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Healthy Breakfast vs. Unhealthy Breakfast

Whether you eat breakfast or not, the first meal you eat sets you up for the rest of the day. There are a lot of common breakfast foods today that have been normalized. But just because something is common doesn't mean it's healthy. Choosing the right foods for your first meal can have a big difference in your energy levels, mood, productivity, and cravings for the rest of the day.

Unhealthy Breakfast:

A breakfast consisting of oatmeal and a banana might sound healthy right? Or just a bowl of different fruit? While these are healthy foods, it's the combination of them together that doesn't make it ideal for breakfast.

There are a few reasons as to why this isn't an ideal breakfast, one of them being that these both are sugar/carb filled foods. Since this particular meal ONLY consists of sugar/carbs it will cause a big spike in your blood sugar. This will give you energy at first, but then since it was a big spike your body crashes and you will feel tired and lethargic a few hours later. Not only that, but it will make you hungry while you're in that crash, craving more of those sugary/carb type of foods. In the long run, having those spikes in blood sugar day by day can lead to a lot of chronic health issues whether its weight gain, heart problems, or even diabetes. Some other examples of common breakfasts that this falls under are:

- Bagels

- Cereals

- Pastries

- Pancakes or waffles with white flour and syrup

- Any other option with flour or heavy bread products

Healthy Breakfast:

Fruit and oatmeal (some kinds) are generally healthy choices, but like I said in the previous paragraph before, they shouldn't be eaten on their own. In order to avoid that blood sugar spike, prevent cravings, and have stable energy levels throughout the day it is important to include protein and healthy fats in your first meal. A protein filled breakfast has the ability to stabilize blood sugar. Steady blood sugar levels throughout the day can have positive effects on your mood and keep you feeling fuller for longer. I am not saying don't have fruit for breakfast, it's actually a great breakfast option, but it would be important to include something like eggs with this. A high quality turkey bacon or other type of meat would also be good to include. Avocados would be another good choice since this falls into the category of healthy fats. With oatmeal, it would be a good idea to include a scoop of protein powder in there. With fruits, it's also a good idea to prioritize the fruits that don't spike your blood sugar as much such as blueberries or raspberries. You can still include fruits that give you a big blood sugar response like bananas or watermelon, but to a lesser extent and as long as you have some protein with it. So, a good breakfast includes whole foods, with the bulk of the meal being protein & fats, with some carbs, but ones that don't have a strong blood sugar response.

If you want to learn more about healthy eating, how to optimize your health, energy levels, and dial in your nutrition. Contact us to work with our clinical nutritionist today!