In 2013, a joint analysis of the 15 most popular diets by The American College of Cardiology, Heart Association, and Obesity Society revealed what all these diets have in common. Apparently, all of them advise eating a lot of vegetables, avoiding added sugars, and reducing the consumption of processed food. Yet, one important issue is often forgotten: the fact that some foods, however healthy, should never be eaten on an empty stomach.
Here at Bright Side, we’ve collected some products that are often referred to as healthy but are not advisable to eat for breakfast. Read this list all the way to the end to find two bonus points about a product that is actually good to consume on an empty stomach and a diet that is in fact, very healthy.
Although there is a specific diet called The Morning Banana Diet which promotes eating one or more bananas for breakfast and nothing else, eating bananas on an empty stomach might not be the best idea. It is true that bananas are full of potassium, fiber, and magnesium, but they are also acidic and contain a lot of sugar.
Eating acidic food on an empty stomach can cause problems in the intestines, and getting a boost of sugar in the morning can make you feel drowsy and energy-drained after a couple of hours. These problems can be solved if you mix bananas with other foods.
Despite the idea that yogurt with fruit for breakfast is healthy and promotes weight loss, not all yogurts are a good option. Commercially available yogurts are full of added sugars as well as 0% fat yogurts. To compensate for the loss of fat in non-fat yogurts, artificial sweetener is added. Finally, not all yogurts contain enough protein. The safest option would be to go for a plain Greek-style yogurt and sweeten it yourself with honey or fruit.
3. Pre-mixed oatmeal
Oatmeal is a very healthy option for breakfast, as oats are high in fiber, vitamins, protein, and do not contain gluten. However, instant oatmeal packages have lots of added sugar, salt, and artificial coloring. If you really don’t have time to prepare regular oats, only chose the unsweetened, plain instant oats and pay attention to its preservative and fiber content.
4. Raw green vegetables
Although vegetables are generally healthy, eating them on an empty stomach may cause irritation in some people, and can even lead to gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. One of the reasons for that is the insoluble fiber contained in most greens which should be particularly avoided by people with digestion problems.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins, low in calories, and nutritious. However, they should not be consumed on an empty stomach as they can cause stomachaches and general discomfort. Similar to some green vegetables, tomatoes contain soluble astringents, causing a reaction with gastric acid.
6. Citrus fruits
Eating citrus fruits on an empty stomach should be avoided by people diagnosed with diabetes or by those who have sensitive stomachs. High-acidic fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit can negatively interact with our digestive juices and cause irritation, heartburn, and gastric problems. Additionally, fruits high in carbohydrates can raise morning sugar levels which can be dangerous for diabetics. If you want to improve your digestive health, add walnuts to your breakfast routine.
7. Cold beverages
Cold drinks of any type on an empty stomach can cause irritation of the stomach and intestines. You should be especially concerned about cold carbonated beverages, as they result in bloating and a general uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. It is more advisable to have a glass of warm water in the morning before having your breakfast as it improves digestion, circulation, and helps with weight loss.
Although pears are a generally healthy snack full of vitamins, potassium, and are low in calories, it is advisable to avoid eating pears for breakfast. Pears contain crude fiber which can damage the stomach’s delicate mucous membranes when eaten on an empty stomach. It is especially true for hard pears.
This does not mean that you should avoid pears altogether. In fact, some studies show that people who eat pears are less likely to become obese and tend to have a more high-quality diet.
A bowl of cereal may be a convenient meal to eat for breakfast, but its large amount of sugar and refined carbs is bad for you. Although it feels filling at first, cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. A few hours later, you will start craving snacks as your blood sugar crashes.
A 2013 study compared obese adults who skip breakfast to those who eat cereal and to those who consume eggs for breakfast. The participants who consumed a high-protein breakfast with eggs felt fuller longer and craved snacks less than the other two groups. Think about this the next time you are trying to decide between having fried eggs or cereal for breakfast.
There is nothing wrong with having a smoothie for breakfast, but only if it is correctly balanced and combined with other foods. More often than not, your smoothie may end up being too low in calories and protein as it only contains carbs — most of them being from sugar. To solve this problem, avoid sweetening your smoothie and find ways to add protein and fat to it like with yogurt or avocado. Alternatively, you can drink your smoothie alongside scrambled eggs.
Bonus: Eating garlic and honey on an empty stomach
Surprisingly, garlic and honey is a very good combination of foods to consume on an empty stomach as they can help prepare your stomach to metabolize food in the most optimal way. To prepare the mixture, combine 12 chopped cloves of garlic with a jar of honey and leave them in a dark place for one week. Eat one spoonful every day before your first meal for the best results.
Do you know of any other seemingly healthy foods that should be avoided on an empty stomach or should be restricted to some people? Share your opinion, hints, and experiences in the comments.