All-Too-Common Breakfast Foods to Avoid
Breakfast has been hailed as the most important meal of the day. All the more reason to get it right.
If you are struggling to keep your energy up throughout the day or typically suffer from the mid-afternoon crash and don’t understand why? It could be due to a hurried or botched breakfast. We’ve found that with a few tweaks to that first meal of the day, you can feel good all day.
Here’s our list of all-too-common breakfast foods to avoid:
1. Bad Coffee
Coffee has both fueled my entrepreneurial ventures and constantly led to crashes and prolonged fatigue. After experiencing many of these ups and downs, I decided to dig into the biochemistry of coffee and the agricultural and economic research. I discovered that all coffee is not the same, and that coffee often carries naturally occurring mold toxins. It turned out that my bad reactions had nothing to do with the coffee; it was a reaction to the mold on the coffee.
Now, you won’t see this mold — it’s an invisible byproduct of shortcuts coffee producers take. One study showed that over ninety percent of green coffee beans were contaminated with mold before processing, while another revealed that almost fifty percent of brewed coffees are moldy. When you brew or buy that first cup in the morning, avoid cheaper types of coffee. These cost less because they not only use lower-quality beans but also include a higher percentage of damaged (moldy) beans. And avoid decaf coffee, which contains more mold on average than caffeinated, partly because coffee people cringe at the thought of ruining high quality beans with decaf processing and therefore use lower quality beans to make decaf.
2. Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese, But Not Butter
The main problem with dairy is the harmful process of pasteurization. While this process does reduce the small risk of milk contamination, it kills off the beneficial probiotics in the milk, denatures milk proteins, and transforms milk from a source of nutrition into a source of many health problems. Pasteurization also turns milk’s lactose sugars into beta-lactose sugars that the body absorbs faster, causing blood sugar spikes.
In the morning, you should avoid milk and most things made from milk — cheese, yogurt, cream, buttermilk, and ice cream — but not butter. Butter is significantly healthier than the milk it is made from because the harmful milk proteins (including casein and BCM-7) are largely absent from butter. What little milk protein remains in cultured butter has been enzymatically modified during the butter fermentation process and isn’t a problem for most people.
3. Sugar, Including Fruit
Your body needs more sodium than potassium in the morning so your blood pressure can go up, but eating fruit (which has a lot of potassium) for breakfast causes your blood pressure to go down. Low blood pressure in the morning makes it harder to feel energized and ready to face the day. Most people are familiar with the term “sugar crash,” but many don’t know where this term comes from. After you eat sugar, it’s not only your focus and energy that crashes, but also your actual blood sugar levels, too. When you eat sugar, blood sugars naturally rise, causing the pancreas to secrete insulin. But the pancreas isn’t great at estimating how much insulin to release and usually overdoes it, secreting large amounts of insulin that cause your blood sugar to drop dramatically. This is the famous crash that causes brain fog, sluggishness, and food cravings. Eliminating sugar is one of the very best things you can do for your health, weight, and overall performance.
4. All Grains
Gluten-containing grains are actually addictive. They break down in the gut into opioid compounds called gluteomorphins that trigger the same receptors in your brain as other opiate drugs like heroin. If you allow your brain to get “addicted” to the opiates formed by grain digestion, you’re going to experience insatiable hunger and cravings that last for days after you last ate those grains.
There is plenty of research to show that eating gluten also has negative health consequences. It causes inflammation and gastrointestinal distress and contributes to autoimmune diseases and a host of other issues. The trick is to give it up completely. The gluten breakfast foods to avoid include cereal, toast, pancakes, and granola bars. This will dramatically increase your ability to live up to your full potential and you’ll undoubtedly feel an immediate difference in your body and your brain.
Stay tuned for our next post on Breakfast Foods to... Not Avoid? Gravitate Towards (title still in the works).