1. Low-Fat Yogurt
Despite its reputation for being rich in protein and prebiotics, low-fat yogurt often conceals a hidden drawback: an increased amount of added sugar compared to regular yogurt, intended to enhance its flavor. Consequently, due to its minimal fat content, this type of yogurt may leave you feeling less satiated.
2. Sugary Cereals
While sugary cereals may offer convenience for breakfast, they are far from being the healthiest option. Packed with highly processed ingredients, particularly added sugar, these breakfast cereals can potentially raise the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Instead, consider opting for whole-grain cereals or other nutritious breakfast alternatives to kickstart your day on a healthier note while still enjoying the convenience.
Don’t be fooled by the presence of fruit and oat toppings; muffins are not necessarily a healthy choice. The American Heart Association states that these seemingly wholesome breakfast treats can be loaded with excessive amounts of sugar, fat, and calories, posing potential long-term risks to your heart health.
It’s hard to resist a tempting stack of pancakes, but in reality, they fall far from being a nutritious choice. Brimming with refined white flour and lacking in protein and fiber, these delightful treats fail to provide long-lasting satiety, leaving you feeling hungry again sooner rather than later.
5. Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is known for its abundance of beneficial unsaturated fat and fiber; however, as a breakfast choice, it falls short in terms of protein content. To elevate its nutritional value, consider incorporating an egg, transforming it into a more substantial and wholesome option that offers a balanced combination of nutrients.
6. Buttered Toasts
Indulging in the delightful combination of crunchy toast with melted butter can certainly brighten our day. However, while this treat pleases our taste buds, it falls short in terms of promoting our overall health. Buttered toast tends to be high in refined carbohydrates and fat, potentially elevating the risk of heart disease and contributing to mood disorders.
Bananas are a fantastic choice for daytime consumption, but they may not be the most ideal option for mornings. Due to their high sugar content, eating bananas on an empty stomach can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Over time, this can potentially contribute to the development of type-2 diabetes.
8. Hash Brown Patties
Opting for pre-fried hash browns in your breakfast can contribute to a higher calorie intake. Moreover, this breakfast choice, consisting of fried foods, can potentially lead to intestinal inflammation, as highlighted by the National Institutes of Health. It’s advisable to be mindful of these factors when considering this particular morning option.
Bagels are undeniably a popular breakfast choice, but it’s worth noting that they tend to be high in carbohydrates and calories. As a breakfast option primarily made from refined white flour, bagels may not offer sufficient nutritional value to kickstart your morning on a wholesome note.
10. Energy bars
You might think sweet treats would be a good way to get that early morning pick me up, but our bodies aren’t built for huge doses of sugar first thing in the morning. Slow-release carbs not only last a while but gradually help wake our bodies up as we recover from sleep. Energy bars offer a burst that quickly burns out.
11. Skim milk
Milk has been a staple breakfast beverage across the world for centuries due to its high nutrient and fat content. That fat content is exactly why it’s so good for you, as the positive cholesterol and high iron content are great for the body when it wakes. Research shows that skim milk loses a lot of those good components for little benefit.
12. Fruit juice
Mass-produced fruit juices are loaded with sugar above anything else, and since juice is often a side to already high-sugar cereals it might be a good idea to choose one or the other. They do contain a lot of nutrients and are high in essential vitamins like A and C, but you can get that and plenty more by eating the raw fruit itself.
13. Pre-prepared oatmeal
Ready-made instant oatmeal packets, despite being delicious and extremely convenient, are often packed with more sugar than fiber before you even consider the flavorings. Overnight oats can be simple, and save you plenty of time in the morning while still ensuring you are full of fiber, one of the most important ingredients for a healthy breakfast.
You know these are awful for you, nobody needs that explaining to them. Nothing with colors like that can possibly come from nature, but it’s all those addicting artificial ingredients that make them taste so good. Regardless, these are designed for children’s erratic metabolisms, not to offer a healthy and balanced breakfast.
15. Granola bars
Logically, it makes sense that granola bars are so popular for breakfast, but nutritionally they’re much better suited for a mid-afternoon snack. They don’t contain anywhere near the same level of fiber as regular granola, and the sugar content is so high you’ll barely have time to chew before it burns itself out of your system.
Margarine spread emerged during a time when saturated fats were demonized as the cause of several health maladies. Nowadays with our more advanced methods, we know it’s more complicated. Margarine is often lower in saturated fats, but very high in trans fats due to its production process. Trans fats we know are absolutely harmful.
While it may conjure the image of a gentle and dainty British countryside breakfast, the recipe is mostly butter and sugar. That’s already not great, but tradition dictates you then have to cover it in whipped cream and jelly. The resulting combination is a fat and sugar bomb, which lacking a decent fiber content, won’t even fill you up in the morning.
18. Dried fruit
These often come combined with cereals, oatmeal, or even on their own as an on-the-go snack. The trouble is, the drying process essentially continues the cycle of ripening, where the starches in the fruit are converted into sugars and everything softens. That means these high-sugar slices and segments will spike your blood sugar and give you sweet cravings.
19. Sausage patty
As a processed red meat, these are already one of the unhealthiest things you can eat regardless of what meal it’s part of. Sausages are a cheap and efficient way of consuming protein and fat, but patties often involve even more processing to help them store and freeze better. They often remove a lot of the benefits from an already shallow pool.
The key scientific takeaway from bacon is that there has yet to be a proven link between any of the fats it contains and negative health outcomes. Now, before you celebrate with a bacon milkshake, you should still be careful. The processing matters, most bacon is brined in a sugar solution and/or smoked for preservation, and these aren’t great in excess.
21. Cinnamon roll
These exist to fill a legal loophole in breakfast nutrition. They are as sweet as you can tolerate first thing in the morning, they’re bread so there has to be some fiber in there, and that many calories surely have to last you until late-lunch time. All of these are technically true but in a monkey paw-type twist, you’ll somehow feel both full and malnourished until 2 pm if you actually eat these for breakfast.
22. Biscuits and gravy
Soul food at its finest and fine as an indulgent treat every once in a while, but this southern breakfast classic can contain enough sodium for an entire day. Savory scone biscuits and a thick, roux-based sausage gravy sound impossible to say no to, but this calorie-rich and nutrient-poor dinner for breakfast should never become a go-to.
23. Fried egg
Fried eggs are only bad for you depending on how they’re prepared. Butter would counteract a lot of the high protein/low-fat benefits of the egg, so olive oil is a better alternative for adding in better fats. Some kind of pan lubrication is essential since high heat oxidizes the fats, which can cause inflammation.
This hearty and spiced saucy egg dish is absolutely phenomenal and has become a popular option for breakfast and brunch. The issue is similar to how fry-ups are bad for you, the individual ingredients are fine on their own but, when combined, you’re getting too much of the wrong stuff. The tomato sauce often contains a lot of sugar for the a.m.
25. Banana Bread
As a quick and simple bread recipe, it’s always worth giving banana bread a go just to brush up your baking skills. The sweet and sugary bread might not be the best option to reach for first thing in the morning, however. There are usually only a couple of grams of protein per slice and it contains a lot of sugar, though you can use healthier flour to counteract that.
26. Almond milk
Milk substitutes have come a very long way and you can get all the goodness of dairy from other sources, though almonds may be the worst of a good bunch for breakfast. Almond milk contains among the lowest protein content of all the nut milks, which is what you need to get going for the day. This one wont stave off hunger for very long.
27. Just coffee
Nobody has quite enough time or money to eat optimally every day, so a cup of coffee plays the double duty of filling you up and boosting your energy. It is effective and efficient, but coffee on an empty stomach won’t last long. If all you have time for in the morning is a drink, a fresh fruit smoothie will fill you with fiber and long-lasting energy.
Most of the unhealthy aspects of waffles come down to the irresistible toppings they are frequently paired with. Syrups, sugars, maybe some bacon, melted butter, the list goes on and it should never end, but there are ways to make a waffle breakfast more nutritious. Alternative flour in the batter or topping with fruit, yogurt, and seeds will make a much more wholesome meal.
29. Breakfast burrito
One of the Earth’s most powerful inventions, breakfast burritos are an all-in-one meal you can eat at the office or while sitting in traffic. They’re often filled with red meat, egg, cheese, hash browns… all of which are filling but also stuffed with bad fats. The white tortilla wrap is also lacking in nutrition, meaning this combo is less healthy than its individual parts.
30. Home fries
Some people call it a hash, some call it home fries, but the basic idea is the same everywhere. Sauteed potatoes, onions, garlic, bacon, and from there the world is your oyster. Except that oysters would be quite a healthy breakfast, unlike the shallow-fried, deep-filling hash. The mixture of oils and fats all simmered together will be delicious, but lack much nutritional value.
A New Orleans delicacy as luscious as the city’s jazz scene. Beignets are best left for state fairs, where you need the lightning-fast sugar rush to fuel three attempts at winning a goldfish with 17 minutes left on Earth. Few would consider fried carbs and sugar to be a great morning pick me up, but as a treat after some quinoa maybe…
Perhaps due to the fact its name and presentation are quite fancy and delicate, many people are under the impression quiche is a lower-calorie meal option. The shortcrust pastry, egg, and cream cheese mousse, and anything else added in like bacon, are all filled with salt, saturated fat, and yes, a lot of calories. It’s all a big sham.
33. Bread Pudding
Warm, buttery, soft as a pillow, and just a little bit crispy, it’s the ultimate warm breakfast sweet. The recipe and traditions require a loaf of sweetened white bread, already not a wonderful start, bound in a custard. Although it’s often served with fresh fruit, that only increases the overall sugar content of the dish, which is already astronomical.
34. Breakfast casserole
One of the driving factors behind the sale of slow cookers, breakfast casseroles are just another way of consuming every single breakfast item at once without the associated internal sense of shame. Cheese, egg, potato, sausage, bacon, you name it. If it’s on a Diner’s breakfast menu somewhere, it’s going in the crock pot. Careful, that’s a lot of sodium.
35. Pre-prepared sandwiches
Sometimes you’ll find yourself running too late for even a fast-food breakfast and, in these dire circumstances, it’s permissible to eat store-bought sandwiches. The sheer variety available makes it difficult to judge them all, but anything mass-produced will use ultra-refined flours to keep the bread soft, and heaps of sodium to flavor fillings.
It may be the perfect pair for your morning coffee, but even the freshest, most home-madest of all doughnuts will be a poor way to start the day. As you may have guessed, the sugar content and calorie counts are high, but you’re also not getting anything else from it. No good fats, low in fiber, and made with quick-vanishing refined sugars.
37. Smoked Salmon
Smoked foods are bad for you in several ways, unfortunately. For our original first attempt at food preservation, we almost nailed it, but the smoke introduces carcinogens and nitrates into the meat. On top of that, smoked meats often have rough, mineral-rich exteriors, which makes them a common source of foodborne illness.
38. Spanish Omelette
A fixture of tapas and brunch menus, the Spanish omelet is a cheap, easy-to-prepare, and incredibly filling breakfast. Potato and onion aren’t a bad combination of fiber and minerals, it’s just the fact it’s bound in eggs and deep fried. Eggs are fantastic emulsifiers, they bind fats and water together, so a lot of oil ends up inside you.
39. Leftover takeout
Nobody is getting called out here, we’ve all eaten hastily microwaved pizza as a late breakfast to compensate for an even later night. It’s just as safe to eat the next morning assuming it was properly stored, but the likely unhealthy meal will sit heavy in your stomach as your body and metabolism are still clocking in for the day.
As with all in-isolation healthy ingredients on this list, the context of the mango is incredibly important. Mango has the second-highest sugar content of all fruit and is the most widely consumed among the top contenders. Its delicious nectar is unlike anything else, and that’s all down to the sugars. Keep serving sizes small and consume alongside fiber.