Many experts believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it rev up your metabolism, it also helps you maintain proper blood glucose levels and even lose weight.  Eating a healthy breakfast also helps balance moods throughout the day and keeps binging on junk foods at bay.

But not all breakfasts are created equal. Although generally eating something is better than eating nothing, some breakfast foods – even ones thought of as healthy – can actually be doing more harm than good.

Here are 5 breakfast food categories that are not so great for the body, plus healthy substitutes.

Fatty meats

Because of their high fat content, these breakfast meats increase HDL cholesterol, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke:

  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Ham

These healthy meat options are lower in fat, while still providing ample protein:

  • Chicken
  • Meat substitutes
  • Beans
  • Nuts

Egg dishes

Although eggs are high in protein and low in calories, many of these breakfast options are loaded with high fat and calories:

  • Cheese omelets
  • Eggs benedict
  • Fried eggs
  • Scrambled eggs made with whole milk

Try one of these better egg options:

  • Vegetable-filled omelets
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Poached eggs

Pastries & donuts

Although they look pretty and taste delicious, these are not good breakfast choices:

  • White flour, instead of whole grains
  • Loaded with refined sugar
  • High fat
  • Deep fried
  • Excessive carbohydrates

If you enjoy eating grains in the morning, try one of these healthier breakfast options:

  • Whole wheat bagel
  • Whole grain toast
  • Brain muffin
  • Oatmeal

Fruits juices

Although fruit is full of nutrients and antioxidants, too much of good thing is not recommended:

  • Too high in natural sugar
  • High in calories
  • Causes blood sugar spikes

Try these breakfast options instead:

  • Whole fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Coffee or tea
  • Low-fat milk
  • Water

Healthy foods that can be unhealthy

While these foods can be healthy breakfast options, they can be made unhealthy by altering them:

  • Yogurt – Choose products made of low-fat or no-fat, with no sugary fruits added.
  • Cereal – Pick ones that are made of whole grains, without added sugars.
  • Bagels – While a whole grain bagel has only 250 calories, topping it with cream cheese at 100 calories per ounce or sugar jellies easily doubles the calorie count.

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