If looking young and feeling healthy is important to you, all of your food choices can impact those goals. And since breakfast is the first meal of the day, what and how you choose to eat can set your day up for healthy choices later on so that you continue to choose foods that will benefit any anti-aging efforts, including fiber and antioxidants.
“Breakfast gives you an opportunity to hit your fruit and veggie goals for the day, and can provide you with dietary fiber and antioxidant-rich food,” says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Adds Jonathan Valdez, RDN, owner of Genki Nutrition and a spokesperson for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,”It gives you an opportunity to (not only) add vegetables (peppers, onions, mushrooms, and more) and protein such as in omelets. With vitamin A, protein to make collagen, vitamin C, and other antioxidants, it can help you not only feel younger, but energetic.”
So, whether you skip it completely, or make poor nutritional choices, you may be missing out on opportunities to keep looking and feeling younger. Here are six of the worst breakfast habits that might be aging you, according to dietitians. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.
“Drinking high-calorie sugary coffee beverages like a flavored latte or frozen blended coffee drinks in the morning may give you some calories from the milk, syrups and other sweeteners used, but those calories aren’t going to provide you with a steady release of energy overtime like a well-balanced meal would,” says Ehsani. “You’ll likely get a sugar rush from the sugar and caffeine, but without eating anything else, you’ll quickly see your energy levels fall again.”
Instead, she suggests that you consider choosing a light or “skinny” version, and make sure you have more than just your morning coffee for breakfast.
“Eating it once in a while can be okay, but since it has a lack of fiber, is high in saturated fat, and also has nitrates that can cause stress on the body can later lead to aging if not done in moderation or at all,” says Valdez.
If your breakfast plate is full of bland-looking foods, you’re likely missing out on tons of vitamins and nutrients in colorful, fresh foods.
“Not adding color to your plate to your breakfast, such as not including any veggies or fruits to your plate means you are missing out on eating antioxidants, which are crucial to helping you prevent disease and prolong longevity,” says Ehsani.
To get more on your plate, Ehsani suggests adding some spinach leaves and tomatoes into your egg sandwich. Or if you prefer to have something sweet like a waffle, yogurt, or smoothie, be sure to add a variety of fruits to that too.
“Or have an orange or grapefruit with your slice or two of toast,” says Ehsani.
“Hydration not only keeps your skin supple, but it also carries the nutrients around the body,” says Valdez. “Aim for 6 to 8 cups of fluids throughout the day,” or look to see if your urine has just a tint of yellow, he advises.
If you go throughout your day skipping breakfast, you likely aren’t making the healthiest decision when it comes to aging.
“Doing this overtime may not help you when it comes to longevity and aging. Some studies have found that people who actually do eat breakfast are healthier eaters and consume more dietary fiber than those who don’t,” says Ehsani.
If you do tend to skip breakfast, she suggests that you consider having something small like a banana and a handful of walnuts. And if you feel like you are too full to eat in the morning, maybe you are overeating at dinner time.
“Maybe the solution to eating a morning meal is to reduce your portion size at dinner a bit,” she says.
She also adds that consuming breakfast regularly can also prevent overeating later on in the day, which if done regularly could negatively impact your overall health and longevity.
If you’re rolling through the drive-thru each morning, it’s not a surprise that ordering bacon egg sandwiches and hash browns isn’t the most nutritious option for your health.
“These breakfast sandwiches or combo meals could be loaded with unhealthy levels of total fat, saturated fat, and sodium,” says Ehsani. “Consuming foods rich in total fat, saturated fat, and sodium could increase your risk factor for developing heart conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which won’t be beneficial to your health!”
Instead, she suggests that you try making your own breakfast sandwiches or wraps at home using whole wheat English muffin or a whole wheat tortilla, and fill it not only with eggs but veggies, too.