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September 24, 2018

The case against eating donuts for breakfast

...and what you should eat instead

Healthy Eating Breakfast

Content sponsored by IBC - Native (195x33)

Colorful Array of Donuts Sharon McCutcheon/

If donuts make a regular appearance in your morning routine, chances are you’re simply enjoying an early dessert. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not here to judge! I can list my favorite donut shops across Philadelphia and tell you when to visit each one to avoid long lines. But somehow, donuts snuck themselves into the breakfast category, rather than keeping their place as an indulgent treat to enjoy in moderation.

Finding healthier alternatives to donuts

We don’t have to get philosophical about what qualifies as a breakfast food, but if you consider the purpose of breakfast — literally to break a fast (as in the fasting you’ve done since dinner the night before) — you’d probably want to consider eating something with more nutritional value.

Donuts are high in fat and calories, and they’ll spike your blood sugar. Add a cup of coffee with cream and sugar, and you’ll likely experience a sugar rush — and then the inevitable sluggishness of the crash afterwards.

Avoiding the sugar crash

Mornings can be chaotic if you and your family are trying to get to work, school, appointments, and so on. I’m not suggesting we all sit down to a gourmet breakfast each morning (and if you have the time to do so, I’m officially jealous). But with a little planning and preparation (this part is key), you can eat a healthy breakfast that’s ready to go when your belly starts to rumble and won’t lead to a regret-filled sugar crash later.

Overnight oats, eggs, and beyond

It’s probably not news to you that oatmeal and eggs are each a mainstay in the breakfast world for good reason. They are packed with nutrition, low in sugar, and keep us full. Basically, they provide us with good fuel to get the day started. These two are my typical go-to breakfasts to bring to work, and both are easy to pack and reheat:

  1. Oatmeal. Keep in mind that I’m talking about old-fashioned or steel-cut oats (not packets of instant oats, which typically have added sugar and flavors and lower nutritional value). Aside from being very affordable and easy to make, oatmeal is heart- and colon-friendly and full of nutrients. You can prepare your oats in two ways: cook them the old-school way or make overnight oats in your fridge. Whichever way you choose, the extent of the skill required is measuring and stirring. You can add flavor with fruit (like sliced bananas or berries) and nuts to up the protein ante (slivered almonds are my favorite).
  2. Eggs. Reheating scrambled eggs or hard-boiling eggs are probably the simplest ways to turn this lean protein into a portable meal for breakfast. But if these options sound too mundane, you can also make egg cups (also called egg muffins). There are so many flavor combinations you can come up with, and you’re basically creating little mini frittatas to go — but no fork required!

If reading about oatmeal and eggs doesn’t excite you, there are endless fun and flavor-packed ideas available online that go far beyond these two staples:

  1. 39 healthy breakfasts for busy mornings
  2. 18 fast, healthy breakfast ideas
  3. 25 grab & go make ahead breakfast ideas

Find a few recipes that you and your family like and that fit well into your routine. You won’t even miss your morning donut! 

This article was originally published on IBX Insights.     

About Danielle Fisher

I’ve always enjoyed learning about health and wellness topics and believe in the approach of making small changes consistently. But now the stakes are higher as I attempt to raise two little ones and impart healthy habits for nutrition, exercise, and mental health. As a copywriter at IBX, I enjoy working with other health-minded people to get new ideas and keep me on track. Outside of work, I love to spend time outside, cook, bake, and catch up on my favorite TV shows after I tuck my kids in for the night.

Looking for more health recipes? Try taking a healthy cooking class at Independence LIVE.

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