Avoid Sugar at Breakfast

  • Did you know that breakfast is often the most sugar-centric meal of the day?
  • So many options like pastries, sugary cereals, “fruit” flavored sweet yogurts and coffee beverages load our bodies with more sugar than we should eat in an entire day.
  • Know where hidden sugar is in your breakfast foods and simply don’t add any sugar sources to your meal or beverage.

What’s Inside

What’s IN

  • Plain yogurt with freshly chopped or pureed fruit topping
  • Unsweetened muesli or shredded wheat or sprouted grain cereal
  • Plain oatmeal, oat bran or whole grain kamut hot cereal
  • Fresh fruit, whole or sliced
  • Dried fruit, unsweetened, organic, small portion
  • Unsweetened dairy or non-dairy milk to go with cold cereal or as beverage
  • Unsweetened coffee or tea
  • Yogurt or Veggie smoothies sweetened with whole fruit

What’s OUT

  • Any type of Simple Sugar: white granulated, brown, turbinado, raw, powdered
  • Any type of Alternative Sugar: coconut sugar, date sugar
  • Any type of Syrup: simple syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, molasses
  • Sweetened yogurt with or without added sweet toppings or mix-ins
  • Sweetened cereals or granolas
  • Sweetened jam, jelly, preserves
  • Sweetened beverages (flavored dairy or non-dairy milk, flavored lattes, fruit drinks)
  • If you slip, no biggie. Slipping means you’re trying, which is what counts! You can get back on track tomorrow.

Why This Is A Good Idea

Did you know that breakfast is often the most sugar-centric meal of the day? Pastries, sugary cereals, “fruit” flavored sweet yogurts and coffee beverages load our bodies with more sugar than we should eat in an entire day.

Current recommendations by the American Heart Association include that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons (about 24 grams) of added sugar per day and men no more than 9 teaspoons (about 36 grams). For reference, a regular can of soda has 8 teaspoons of sugar and a 16 ounce chai latté from your favorite coffee shop can easily top 11 teaspoons! Yikes!

Decrease your risk significantly for obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tooth decay, and much more by cutting added sugars. Why? Excess sugar can cause an above-average spike in blood sugar, triggering you to feel even more hungry, store excess fat, and lead to prediabetes more quickly. To be clear, not all sugars are created equal. The natural sugar from your apple doesn’t have the same effect as the added sugar from that chai latté we mentioned, because the apple has fiber that causes your body to digest the sugar more slowly and helps keep you full, while the chai latté does not. Plus, ditch the extra sweetness and you’ll even have sharper taste buds—you’ll soon be able to experience more nuanced flavors in your food, and the natural sweetness of whole fruit.

Basic Tips

  • Check IN after breakfast everyday. It’s more effective than waiting till the end of the day. Draw a check mark if your meal had no added sugar or use a free pass if you had added sugar in your meal.
  • Start the morning with a big glass of water.
  • Eat protein and healthy fats to satisfy your craving. To keep you full and regulate blood sugar levels; eggs, lentils, beans, nuts or nut butter, yogurt, cheese and avocado are all great sources to include in your breakfast.
  • Bulk up breakfast with veggies! Eggs and veggies are a match made in heaven.
  • Just say no to the pastry case. Muffins, scones, croissants, and donuts are all code for “dessert for breakfast”. If you’re tempted by sweets when you get your coffee, make coffee at home, or bring nuts with you for something to snack on to distract you from the sweets at the coffee shop.
  • Clean out your pantry. If your favorite sweetened cereal is staring you in the face, you’re much more likely to slip.
  • Read all labels for hidden sugar!
  • From almond milk to yogurt, instant oats and granola. Even in “all natural” peanut butter! Names for added sugar include: dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, fructose, and maltose.

Shopping List

  • Go to the produce section for fresh fruit. Berries, peaches, nectarines, apples, bananas (think smoothies or unsweetened yogurt parfait bowl).
  • Grab some veggies too. Lettuce, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms (think omelettes, frittatas, breakfast salads or savory grain bowls).
  • Go to the grain section for plant proteins. Whole grains like amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa. These can all turn into delicious savory breakfast bowls.
  • Organic cage-free eggs are a must.
  • A hard cheese such as manchego or pecorino, or goat cheese for the eggs.
  • Whole grain breads such as Ezekiel (think avocado toast or nut butter and strawberry slices)
  • Avocado as an alternative breakfast spread
  • Unsweetened nuts or nut butter to pair with apple slices for a quick breakfast
  • Frozen fruit for smoothies
  • Unsweetened nut or hemp milk for smoothies
  • Rice cakes (think nut butter and banana slices)
  • Plain unsweetened yogurt
  • Stock cinnamon, vanilla extract, and cardamom for adding on top of yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Unsweetened tea such as Harney & Sons Fine Teas Black Currant for something to sip without the sugar.


Smart Things To Read And Watch

Note: Diet ID is not focused on the number on the scale. Weight loss can be a byproduct of developing healthier eating habits, but if you have questions about your weight, please contact your physician.