As your mother may have taught you, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kickstarts your metabolism, gives you the energy you need to transition from a night of rest into a day of action, and sets the tone for the rest of the meals you'll crave and consume. Unfortunately, there are a host of breakfast foods that do more harm than good. Keep scrolling for 13 foods you should cut from your a.m. routine.
Bacon is the stuff of hangover dreams, and it should stay there. Sadly the salty cured meat is scarily high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and often heavily processed with nitrates that can cause headaches.
Though a bagel with cream cheese, butter, preserves, or alone is one of the most popular American breakfast options, it's also a dense hunk of empty carbohydrates with very little nutritional value (fiber, protein, whole grains etc.). Eating one bagel is equivalent to eating four pieces of bread, which is probably more than you'd ever do on a given morning.
In many instances, a breakfast bar is no different than a candy bar in terms of sugar and calories. And you wouldn't eat a chocolate bar for breakfast (hopefully!). Even healthier options that tout whole grains, fiber, and protein, are candy-coated with chocolate and sugary shells, and, at the very least, are full of processed ingredients.
Similarly, Nutella is not nutritious simply because it has nuts in it. It's a sugary, chocolatey spread that can't compare to natural nut butters.
You'll find many nutritionists recommend skipping liquids that aren't water, because they're nothing more than empty sugar and calories. Orange juice is one of the biggest offenders, with most conventional brands containing high amounts of sugar that compare to a can of soda.
Cereals that don't have much fiber or protein are another source of empty calories; and with added sugar, they spike your blood sugar and leave you hungry shortly after consuming them. You should aim for a cereal with at least 4 grams of fiber to get the most out of your breakfast.
Take the carb-dense hunk of white flour that is a bagel, and combine it with the sugar of a chocolate nut spread, and then deep fry the whole thing, and you've got a donut. Sure, you're probably not regularly downing donuts on your commute to work, but they're truly one of the worst foods to eat at breakfast, or ever.
Add-ons like flavored syrup, whipped cream, half-and-half, and caramel sauce are what turn a regular coffee or latte into a calorie bomb. Keep your pick-me-up on the safe side with a little skim, almond, soy or other nut milk, and skip the sugary toppings.
More often than not, store-bought granola is covered with sugar (you can essentially taste the sugar granules covering the clusters of granola). So while it may taste delicious, it's more of a dessert topping than a sustainable breakfast option.
It's rare to find a "healthy" muffin unless you've made it from scratch. Processed muffins contain white flour, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives.
You'd be surprised that many shelf breads—even the multigrain ones—contain sugar as one of the first few ingredients, along with a whole host of other preservatives to keep them fresh. Instead, try frozen sprouted bread, which contain the healthiest ingredients and no preservatives.
Pancakes are processed white flour most often served with fat and sugar in the form of butter and syrup. They spike your blood sugar and make you feel hungry not long after eating them.
Waffles also lack nutritional value. If you're really craving one, make sure it's whole grain (and doesn't list sugar as one of its primary ingredients). Also, have it with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a piece of fresh, whole fruit.
What's your favorite healthy breakfast? Tell us in the comments! And click here for some filling breakfast options that are healthy and well-rounded!