Dear Health Conscious Reader,
If you enjoy breakfast or lunch on-the-go, I understand. Our lives are so busy; we don’t always have time to cook.
But beware: Some “convenience foods” aren’t worth it. You’ll pay for it with added inches to your waistline. And those excess pounds lead to chronic diseases like obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
Here are three foods that will put you on the fast track to fat:
Breakfast Cereal: This one is a little deceptive. No one thinks of cereal as being a threat to their health.
But no matter which one you choose, breakfast cereals are high on the glycemic index (GI). For many people, a dose of high-glycemic carbs in the morning is the prescription for building excess body fat.
You’d almost be better off eating a candy bar or a piece of cake.
The GI of an average piece of chocolate cake is between 31 and 38… a Snickers bar is about 43. Not bad.
Compare that to the GI of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes… which registers a whopping 132. That means corn flakes break down into sugar in your bloodstream faster than pure glucose!
And if you add fuel to the fire by putting sugar on your cereal, you’re sending an overwhelming surge of sugar into your system.
Remember, high blood sugar triggers a wave of insulin. And insulin is the hormone that sends the message to build and store fat.
Even “healthy” cereals like Grape-Nuts have a GI of 80. That’s also very high.
It might be a fast fix when you’re rushing in the morning, but cereal in the morning will make you fat. Avoid it at all costs.
French Fries: Possibly the worst foods you can eat. First off, potatoes are high-glycemic and not good for you in any form. But when you take potatoes and deep-fry them in trans fatty oil, you have a recipe for sickness and disease.
While white potatoes aren’t the best choice, the oil they’re cooked in adds much more danger than the potatoes do. If you need a potato fix now and then, opt for a baked potato or, better yet, sweet potatoes. They’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Bagels and Breads: Don’t fall for the “whole-grain goodness” trap. When it comes to the glycemic index, it matters very little whether breads are made from whole grain or not. Grains spike your blood sugar, and you know what that means.
Forget about the commercials you see on TV. Unless you are very poor and can’t get enough calories without them, you should avoid grains at least until you get as lean as you want to be. You’ll be better off without them.
In the morning, take a few extra moments and scramble some eggs. Before you throw the eggs in, sauté some sliced tomatoes and spinach. Maybe some onion, too. In less than 10 minutes, you can have a breakfast that will make you feel pumped and energetic for the whole morning.
And if you need a fast lunch, try a wrap instead of a sandwich. More and more restaurants offer wraps these days. They come in all styles – spinach is my favorite. (Try and avoid the heavy flour tortillas.)
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
- Whitehouse MW, Macrides TA, Kalafatis N. “Anti-inflammatory activity of a lipid fraction (Lyprinol®) from the N. Z. green-lipped mussel.” Inflammopharmacology. 1997;5:237-46.