Are You Starting Your Day With Hidden Sugar?
Better Nutrition|March 2019

To stop mid-morning sugar cravings, replace traditional breakfast foods with more substantial morning fare

Melissa Diane Smith

Q : I routinely start the day with some type of breakfast, but by 10 or 11 a.m., I feel tired and irritable and crave sugar! Can you offer some nutrition suggestions to help?

—Nancy D., Oklahoma City

a: It’s surprising, but most foods that we typically eat for breakfast either contain hidden sugar or act very much like sugar in the body. This means that they disrupt blood sugar balance, which in turn leads to cravings for sugar a few hours later. The only breakfast food exception is eggs. But many people pair their eggs with blood-sugar-spiking foods such as toast, or with sugar-packed foods such as ham or bacon.

To stop this blood sugar roller coaster, it’s important to identify and avoid both foods that contain hidden sugar and foods that spike blood sugar levels. Instead, try to eat blood-sugar-balancing breakfasts that keep your energy levels steady until lunchtime. Oftentimes, that means thinking outside the box.

Breakfast Foods with Hidden Sugar

Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt contains good-for-your-gut probiotics and also naturally occurring sugar in the form of lactose (milk sugar). But fruit yogurts, the type of yogurts most people eat, can contain up to 30 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar per serving. That’s like eating dessert for breakfast—a sure way to cause your body to experience sugar cravings a few hours later.

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