P1020408It’s post Pesach, and you’ve got a plan to start eating healthier. So let’s start with breakfast. Yogurt and oatmeal are healthy, right?

It depends.

Turns out most yogurt and oatmeal that American’s eat is actually dessert. Just this past week on Pesach, I accidentally bought coffee yogurt instead of plain. Now, keep in mind, coffee yogurt is most likely produced for adults. Still, the yogurt had 29g of sugar! You’d have to eat 1.5 dark chocolate bars to get the equivalent amount. I’d rather go with the latter. A New York Times Magazine article, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Foods,” author Michael Moss writes about redefining yogurt in the late 90s:

[General Mills] Yoplait brand had transformed traditional unsweetened breakfast yogurt into a veritable dessert. It now had twice as much sugar per serving as General Mills’ marshmallow cereal Lucky Charms. And yet, because of yogurt’s well-tended image as a wholesome snack, sales of Yoplait were soaring, with annual revenue topping $500 million.

This articles doesn’t even figure in the M&M’s or sugary granola Breyer’s Yo Crunch throws on top.

Flavored instant oatmeal is somewhat better when it comes to sugar content, but it can just as full of food additives, like food coloring and artificial flavoring. Oatmeal with dried strawberries? Think again. Those are apple pieces, dyed red and artificially flavored.

In our house, I start my day with real food for breakfast. (My menu has the added bonus of being cheaper than the artificial alternatives.) I buy 32oz. containers of whole milk organic plain yogurt at Trader Joes and stir in less than a teaspoon of honey or real maple syrup. Then I top it with homemade granola. On days that I eat oatmeal, I make Steel Oats in a pot or plain instant oatmeal when I’m in a hurry. I add in wheatgerm so that it’s more filling and add less than a teaspoon of honey or real maple syrup.

A breakfast of real food keeps me full until lunch.

This post is part of a series, 7 Weeks to a Healthier Home

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