Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD
Last Updated on:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does breakfast give you the fuel to break the fast you have undergone during a good night’s sleep. Breakfast also helps you concentrate better throughout the day and helps maintain your weight. For most people, breakfast is the only meal to include some vital nutrients such as calcium from milk as well as fiber and antioxidants from whole grains. Therefore, it is wise to choose healthy breakfast items to start your day and avoid breakfast items that have no nutritional value.
4 Breakfast Items to Avoid
Carrot Cake Muffin
Perhaps the word “carrot” make it sound like a healthy breakfast item, but most commercial carrot cake muffins are high in fat and calories. One serving of this favorite breakfast muffin from a coffee chain store contains a whopping 680 kilocalories and 40 grams of fat! Indeed, most muffins and scones are high in fat. Scones, in particular, usually contain trans fat as well.
Doughnuts are fried breakfast foods. If you do not eat french fries for breakfast, why would you eat fried doughnuts? One piece of glazed doughnut from a doughnut chain store contains 200 kcal of empty calories with precious few nutrients. What is worse is that it contains four grams of trans fat per serving. That is already two times more than the recommended amount of trans fat a day. Doughnuts with fillings contain even higher amounts of calories and trans fat, so stay away from this breakfast treat!
Similar to doughnuts, frozen waffles are another example of empty calories when it comes to breakfast foods. Most store-bought frozen waffles are basically refined grain combined with refined sugar and trans fat, lacking health-promoting vitamins, minerals and fiber. Most people add syrup and margarine on their breakfast waffles, hence adding even more calories and fat. Not a smart choice to start your day!
McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast
With such breakfast items as scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausages, pancakes and dressing and syrup, this deluxe breakfast contains a shocking 1,120 kcal and 61 grams of fat! With that much fat, it is like swallowing 13 teaspoons of vegetable oil in one setting! What is more shockingis that this breakfast item at McDonald’s contains 11 g of trans fat, that is is 5 times more than the daily recommended amount of trans fat!
The Bottom Line
The recommended daily intake for dairy is three servings a day and whole grains is at least three servings daily. If you do not normally eat these foods for lunch or dinner, it is easier to include these items in breakfast. Hence, choose whole grains such as whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals or oatmeal if possible. In addition, include a serving of dairy such as low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which is rich in protein, calcium and potassium. In general, try including at least three food groups in your breakfast so that you do not need to prowl for a mid-morning snack.
Gloria Tsang is the author of 5 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.