Quick and easy doesn’t necessarily have to equate to junk food in the morning. Check out these fast food breakfast options to help you jump start your day.
The first rule of breakfast: EAT IT. You hear “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” over and over again, well it’s true! Breakfast keeps our bodies energized, nourished, speeds our metabolisms, helps us stay focused and prevents unhealthy eating habit’s. Starting your day healthy helps start all your other meals healthy. Your body relies on you to treat it well and give it the important groups of food. To start your healthy lifestyle right all you need to do is make smarter choices. Here are a few example swaps.
1. Pop Tarts VS. Toast
- The average pop-tart is around 200 calories, now lets be real who only eats half the package, so most likely it ends up being around 400 calories, which a 400 calorie breakfast is great, but it does make a difference to your body on where those calories are coming from. Lets just say we have 2 pastries, that equals about 400 calories, 12g of fat, 400mg Sodium, 70g Carbohydrates, 0 g Fiber, 32g Sugar, 4g of Protein. Most of the calories are coming from Fat, Sugar, and Carbohydrates. Those are three important nutrients to consume, but too much of them will make you crash a little after breakfast, and feel tired after the sugar rush. You should even out the amount of sugar and carbohydrates consumed everyday and don’t give your body those nutrients all at once. Instead of throwing a pop tart in the toaster substitute it with whole grain toast that is high in fiber, that way it keeps you full and energized longer. Spread some fresh jam on the toast for flavor, this will give you a smaller dose of sugar vs. the pop tart. Two slices of Healthy choice 100% Whole Grain Bread with Smuckers Strawberry All Natural Jam comes to 195 Calories, 45 Carbohydrates, 2 Grams of Fat, and 6g of protein. Have a few slices of fruit along with your toast and you will be feeling great by lunchtime!
2. Sugary Cereal VS. Oatmeal
- There are tons of healthy cereals out there and if you are eating those in moderation then you can skip on down to the next swap, but there are also tons of cereals that are almost worse than eating candy for breakfast or drinking a cup of sugar. The worst part about cereal is most of the labels are for only ½ a cup, the average cereal bowl is about 2 cups. If you are eating a bowl of cereal in the average bowl most likely you are consuming around, 400 calories, 60g of Sugar, 84g Carbohydrates, 10g Fat, 3g Fiber, 4g Protein, and 800mg Sodium. That’s not even including the milk. How man times have you reached for the box to poor another bowl? Cereal is delicious and can be healthy when consumed in proportion, but its a danger zone for the hungry bellies! The difference between teens eating cereal and kids, is that kids never finish the entire bowl, so they are using moderation with out even know it. Next time you go for the cereal try to go for the hot one instead! Oatmeal is full of fiber, healthy fats, healthy carbohydrates, low in sugar! Adding milk to make it creamy and fruit to give it a boost of flavor adds extra nutrients as well. The rich fiber content in oatmeal keeps us full longer, and the warmth of the oatmeal makes us full faster.
3. Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches VS. Veggie Omelets.
- The average fast food breakfast sandwich is around 500 calories, 50g Fat, 50g Carbohydrates, 1500mg Sodium, 30g Protein. Most of the time if we go out of our way to eat a fast food breakfast we cant pass up the hash browns or sugary juice either! Eating unhealthy fast food to start your day, isn’t a smart way to obtain a healthy lifestyle. Fast food breakfasts are horrible for our cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and overall health. Take the time to have breakfast before you leave your house, If you want the warm hot breakfast that will give you the same satisfaction as a breakfast sandwich cook up a veggie omelet. Veggie omelets are full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and healthy fats. To keep your breakfast balanced throw in a piece of toast and jam!
4. Frappuccino VS. Fruit Smoothie
- How many times before work, class, going to the gym, etc have you stopped and grabbed a frappuccino, for the sugar and caffeine fix? If you answered more then twice a week, you might want to listen up! One of the most popular coffee joints around america is Starbucks so i’ll use them as my example. The average Starbucks frappucinno with whipped topping is around 500 calories, 20g Fat, 75g Carbohydrates, 70g Sugars, 6g Protein. Thats only for a medium which is more than some breakfasts! The sugar and Caffeine mixture in these drinks will have you crashing in about an hour. If you are eating breakfast and then consuming one of these coffees that could equal up to a 15lb weight gain in one years time, which is unhealthy on our bodies. If you are replacing your breakfasts for Frappuccinos then you are neglecting your bodies need for nutrients. Skip the Frappuccino and go for a fruit smoothie. You have to also be cautious of some smoothies served at restaurants because they may use unnatural juices and tons of sugar. The best route to take is before leaving the house blend up your favorite fruits, add a ½ of yogurt and 1 Tbsp of sugar! This will give your body the boost it needs in the morning.
5. Chocolate Milk VS. White Milk
- Milk is an important part of diets because it provides potassium, protein and calcium. So if you are drinking chocolate milk just to get those three nutrients than great! But don’t forget to pay attention to what else you are giving your body as well. Most chocolate milk brands are full of full fat milk ,carbohydrates, and cups of sugar. Before you dive into your milk make sure it is skim or soy that way you will be giving your body a leaner look and a healthier start to your breakfast. I always drink Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk it has a way better flavor than plain milk!
6. Bagels and Cream Cheese VS. Yogurt and Granola
- One of the most popular breakfast joints around here is Dunkin Donuts. I will use them for my bagel example. One plain bagel with a serving of cream cheese at Dunkin Donuts is 550 Calories, 75g Carbohydrates, 30g Fat, 29g Sugar, 15g Protein. That seems a little high for just a bagel and cream cheese. Of course their are healthier versions of cream cheese and bagels at the grocery stores that are perfect for breakfast but sometimes it’s harder to find. Instead of grabbing a bagel and cream cheese have a cup of greek yogurt and granola. You will be grabbing more important nutrients , less fat grams, and fewer sugar grams.
7. Donuts Vs. Granola Bars
- Having a donut once and a while isn’t bad for us, but grabbing a donut every morning instead of a healthier choice, can really put a toll on our bodies. The average chocolate glazed donut is around 300 calories 44g Carbohydrates, 10g Fat, and 33g Sugar. Donuts don’t give our bodies whole grains and cause us to crash from the sugar and fat content. Choosing a lower sugar granola bar is definitely a smarter choice if you are stuck at a gas station and torn between the two options. Most granola bars offer chocolate flavors if you are in need of a chocolate fix!
8. Biscuits and Gravy Vs. Whole Grain Waffles
- Biscuits and gravy is one of the top breakfast swaps. 1 biscuit with gravy is around 500 Calories, 31g Fat, 1500mg Sodium, 45g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 10g Protein. Do I need to say much more? Most of the time biscuits and gravy is served with several biscuits loaded in gravy, above is just the serving size for ONE biscuit. The high level of sodium will have you feeling bloated and light headed. Instead of having biscuits and gravy go for a couple whole grain waffles, fruit, and light syrup!
Serving up the sass on a daily basis. Get you some!