They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – but what should you be eating?
I don’t know about anyone else but I could happily eat breakfast foods most of the time (probably one of the reasons Candida thrives in my body!) but finding a sugar free breakfast is practically impossible. Cereals are most often highly processed and full of added sugars and refined ingredients. In fact some can contain as much, if not more, sugar than a chocolate bar…not a good start to the day!
Although I was aware of the sugar content in some cereals, I naively believed that if they were labelled low fat then I would still be able to eat them lots and lose weight, but obviously this failed.
The Special K diet used to sound like the ideal two week plan to me as I could eat two bowls of my favourite cereal along with a main meal and my choice of low calorie Special K snacks to drop a dress size in two weeks. Result? Well, no. After two weeks of following the plan two years ago I didn’t lose a single pound and the reason is simple – I was still eating far too much sugar and too many carbohydrates. While I understand that some people do manage to successfully lose some weight following these plans, I can only assume that this is because they are consuming fewer calories than usual.
The concept of consuming two bowls of sugary cereal with milk a day and expecting to rapidly drop weight seems completely illogical to me now I know the impact sugar and dairy can have on one’s weight. For the same number of calories as a small bowl of cereal, I could enjoy a bowl of oats with seeds which will keep me feeling full for much longer.
It is not only for weight loss that we need to consider finding less sugary breakfast alternatives; high sugar cereals may perk you up for about half an hour after eating, but the sudden surge of sugar and carbohydrates can cause your body to release too much insulin, which In turn makes your blood sugar levels lower than they were before you ate. This makes us more likely to snack more often as we suffer with fluctuating blood sugar levels – most likely we reach for processed, sugary snacks or caffeinated drinks which have the same effect on our body – resulting in a vicious cycle that puts unnecessary stress on our bodies!
When following an anti-Candida or low sugar diet it can be really difficult to know what to eat; for months my breakfast consisted of porridge with unsweetened soya milk which I do enjoy, but now the summer’s here I was keen to try something new. As I said before many shop bought cereals contain high levels of sugar as well as preservatives, refined wheat and gluten. While you can find ‘special diet’ cereals such as the Free From range in Sainsbury’s, these can often be expensive so I decided to experiment with making my own breakfast granola.
Made with oats, natural sweeteners, seeds and nuts it is the perfect start to the day as it provides essential fats, protein and low-GL carbohydrates to ensure your blood sugar levels don’t go soaring!
If you are following a strict anti-Candida diet you may have been advised to avoid all sweeteners including natural ones such as Agave and xylitol, but I found these useful in satisfying my sweet cravings while remaining low GL – it would actually take seven tablespoons of xylitol to have the same effect on blood sugar levels as just one tablespoon of sugar so you would have to consume a lot to upset your body.
I serve this tasty granola with natural soya yoghurt or unsweetened soya milk for a cheaper and healthier alternative to cereal! For the recipe click here