The 6 Worst Breakfast Foods for Weight LossArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Healthy breakfast foods can set the course for your whole day. Start with a filling, nutritious and diet-friendly meal and you’ll have the energy you need to keep busy all morning.
Just as important, healthy breakfast foods lay the foundation for you to eat well throughout your day, helping you to stay on track to your weight loss goal.
The opposite is also true: If your first meal of the day doesn’t nourish you well, you’ll be challenged to stick to your healthy diet for the rest of the day.
Surprisingly, many popular breakfast foods lead you in the wrong direction and are actually unhealthy. We asked Kaitlyn Wolk, a Dietary Counselor at Nutrisystem, to tell us about the worst breakfast foods and to provide some better options.
Here are the six breakfast foods that you should cut from your diet and what you should replace them with:
1. Bagel with Cream Cheese
Most types of bagels are high in calories and simple carbohydrates. Slather them with cream cheese and you add excess saturated fats, too. “This is not nutrient balanced,” Wolk says, and it won’t “keep you feeling full throughout the morning.” Traditional bagels are a clear food to avoid for breakfast.
Healthy choice: Nutrisystem Honey Wheat Bagel with fat-free cream cheese. The bagel has just 160 calories, only two grams of fat and zero cholesterol. Best of all, it comes with four grams of fiber, 16 percent of your RDA, so you’ll feel full and energized to start your day.
2. Sugary Cereals
A staple in many homes, breakfast cereals can be a healthful morning meal, but be sure to read labels carefully. Many varieties—even those that do not have marshmallows or chocolate—can be very high in added sugar and are an unhealthy breakfast option that should be avoided. “Shortly after eating sugary cereals you will feel your energy level starting to crash,” Wolk says. “And they will cause you to crave sugar later in the day.”
Healthy choice: Freshly made oatmeal with fruit such as apples or berries makes a hearty breakfast. If you don’t have time to prepare oatmeal, pour yourself a bowl of Nutrisystem’s Sweetened O’s Cereal, which has a light eight grams of sugar compared to the 11 or more grams in the best-selling brands. For help selecting a healthier cereal, click here.
3. Breakfast Meats
Bacon and sausage are favorites for many families and they’re a frequent choice for people who follow the very trendy high-protein diets. “However, these meats are high in saturated fat as well as sodium,” Wolk reports. Each single strip of cooked bacon has an average of one gram of fat and 137 milligrams of sodium and a typical sausage patty hits you with 22 grams of fat and 400 milligrams of sodium. If you want to occasionally indulge, “stick to a more lean meat like turkey sausage or turkey bacon,” Wolk advises.
Healthy choice: A Nutrisystem Turkey Sausage & Egg Muffin delivers 14 grams of protein with only five grams of fat and a reasonable 270 milligrams of sodium.
4. Bottled Smoothies
Since these drinks contain fruits and veggies, they can appear to be a smart breakfast option. But check the label carefully. “Pre-made smoothies are often packed with added sugar to sweeten their flavor,” Wolk says. “It would be much healthier to make a smoothie on your own.”
Healthy choice: To create your own delicious and nutrient-rich smoothie for breakfast, blend two parts sweet, juicy vegetables like cucumbers with half as much of your favorite fruit. Add a half-part each of dark leafy greens and herbs such as mint. If you want your drink to be creamy, blend in plain yogurt.
5. Coffee Drinks
For many people, coffee is an essential way to start the day because the caffeine it contains is a potent stimulant that provides energy. But drinks made with coffee are often loaded with sugar and excessive calories. “Some Frappuccinos, with added whipped cream and flavored syrups can add up to over 400 calories,” Wolk says.
Healthy choice: Black coffee is almost completely free of fat or even calories, so it’s nutritionally nearly the same as water. If you need to make the flavor less bitter, try using skim or soy milk.
6. Donuts and Pastries
You probably already know that donuts and pastries are an unhealthy breakfast because they’re loaded with fat and sugar, and often topped with a sugary coating or stuffed with cream, adding even more calories. “These sweets, including toaster pastries and many muffins, quickly increase your blood glucose levels and then drop them so you are hungry again soon after eating them,” Wolk says.
Healthy choice: For a diet-friendly treat to enjoy with your morning coffee, try a Nutrisystem Cinnamon Roll, which has just five grams of fat and comes with 20 percent of your daily need for fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer.
Learn more about creating a healthy Flex breakfast and don’t forget to consult the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide when purchasing your ingredients.