What to eat instead?
So, what in the name of all that’s holy does one eat for breakfast instead of stuffing a 500 calorie dessert in disguise into your mouth? Well, it turns out there are loads of choices for those inclined to -- ya know -- live a long time.
“First of all, I love muffins,” says Andrea Goergen, MHS, RDN, LDN, Owner of Cultivate Healthy in Washington, D.C. “They are tasty and an convenient grab-and-go option. Truthfully, though, commercially prepared muffins are often some of the worst breakfast options out there. Muffins are usually high in fat and sugar which means they're loaded with calories, but none of the good stuff to get you full and keep you satisfied. Even a low fat muffin from a national donut shop is 460 calories with 43 grams of sugar!”
Goergen is a clinical dietitian who assists patients and clients in weight loss, diabetes prevention and management, and realizing that muffins are not who you thought they were.
“Check out this blueberry muffin from Dunkin Donuts,” says Jen Scheinman, RDN. “The first two ingredients are flour and sugar. It's full of simple carbs which will cause blood sugar to skyrocket first thing in the morning. Chances are after eating this you'll be hungry in an hour, and seeking out the next sugary snack.”
So, what do Scheinman and Goergen suggest you do in lieu of these crumbly time bombs?
“I encourage my clients to start their day out fueling on healthy fats and protein rather than a breakfast full of carbohydrates,” continues Scheinman, “A few of my favorites are protein shakes, eggs, plain Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit. Healthy homemade muffins are totally okay too.”
FWIW, Scheinman offered to send over a recipe for her famous homemade muffins. I respectfully accepted her offer. Goergen also believes in a well-rounded -- and homemade -- breakfast filled with protein and fiber.
“Add in whole grains like oats or fruits like apples and pears. Replace oil with applesauce to cut some of the calories, and consider pairing it with high protein options like eggs or low sugar Greek yogurt,” adds Goergen.
Okay fine so maybe not ALL muffins are bad -- but next time you ask for one from the pastry display at least you'll know what you're getting yourself into -- a potentially crippling dessert-for-breakfast habit.