Refined sugar is prevalent in processed foods, including simple carbohydrates such as white bread, flours, candy and desserts. This type of sugar should be eliminated or reduced in the diet, as it may lead to serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, tooth decay and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Refined sugars are commonly consumed at breakfast; they should be replaced with healthier foods that are nutrient-rich and have little to no sugar.
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Select complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates at breakfast. For instance, choose whole-wheat bread over refined, white bread. Complex carbohydrates include whole-grain products that are high in dietary fiber. Fiber aids in keeping blood sugar levels steady, preventing hunger cravings and assisting in healthy digestion. Eat a slice of whole-grain toast with your breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of cooked brown rice or even quinoa as a higher-protein grain alternative.
Eat protein for breakfast to keep you satisfied and eliminate cravings to eat something high in sugar. Eggs are a satisfying breakfast choice that pair well with other breakfast foods such as whole-grain bread or English muffins. One large egg contain approximately 70 calories, 5 g of fat, zero to one gram of carbohydrates and 6 g of complete protein. If you wish to lower the fat content of your breakfast, or plan to eat more than one egg, consider eating egg whites as an alternative or addition. Egg whites contain the same amount of protein, but eliminate the fat that is found in the egg yolks. Eat eggs in different ways, such as hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, as an omelet with veggies or lightly fried in olive oil sandwiched with a split English muffin or whole-wheat bagel.
Avoid cereals that are high in sugar and do not have whole-grains in their ingredient list. Look for the words "whole-grain" or "whole-wheat" on the label, at least 5 g of dietary fiber and less than 10 g of sugar. Healthier cereal options include Shredded Wheat, All-Bran Flakes and Kashi Heart to Heart.
Replace maple syrup or honey on pancakes and waffles with healthier alternatives. Sugar is the main ingredient in syrups or sauces. Instead, opt for naturally sweet fruits such as plain blueberries, or try pureed strawberries as a jam or sauce to dip pancakes in. Combine berries with a higher protein topping that will help keep blood sugar levels steady and avoid sudden dips or rises in energy and hunger. Options may include melted peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, crushed walnuts or sliced avocado.
Eliminate beverages that are high in sugar and do not add sugar to beverages such as coffee or tea. Many fruit juices are high in sugars and should be avoided. Opt instead for eating the whole fruit, an apple or an orange, which contains healthy dietary fiber and no added preservatives. Drink coffee or tea black, with non-fat milk or with a small teaspoon of natural honey for minimal added calories. Alternatively, consider natural sources of sugar such as Stevia, which is produced naturally from the leaves of a plant.