5 breakfast foods to avoid

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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Want to be smarter? Thinner? Have a better memory, and a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease?

You could start by eating breakfast.  Studies have shown those who eat breakfast are healthier. But to get the most out of your breakfast, there are foods you should avoid.

"The number one worst breakfast food you could have would be a bagel," said Manager, Wellness Nutrition Services, at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute Kristen Kirkpatrick, MS, RD.

A bagel averages about 500 calories, which is the equivalent of about five pieces of bread.  They are also generally made of stripped down wheat. 

"What this does to your body is it gives you a quick boost in blood sugar and insulin, followed by a quick crash," Kirkpatrick said.

Next is non-dairy coffee creamer. Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers and can help with brain function.

"[So] why would we ruin it by putting in a bunch of trans fats?" Kirkpatrick said.

Third is any cereal with food dyes in it. 

Kirkpatrick warns, "Any cereal that has some sort of fun color in it, you should be wary of."

Food dyes in colorful cereals have been linked to hyperactivity in children. Kirkpatrick says a good amount of sugar is about four grams per serving.

The fourth are breakfast sausages.  Processed sausages are loaded with sodium.  The recommended daily intake of sodium is 2300 milligrams, but most Americans get around 4600.

"When you have a breakfast sausage, you could get a third, even a half of that [amount], maybe even more," Kirkpatrick said.

The fifth worst food is probably one you already know is bad: a doughnut.

In a new study, people who ate breakfast as their largest meal lost an average of 17 pounds over three months. The other participants ate the same number of calories at dinner, but only lost seven pounds.

Kirkpatrick says the very best food you could eat for breakfast is one egg.  It has protein, important vitamins and minerals, and only eight calories.

Additional Information:

Most Americans are known to skip breakfast or grab a quick bite on the go, but it is not a good idea to skip the most important meal of the day. An estimated 31 million Americans skip breakfast each morning. Most people know that donuts and bagels are not the best breakfast choices, but some foods that are advertised as "healthy" may not be as nutritious as you think. Breakfast bars, drinks, and shakes are primarily made up of sugar and preservatives, and they are highly processed. Fruit juices and smoothies are not the best option either, unless they are homemade or freshly squeezed. Commonly, these drinks are high in calories and do not offer any nutritional value, though we believe that they do. (Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/5-unhealthy-breakfast-ideas-245928)

A Healthy Start: A lot of people do not believe that breakfast is an essential part to our day, but in reality it can greatly impact your health, both positively and negatively. A smart breakfast choice is a piece of fruit with greek yogurt, or a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and honey. Some of the benefits to eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast are:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Weight control
  • Less fat consumption
  • Lower cholesterol
  • More focused and productive
  • Reduced risk of heart disease

(Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/NU00197)

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