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3 breakfast foods you think are healthy, but really aren’t


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You start your morning off with an elixir shot, take probiotics, and buy organic. So that means you’re good, right? Um, well, maybe. With more Americans than ever interested in healthy food (slow claps all around), food manufacturers have become total pros at tricking consumers into buying things that they think are healthy, but actually aren’t—yep, even youVox went so far as to dub the American breakfast dessert.

Well fool the masses you shall no longer, big businesses—at least not when it comes to morning meals.

Scroll down to see which so-called healthy foods you should ditch in the a.m.—plus, what to eat instead.

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Photo: Pexels/WDnet Studio

The culprit: fruit smoothies

What to eat instead: Smoothies packed with greens

Before you start freaking out, not all smoothies are on the naughty list. But if you have a habit of blending together as many vibrant, juicy fruits as you can, you might want to dial it back. Combining bananas, mangos, and strawberries, for instance, ups the sugar content more than you may be conscious of—one cup of mangos alone has 24 grams of sugar.

The fix is easy: Use veggies as the bulk, like zucchini, cucumber, or fiber-packed greens. You can still add in some fruit, but then it won’t be as sugar-heavy. The same tips apply when buying juices at the store—you’ll want to go for green juices instead of fruit-based ones. 

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cereal processed food
Photo: Yvens Banatte via Unsplash

The culprit: breakfast cereal

What to eat instead: Nutritionist-approved granola

According to Men’s Health, Raisin Bran is one of the top five worst cereals for you nutrition-wise. Knew that one already? Fiber One and Kashi Go Lean Crunch don’t fare much better. The problem again? Sneaky sugar. Raisin Bran has 19 grams in just one cup. They’re also processed and have unnecessary hydrogenated oils. So how can you get your crunchy fix? Reach for a granola that doesn’t have added sugar and unhealthy fillers, like the ones on this list.

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rice cake
Photo: Thinkstock/msphotographic

The culprit: rice cakes and peanut butter

What to eat instead: Bananas with almond butter

The whole point of eating breakfast is to fuel your day, but the sad fact is, rice cakes don’t offer enough nutritional value to do much of anything for you. Sure, they’re low in calories, but they are also low in protein and fiber. Adding peanut butter does up the protein factor, but again, beware of sugar. Instead, go for something with potassium-rich bananas, and slather on some almond butter, which is higher in calcium and iron than peanut butter.

Need more breakfast ideas you know are healthy? Here are a whopping 35 to try out. And three really special ones if you’re an avocado fiend