What is a healthy breakfast? Is it a bowl of cereal, a doughnut or a tall glass of juice? Many unhealthy foods such as sugary cereals and packaged fruit juices are marketed as health foods and thereby people include them in their daily diet. Find out more about which breakfast foods you should avoid.
Cereals can be one of the healthiest breakfast foods but unfortunately a lot of the packaged cereals in the market today contain more than double the amount of sugar you should be getting from your breakfast. When choosing a breakfast cereal, don't simply go by what is advertised in bold on the box. While "low in sugar" and "made with whole grains" sounds healthy, it is often no more than a marketing gimmick since these terms are vague. Look for a breakfast cereal that has 5 to 8 grams of sugar and 3 to 5 grams of fibre per serving. Make sure that whole grain is the first ingredient on the list as this indicates that it is the main ingredient.
While rushing to work in the morning, many of us decide to skip breakfast to save a few minutes and decide to simply pick up a couple of samosas while waiting for our bus or train. The fact that samosas are absolutely delicious when they are piping hot makes this option even more tempting. Unfortunately, samosas are about the worst breakfast choice you can make. Since it is deep fried, it obviously has high calorie content but what makes them a particularly bad choice is that they are generally fried using cheaper oils. These cheap oils break down and oxidize at high temperatures and this produces harmful compounds and carcinogens. Therefore samosas should definitely be on your list of breakfast foods to avoid.
Chole bhature served with onions, lime and pickle is an obvious favorite with just about everyone. Since the main portion of this meal is the chole made from chickpeas, it is not a low nutrition food. However, the amount of oil used to make the bhatture raises the calorie count of this breakfast to over 1000 calories. This heavy breakfast is also likely to give you heartburn and acidity and make you sluggish through the morning and is definitely one of the top 10 worst breakfast foods.
Frankie/ Indian Burrito
A hot chicken Frankie or roll may seem like one of the most perfect breakfast foods but it packs a whopping 500 to 700 calories! The wrap is made using processed flour and the preparation of the roll requires a great deal of oil and spices. The chicken that is used in a Frankie is generally cooked and then fried which reduces its nutritional value.
Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Salami
Processed meats contain nitrates which have been linked to several types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. These meats also contain significant amounts of flour or starch-based fillers and some sausages may have as much as 30 percent of these fillers. A heavy and rich breakfast of bacon, ham, sausage and salami will also be very high in calories and you would be in a better place getting your protein fix from eggs instead!
Burgers have become one of the most common fast foods and they are often used as a substitute for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Burgers are very addictive since they are high in fat, salt and refined carbs but it is these very ingredients that make it so unhealthy. The high level of trans-fatty acids in burgers have been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Most burgers contain large amounts of sodium and some of them contain as much as 1,500 mg of sodium which is your entire recommended sodium intake in a day. Many fast food joints also use unhealthy additives such as sodium phosphate and nitrates as part of the preservation process. The trans-fats present in burgers damage the lining of the blood vessels and increase the risk of inflammation making it one of the top inflammation foods to avoid.
Doughnuts are made out of refined white flour dough that is deep fried and then covered in sugar- if that does not scream unhealthy, what does! There is nothing redeeming about this snack - it is easily one of the worst foods in the market today as doughnuts contain the "unholy trinity" - refined flour, processed sugar and trans-fats. Most doughnuts are approximately 35 to 40 percent trans-fats, these fats are particularly unhealthy as they decrease the level of heart-healthy good cholesterol and increase the level of bad cholesterol. So if you've ever wondered, "what foods should I avoid to lower my cholesterol", doughnuts should definitely be at the top of your list of foods to avoid.
Instant noodles are highly processed and are almost devoid of any nutritive value. A single serving of instant noodles is high in processed carbs and sodium and low in minerals and vitamins. The high sodium levels is one of the biggest causes for concern as each serving of instant noodles contains more than half of an adult's daily recommended allowance of sodium. Foods that are high in sodium have been linked to heart disease, kidney problems and hypertension. A recent study from The Journal of Nutrition showed that consuming instant noodles just twice per week is associated with a 68 percent increased incidence of metabolic syndrome among women. Metabolic syndrome is associated with several health conditions and drastically increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Packaged Fruit Juices
Fruit juice may seem like one of the best healthy breakfast ideas for people rushing to work and while fresh fruit juice is a healthy drink, packaged fruit juices can be very unhealthy. Many packaged fruit juices contain more sugar than colas and aerated drinks and one study showed that the risk of obesity in children was increased by 60 percent with just a single daily serving of packaged fruit juice. Many fruit juices contain added sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup which increases the calorie count of the drink and therefore increases the risk of obesity.
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