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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Top 4 Worst Breakfast Foods

Most people are indoctrinated in the idea that breakfast food has to be doughnuts, bagels, waffles and juice. These foods are quick, easy and most importantly, sound “normal” as a morning meal. But think back to your last breakfast of cereal and orange juice. Did you feel a little shaky? Need a second cup of coffee? Become ravenous again only 1-2 hours later? It’s a proven fact that a breakfast full of organic proteins and vegetables leads to fat loss, sustained energy and decreased sugar cravings. It might take a little longer to prepare the foods suggested in this blog, but good things are worth the wait. So here you have it, the four worst breakfast foods for your health AND a few great options for fat loss and improved vitality.

Egg Whites – Many people ask for egg whites in an attempt to “cut out the bad fat” from their breakfast. However, studies show that there is no correlation between eating whole eggs and weight gain, heart disease or high cholesterol levels. Because the yolk of the egg contains a tremendous amount of vital nutrients (such as protein, inflammation fighting essential fatty acids, vitamins A and D and calcium) when you opt for just egg whites, you’re left with mostly water and a slight amount of protein. So if you’re serious about getting the most bang for your buck out of the foods you choose, go with the whole egg. In addition to being one of the most complete proteins available, the whole egg is so healthy that some say it’s better to eat an egg than it is to take a multi vitamin!

Skim Milk – In an attempt to “cut out fat” to lose fat, many people choose skim milk over whole milk when it comes to their breakfast cappuccino or bowl of cereal. But remember: healthy dietary fat will not make you fat! Just like stripping the yolk from the egg removes the majority of its nutrients, stripping the fat from dairy products leaves you with what is essentially sugar water. And we all know that eating sugar leads to rapid weight gain! In fact, in 2005, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health studied the weight and milk consumption of roughly 13,000 kids ages 9 to 14 from across the country. And what did they find? Contrary to what most health magazines would like you to believe, "skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not." So if you’re going to have dairy in your diet, make it organic and go for the real thing! Did you know they even add powdered, processed milk to skim milk (even the organic brands) to make it look white? The real version just keeps sounding more appealing…

Oatmeal – Or really any type of granola, cereal or grain. There’s no better way to get the dreaded pooch belly than starting off your day with a big bowl of oatmeal, granola or any of the other breakfasts that come in a box. To your body, grains are just sugar. So whether you’re eating cereal or granola or a slice of bread, your body’s hormonal response is the same: you’re eating sugar! Because these foods leave you full but not nutritionally satisfied, you’ll often find that you are hungry again only 1-2 hours after breakfast. So while most people would consider yogurt and granola a “light” breakfast, you’ll actually eat more after that type of meal than you would after a meal containing healthy fat, vegetables and animal protein. So instead of loading up on dessert in disguise at breakfast time, make your morning meal look like dinner and you’ll be on the road to weight loss and improved mental acuity.

Orange Juice – To your body, orange juice is just sugar. Many people ask me if having a fruit juice (even freshly squeezed) is a good way to load up on nutrients at breakfast time. And I always say the same thing: Don’t drink your calories! If you want the nutrients from an orange, eat an orange. Because digestion starts during the chewing process, when you drink (instead of eat) your foods, the sugar content is more quickly transported to your blood, causing an insulin roller coaster than can lead to increased body fat. Instead, start your day with a large glass of high quality water and save room for the good stuff…food! Which brings me to:

Some Healthy Breakfast Options:

Smoked salmon, sauteed spinach and a side of blueberries
Organic chicken sausage and a side of zucchini sauteed in coconut oil
Organic eggs with a side of avocado

And if you don’t have time to cook….

On The Go Breakfast Options:

Hard-boiled eggs (easy to make the night before)
Organic beef jerky with a side of walnuts
Leftovers! Meat balls, turkey burgers or any protein leftover from the night before is a great quick and easy breakfast.