Today is National Better Breakfast Day, a day we didn't know existed but can totally get behind! It’s estimated that 60% of Americans consume their daily recommended intake of sugar by 10am, which can (and does) negatively impact blood sugar levels and cravings from the jump.
So, today, we’re celebrating the most important meal of the day and sharing how to add better options into your breakfast rotation. Read along to find out how to find hidden sugars in breakfast foods, while also identifying some low sugar breakfast alternatives to grab instead.
How to Find Hidden Sugars:
Tip #1: Know The Alternate Names Used For Sugar.
The nutrition facts label is required to inform you how much sugar is in a food. However, the label does not separate the amounts of naturally occurring sugar from added sugar. And as we know, added sugar is the bad stuff.
When looking at the ingredients list, here are the major clues to spot it:
- It has syrup (examples: corn syrup, rice syrup)
- The word ends in “ose” (examples: fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose)
- “sugar” is in the name (examples: raw sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, confectionary sugar)
Tip #2: Don’t Get Confused By Healthy Terminology.
Just because it says “whole grain” or “fortified with vitamins and minerals” doesn’t mean there’s no added sugar. Foods like breakfast cereals will put this on their packaging to convince you they’re healthy, when in fact, they are really just sugar bombs.
Tip #3: Look Out For Meal Add Ons (condiments, beverages).
Condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce, salad dressings and relish all have added sugars that can add up depending on how much you consume. And, as we know, beverages like sodas, juice drinks and others are huge culprits of adding sugars to our diets. Sometimes providing our daily amount in one serving!
Now that you are an expert at spotting added sugars on food labels, here are some low sugar breakfast tips that are free of added sugars to keep you happy, healthy and thriving.
Step 1: Add An Antioxidant Source.
Antioxidants, like blueberries or kale*, can defend your body from certain biochemical changes that occur as a result of stress. They are also natural providers of sugar, whole foods, and pack a ton of vitamins and minerals.
*Remember: Naturally occurring sugar isn't unhealthy.
Step 2: Add A Protein Source.
A great way to avoid blood sugar crashes later in the day is to add a protein source, like an egg, to your breakfast.
Step 3: Don’t Fear Fat.
Just like sugar, not all fats are bad for you. Consuming fat at breakfast means you will “burn off that fat over the course of the day. Since it digests slowly, it will also help to prevent hunger pangs until lunchtime.” Good fats are things like nuts, avocados and seeds.
Step 4: The More Fiber, The Better.
Fiber can help keep you regular, keep you full and keep you energized. Luckily, our Body Balance Protein Powder has as much dietary fiber as 11 asparagus spears! This 100% vegan superblend of prebiotic fiber, vitamins and minerals supports balanced blood sugar levels, gut health and all-day energy - everything you want in the first meal of the day. You can also add our Body Balance Protein Powder to oats, smoothies, homemade waffles, and pancakes to boost their staying power.
Step 5: Go Big!
Don’t be afraid to make breakfast your biggest meal of the day. “As long as the meal is balanced, has plenty of fiber and protein, and is relatively low in sugar, this strategy can actually be advantageous for several reasons.” - Corinne Kohlen, registered dietitian.
Okay friends. That’s all for today. If you’ve gotten this far than it might also be fun to know that today is ALSO National Pancake Day. So really, go big (please, for us!) and let us know in the comments how you’re making healthy, low sugar, choices in your diet.