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We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jump starts your metabolism and gives you energy for the day. But depending on your breakfast choice, you could be cheating yourself.

Many of the breakfast foods we love contain large amounts of white flour, sugar and corn syrup — all ingredients that are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. Foods like cereal, waffles, toast, waffles and pancakes are usually made from processed white flour that raises your blood sugar and will cause your body to produce a spike in insulin. This is often followed by low blood sugar – which makes you feel hungry, tired, and less focused. So you reach for a quick snack, probably something that will give you a quick burst of energy (empty carbs again) and this starts the whole process over again.

To avoid this seesaw kind of day, start your day with whole grains and some kind of protein. These will take your body longer to digest, so you won’t experience that spike in blood sugar.

Here are some examples of easy-to-make breakfast foods that will sustain your energy levels:

  • Peanut butter – It’s a great protein. Spread it on toast instead of jelly or top a banana with it.
  • Oatmeal — Because oatmeal is a whole grain it will give you energy. Plus it is high in fiber, which will help you feel full longer.
  • Eggs – Any way you prepare them, eggs are a great protein for breakfast. Try combing an egg with a complex carb, such a whole-grain bread. Add fresh vegetables to your scrambled eggs for an added dose of vitamins and fiber, Just avoid frying your eggs in fat.
  • Greek yogurt – It offers almost double the amount of protein of regular yogurt. Top it with fruit and granola, or mix it in a smoothie and you should feel full until lunchtime. Avoid flavored yogurt, because it has high levels of sugar.
  • Beans – They’re not a common breakfast food in the United States, but people in other countries are accustomed to beans first thing in the morning. Beans are full of fiber and protein, making them a great breakfast food. Try adding beans to a breakfast burrito.

Get your day off to a great start by giving your body the fuel it needs.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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