Wholesome and humble, bran muffins seem like a breakfast food hero. But while bran itself is a healthy whole grain source of fiber, it becomes less—much, much less—nutritious when baked into a muffin with heaps of sugar, flour, and fat. “Depending on the size, a bran muffin can have more calories and sugar than a doughnut,” Joan Salge Blake, RD, LDN, author of Nutrition & You, told WomansDay.com. If you’re really craving a muffin, make them yourself and look for recipes that use whole wheat flour and substitute applesauce for butter. Or try one of these healthier breakfast options.
Words like “multigrain,” “wheat,” and “7 grain” don’t mean all that much, explains CookingLight.com. Many breads labeled this way actually contained refined grains, which lack the fiber of whole grains and can make your blood sugar spike faster after eating, leading to cravings. Be a smarter bread shopper! If the first flour listed on the label is refined (look for “bleached” or “unbleached enriched wheat flour”), it’s not really a whole grain product.
Flavored instant oatmeal
It’s a whole grain, a healthy grab-and-go breakfast choice, and easily topped with other healthful sides like berries, flax, and nuts. So what could possibly be bad about oatmeal? Well, flavored packets have more sugar and sodium than regular rolled or steel cut oats, notes Prevention.com. A better option: Dress up regular oatmeal with fresh fruit or a small amount of honey.