The Downside to Breakfast without Protein

“Pancakes can’t be that bad right? I thought low-fat meals were good if you’re watching your weight. I have a diet book that says low-fat is the way to go.” Well, let me tell you a story.

I just got back from hanging out with my father who happens to be a type 2 diabetic and about 10-15 pounds from a healthy weight (sound familiar?)

Recently, on my advice, he has been having an omelett with a slice of whole-wheat toast (maybe 2) and a fruit if he feel he needs it – This is a nice balance of both protein and carbs. He’s a big guy at 6′4″ so he needs a good dose of calories. He has been feeling great and his blood-sugar has been normal both before breakfast and on the random times he checks it throughout the day.

Then, he made a switch this weekend. He decided that pancakes would be ok because he’s been good and afterall – how much damage can come from 1 “all-carb” meal? He initially felt a surge of energy after the pancakes because of the high amount of carbs, but 2 hours later something happened? He got very sweaty, nervous, and weak.

You see, because the meal wasn’t balanced with protein (a point I will repeat until I’m blue in the face), his blood sugar levels skyrocketed and then soon dropped very rapidly causing these hypoglycemic symptoms. 

He took his blood sugar and it was something like 65 (very low for his situation). What do you think someone goes for when their blood-sugar levels are really low like this? You guessed it – more carbs to bring their levels back to normal. This a vicious cycle that can cause weight gain and diabetes down the line.

My point?

If you want to avoid the roller coaster ride of high and low blood sugar – if you want to feel a steady flow of energy all day long – if you want to avoid type 2 diabetes – and ESPECIALLY if you want to control your weight (or lose weight) – you must add protein to your meals and snacks.

Just because a meal is low-fat, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. The low-fat craze is over and for good reasons. It’s a watered-down approach to weight loss that focuses on calories only. There is more you need to consider if you want to lose weight and feel good. Again, focus on balance. You will be better off.

3 more terrible breakfasts:

1. Bagel with orange juice (all carbs)

2. Fruit alone (all carbs)

3. Cheerios with banana (all carbs)