Top breakfast mistakes that make us unhealthy

While breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and is expected to fuel us for the day ahead, very little time and energy is spent on preparing it compared to lunch and dinner which is often more elaborate and has more food groups.

Many studies have shown the health benefits of eating breakfast. It improves metabolism, boosts the brain power, fuels us for the day ahead and help us concentrate. It can also help us manage weight better and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other metabolic diseases in the long term.

Despite so many benefits of eating breakfast many people often skip it, or make it unhealthy unknowingly for a variety of reasons.

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It’s true that we make many mistakes when it comes to choosing, planning and executing our breakfast without being aware of them. Many of us swear by their smoothies, vegetable or fruit juices, and protein shakes for breakfast as they can be quickly made. However, we maybe skipping fibre and other essential nutrients that we can only get from foods that we can chew. Overloading our breakfast plate with carbs is also not a good idea as it can cause spike in blood sugar levels in addition to making us lethargic and dull.

If you want to feel active, productive and sharp during the day, it’s important to avoid certain breakfast mistakes.

1. Missing the balance

The breakfast plate must contain important food groups like complex carbohydrates, high quality proteins, healthy fats, colourful fruits or vegetables.(Pixabay)

It is important to make a good healthy balanced breakfast from the nutritional point of view.

“The plate must contain important food groups like complex carbohydrates, high quality proteins, healthy fats, colourful fruits or vegetables. For example, vegetables stuffed egg wheat bread toast, whole grain/millet paratha with vegetable raita, vegetable idly with dhal curry. These balanced meals are packed with nutrients that are essential for the body to kickstart the day and replenish the body nutrient stores, activate the food thermogenesis effect and balance the hormones,” says Haripriya N. executive nutritionist at the Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, OMR Chennai.

2. Eating late

A person tends to overeat through the day if they have delayed their breakfast(Pexels)
A person tends to overeat through the day if they have delayed their breakfast(Pexels)

“Breakfast should ideally be eaten within an hour of waking up. An individual’s morning meal influences their meal for the rest of the day. A person tends to overeat through the day if they have delayed their breakfast,” says Ruhi Khan, Dietician at Bhatia Hospital Mumbai.

3. Skipping your breakfast

“Skipping breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes people commit; skipping breakfast is definitely not a healthy option as it lowers the body’s metabolism, which is key to losing weight,” adds Khan.

4. Having liquids and juices

Protein smoothie(Pixabay)
Protein smoothie(Pixabay)

It is crucial to increase the chew counts to obtain the maximum benefit from the food we eat as the digestion starts from mouth.

“Having fruits as juice or making cereal porridges will make you full for short term, crave for calories throughout the day and leads to deficit of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber,” says Haripriya N.

“Some people prefer starting their day with juices but juices do not contain any fibre. So, prefer choosing whole fruits instead of juices as it will help you load up on enough fibre content for the day and keep you fuller for longer, thereby, preventing further cravings,” says Khan.

5. Not eating enough protein

Eggs(Shutterstock)
Eggs(Shutterstock)

Protein is one of most important nutrients for weight loss. As it helps you feel fuller for longer and avoid overeating.

“Starting the day with protein will help people feel energetic and less hungry through the day. One can include breakfast options like Boiled egg sandwich, Paneer wrap, Moongdal chilla, Soya tikki etc,” says Ruhi Khan.

6. Eating just proteins for breakfast

“Eggs are packed with all the essential amino acids required for the body, having only eggs for breakfast will only help you to fulfill your hunger but will not fuel your body to kick start the day. Carbohydrates are equally important to instantly fuel the body and to maintain the metabolic cycle. For example, instead of having plain eggs opt for egg omelet with a slice of wheat bread and vegetables, egg or paneer bhurji with multigrain bread sticks, chicken breast with potatoes, beans and vegetables of choice,” says Haripriya N.

7. Choosing wrong carbohydrates

Chocolate Muffins(Whirlpool of India)
Chocolate Muffins(Whirlpool of India)

Protein is one of most important nutrients for weight loss. As it helps you feel fuller for longer and avoid overeating.

“Starting the day with protein will help people feel energetic and less hungry through the day. One can include breakfast options like Boiled egg sandwich, Paneer wrap, Moongdal chilla, Soya tikki etc,” says Ruhi Khan.

6. Eating just proteins for breakfast

“Eggs are packed with all the essential amino acids required for the body, having only eggs for breakfast will only help you to fulfill your hunger but will not fuel your body to kick start the day. Carbohydrates are equally important to instantly fuel the body and to maintain the metabolic cycle. For example, instead of having plain eggs opt for egg omelet with a slice of wheat bread and vegetables, egg or paneer bhurji with multigrain bread sticks, chicken breast with potatoes, beans and vegetables of choice,” says Haripriya N.

7. Choosing wrong carbohydrates

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Quick breakfast options like pancakes, breads and muffins lack in fiber content and are high in carbohydrates that could be making you gain weight.

“Choosing right carbohydrates is the key to lose weight. Hence prefer incorporating more of complex carbohydrates options i.e oats porridge, quinoa upma, vegetable paratha etc,” says Khan.

“Including more of refined carbs or high glycemic foods like pasta, white bread, breakfast cereals, common flour, and sugar will impact the health by increasing the blood sugar levels further causing insulin spikes ultimately leads to increased caloric consumption. Moreover, you can continue enjoying your favourite dishes while substituting refined-carbs ingredients with their healthier counterparts,” says Haripriya N.

8. Pairing caffeine with breakfast

Many of us tend to crave for post breakfast coffee or tea. Coffee or tea contains caffeine, tannins which are anti-nutrients that inhibit the absorption of nutrients like calcium and iron.

“Instead enjoy your cup of tea or coffee half-an-hour after your main meals,” says Haripriya N.

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