What’s the best fuel to start your day, and which foods should you avoid?
What’s the best way to start your day? For too long, we have been led to believe that some breakfast foods are beneficial. Today, we look at the five food choices to avoid at the start of your day.
Yes, you read that correctly. Bananas may seem like a healthy grab-and-go breakfast item, full of good stuff such as potassium, fibre and magnesium. But according to nutritionists, they are loaded with sugar – a massive 25 per cent. But isn’t it natural sugar, you ask? The reality is, sugars are sugars. So, while a banana in the morning may give you an energy boost, you’re at risk of crashing sooner. You can still have your morning banana, just pair it with a healthy fat to help your body absorb all the nutrients properly. Peanut butter, natural yoghurt and porridge are great accompaniments.
2. Store-bought muesli
This one goes for almost all those premixed cereals you find at the supermarket. Sure, honey, oats and dried fruit might seem like a healthy combination, but flip the box and read the nutritional information, and you’ll find these cereals are loaded with fat and sugar. In fact, most boxed granola contains up to 10 grams of fat (equalling 400 calories) per serving. All that sweetened dried fruit and refined wheat flakes/oats are only adding to the problem. The solution? DIY muesli is a great way to go. Try combining wholegrain oats, raw nuts, organic dried fruit, seeds, spices and a touch of natural sweetness, such as raw honey.
3. Pancakes, waffles and croissants
Because these foods contain a lot of empty carbs, pancakes, waffles and croissants should really only make the breakfast menu on special occasions. It isn’t just the refined carbs we have to worry about but also the foods typically paired with them; pancakes with maple syrup, waffles with jam, croissants with ham and cheese. All in all, you’d do better with a breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates, which gives you longer-lasting energy and will keep you fuller for longer. Try poached eggs on toast with some avocado.
4. Take-away coffee and muffin
If you’re one to exit the house in a hurry and pick brekky up on the road, you’ll be no stranger to the take-away coffee and muffin combo. In terms of energy, these two items are wonderful for perking you up and giving you enough sugar to start the day. But you’ll soon run out of steam and begin to crave a top-up. A coffee is a perfectly acceptable morning drink but the muffin is basically a glorified snack cake, usually packed with refined sugar, sodium and trans-fat oils. However, it’s easy to mix up your own healthy morning muffins to take with you. Just make sure to use wholegrain flours (such as oat, quinoa or spelt) and natural sugars (such a raw honey, organic maple syrup).
Ever wondered why breakfast smoothies are so easy to drink? Yep, sugar and fat. Many fruit smoothie stands use a combination of full-fat milk, sweetened yoghurt and fruit juice concentrate in their smoothies. Another problem with blended meals is that your body doesn’t absorb all the nutrients from the fruit and dairy properly, so you’re losing out on important nutritional value. But breakfast smoothies don’t have to be all bad. You can make your own fruit smoothies using fresh fruit, skim milk, raw honey and natural yoghurt.
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