A good protein powder helps, too, choose one that’s vegan, organic, hemp or even whey (it’s a better source of dairy) protein. Include the skin on your fruit, it will increase the fiber content. You can substitute dairy for: any nut, coconut or rice milk, and use coconut yogurt instead of yogurt made from mammal milk.
Cereal. Even some of the most “healthiest” cereals on the market are not so healthy. Actually, we suggest you avoid any store-bought cereals, as they most likely have added ingredients (like sugar to help with shelf-life) making it unhealthy.
We recommend warm oatmeal (which is easier to digest and absorb it’s nutrients) using a protein shake or nut milk base. Top with fruits low on the glycemic index (ex. berries, cherries, apples and pears). For variety, make your own granola or trail mix for healthy cereal substitutions – just add nut milk and you’ll never miss your cereal again.
Restaurant Breakfasts. Sure, a breakfast that includes eggs, whole wheat toast and home-fries may sound healthy but maybe not so much… are those eggs pan-fried and in what kind of oil? Are the home-fries deep-fried? Is your whole wheat toast really healthy or is it a “junky” version (not all whole grain breads are processed the same!) and is it loaded with butter?
Those eggs, as healthy as they are, do have cholesterol in the yolk and so too many of these babies aren’t healthy either. Oh! And the real fast-food joints even use powdered eggs! Plus, restaurants usually give you PB and jam for your toast. All this is leads to too many calories in one sitting.
We recommend ordering for your next restaurant breakfast: 1 egg with 3 egg whites, and have them scrambled or poached. Real whole grain toast with no butter. Order turkey bacon (if possible) instead of the usual strip bacon made from swine. But if you really want a healthy breakfast – make it at home where you can control what oils you use for cooking and know for sure the ingredients are healthy!
Fruit & Yogurt. That’s right, there’s that pesky dairy again spiking our glucose levels in a breakfast meal we all thought was healthy! Honestly, dairy is not a great source of protein, not even Greek yogurt. Although a fruit and yogurt pairing isn’t recommended, it’s better than french toast. Goat’s milk yogurt is actually a fairly good substitution, as goat’s digestive enzymes are biologically more similar to ours than those of cow. There’s also coconut yogurt available now in many city grocers.
Nut butters are a great breakfast protein – just make sure you get the natural, pure butters – have you seen how much sugar is in Nutella or Skippy’s creamy PB? If you really want that cow’s milk yogurt, sprinkle cinnamon on it. Actually, to lower the glycemic index of any meal, use cinnamon. You can even sprinkle it in your coffee or tea!
There you are, folks, four ways you’re turning breakfast into a sugar bomb. We hope you learned a few nutrition facts you can use when you’re cooking at home or eating out.
If you ever need additional nutrition guidance, contact us for a complimentary consultation and let’s get started!