One of the biggest mistakes you can make, when it comes to your diet, is skipping breakfast. The second mistake is eating the wrong breakfast.
You’ve definitely been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know what you should be eating for that meal? Many people are mis-informed when it comes to what makes a healthy breakfast choice.
When choosing your breakfast: aim for less than 400 calories, at least 30 grams of protein, and less than 10 grams of sugar. Protein is the most important part of the first meal of the day. Having at least 30 grams of protein in the morning is essential for getting your body started and maintaining a positive nitrogen balance. A positive nitrogen balance is the key to feeling fuller, keeping blood sugar levels consistent all day, and maintaining muscle mass.
Here are some examples of common breakfast food mistakes, and why they aren’t actually “healthy.”
Yes, even the cereals that advertise their health benefits or boast “high protein.” Check the nutrition labels, because the chances are they are not as “healthy” as they claim. Cold cereals are often full of sugar and have little-to-no protein. You might as well poor yourself a bowl of sugar and empty calories.
Fruit / Fruit Smoothies
Fruit can be a great addition to a full breakfast, but it is not a meal by itself. You aren’t doing your body any favors by starting your day off with a grapefruit or an apple. Your body needs fuel and can’t produce energy without a source of protein.
If your fruit smoothie includes anything more than ice, water and fruit then you are adding unnecessary sugars to your breakfast. Many recipes and the smoothies you buy from restaurants include sugary yogurt or fruit juices.
Again, read the nutrition labels! Just because the wrapper says, “Excellent Source of Protein” doesn’t mean that’s true. Check the Nutrition Facts for sugar content and protein-to-carb ratio. If there the bar contains less than 15 grams of protein, has more than 10 grams of sugar or the carbs are more than double the amount of protein, then it is not a sufficient meal replacement.
Do right by your body and start each day by having a filling and healthy breakfast with at least 30 grams of protein.