Many of the convenient, ready-to-eat breakfast foods found on grocery store shelves masquerade as “healthy.”
And if you’re eating any of them regularly, they could be putting you on the fast track to serious health issues—like blood sugar spikes, weight gain, mood problems, digestive upsets, and much, much more.
So, today, let’s talk about the five WORST “healthy” breakfast foods…and then I’ll provide some of my favorite healthy alternatives to reach for instead…
Five “healthy” foods to avoid
1.) Packaged cereals and oatmeals. Big food manufacturers have gotten really crafty in recent years (with the help of government crony corporatists), trying to make their packaged, processed cereals appear healthy. For example, the box may proclaim that the cereal contains whole grains or is a “good source” of vitamin D or fiber. You may even see a “heart-healthy” tagline and endorsements from crony, corporatist government agencies or health advocacy groups.
But when a processed product needs to announce that it’s “healthy” on the box, that’s a clear sign that it’s probably not. (It rather reminds me of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who is suspicious of his mother loudly proclaiming her innocence in the murder of his father, “Me thinks the lady doth protest too much…”)
So, don’t be fooled.
Instead, pick up the box and look at the ingredients list. You’ll find that most packaged cereals list sugar as the first, second, or third most abundant ingredient, with refined, processed carbs too.
That means you’re basically indulging in junk food for breakfast. As a result, your blood sugar and insulin levels immediately spike. Over time, that kind of routine can put you at risk for developing Type II diabetes and heart disease. (Not to mention what it does to children for whom most of the relentless marketing is meant.)
2.) Almond, oat, and soy milk. While we’re talking about boxed breakfast cereals, let’s also talk about all the fake “milk” alternatives on shelves today—like almond, oat, and soy milk.
You may think these products are healthier for you than whole cow’s milk. But here again—you’d be wrong. Dead wrong.
First of all, these highly processed products are full of harmful, artificial ingredients. Soy milk, specifically, contains isoflavones, which can lead to severe hypothyroidism and hormonal disturbances. In fact, ongoing studies link isoflavones with breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, stroke, and heart attack.
Not to mention all these fake “milks” don’t contain ANY of the healthy probiotic bacteria found in full-fat, whole-milk dairy. So, they do NOTHING to improve the health of your gut microbiome—which is considered to be “ground zero” for your health.
Now, if you have a lactose sensitivity…you may want to skip milk altogether. But as I’ve reported before, you may find you do well by opting for other forms of whole-milk dairy, such as traditional cheeses and plain yogurts, as they likely cause much less gastrointestinal upset.
3.) Granola or muesli. I know a lot of health-conscious folks enjoy adding granola or muesli to their yogurt, smoothie, or fruit bowl.
But here again, you have to be careful.
Most types of packaged granola (or granola bars) and muesli contain loads of sugar and very little real fiber. And once again, if the package says it contains protein…chances are, you’re being duped. In fact, that tagline typically means the protein content comes from processed, genetically modified sources, like processed soy protein isolate—something you always want to avoid.
So, to add some “crunch” to your plain yogurt, smoothie, or fruit bowl, I suggest throwing in some crushed, whole nuts (such as almonds, pecans or walnuts) and some whole, plain, organic oats you toasted yourself.
4.) Flavored yogurts. Plain, unprocessed, whole-milk yogurt is an excellent source of nutrients and probiotics. In fact, it’s a key part of the healthy Mediterranean diet, together with full-fat cheeses. (Of course, nutritional “experts” like to ignore the importance of full-fat cheeses in the daily Mediterranean diet because it doesn’t fit with their misguided, anti-fat narrative.)
Just remember—plain, whole-milk yogurt should NOT taste sweet or contain any added sugar or flavors. Instead, it should have a fresh, tangy flavor (which results from the natural fermentation of whole, full-fat milk by probiotic bacteria).
In other words, skip the hordes of processed, flavored yogurts on grocery store shelves. Especially those made with added cookies and candy!
You should also avoid all the “light,” “fat-free,” or “sugar-free” varieties on shelves, which are essentially the diet sodas of the yogurt world. In fact, as with diet soda, they contain artificial sweeteners (such as sucralose), which are also dangerous for your health like regular sugar.
Instead, opt for organic, whole milk, full-fat Greek or Icelandic yogurt (without any added ingredients). It’s a great way to obtain healthy calcium (which should always come from your diet, not from supplements), protein, and vitamin D. Then, if you’re looking for some extra flavor and nutrition, just sprinkle some fresh berries, local honey, and/or nuts on top.
5.) Smoothies. Smoothies and fruit bowls are quite popular right now—especially among young people. But I recommend skipping the over-priced, sickly sweet, processed varieties sold at the trendy shops around town.
Instead, make your own at home…starting with a base of plain, full-fat yogurt and adding in fresh fruit, cinnamon (or other spice to taste), and vanilla extract.
You can even add some liquid vitamin D (with the marine carotenoid, astaxanthin) and dry, powdered fruit and botanical extracts—like blueberry, rose hips, baobab, and rooibos—for some additional nutritional value and flavor.
You can learn much more about how to keep foods that masquerade as healthy out of your diet in the December 2020 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures (“The one diet that provides health benefits all around the world”). Subscribers have access to that issue (as well as all of my past issues) in my online archives. To become a subscriber, just click here.
P.S. Tune back in tomorrow for my full report on all the overpriced junk found in your grocery store’s “health food” aisle. (You won’t want to miss it!)