Skip to content

The #1 Worst Breakfast For Your Immunity, Says Dietitian

This sweet breakfast treat may be wrecking your immune system.

When you're trying to boost your immune health, there are many factors to consider. Some things you may want to try are getting plenty of sleep, trying to limit your stress levels (easier said than done), exercising regularly, or eating a healthy diet.

If you choose to try eating healthier foods to improve your diet and immune system, then you may be asking yourself which foods are helpful to eat and which ones should be avoided. For example, when it comes to breakfast foods, you'll want to eat plenty of protein, fiber, and fruits.

According to Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at GoWellness, one of the worst breakfasts to eat for your immunity is pancakes or waffles. "Most of us eat pancakes and waffles with added sugar, syrup, chocolate, or whipped cream," says D'Angelo. And because of its potential for an overload of added sugar, your immune system may suffer.

Why pancakes and waffles do not support a healthy immune system

Courtesy Taste and Tell

When it comes to starting your day off in a way that's healthy for your immunity, you want to avoid meals that are mostly made of added sugar and ones that have little to no protein or fiber.

For example, a study found in Nature Communications states that high levels of fructose can lead to a greater increase in inflammation, which may lead to a weakened immune system.

"Foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar levels and have a high glycemic index, which will increase inflammation, lead to energy level fluctuations, and an on-and-off appetite," says D'Angelo, "and in turn, these side effects can result in a weakened immune system due to your body overworking itself and, more importantly, not having the proper nutrients it needs to function."

A healthier way to eat pancakes and waffles

whole wheat pancakes

The good news is that you don't have to avoid these sweet breakfast treats for good if they're something you truly love. If you want to have a healthy immune system and still eat your pancakes too, there are some small ways to improve their nutritional value.

"If you want to eat pancakes or waffles for breakfast, try adding protein powder, fiber, and antioxidants to the recipe," says D'Angelo, "so for instance, add antioxidant-rich blueberries instead of chocolate chips, or substitute white flour with fiber-rich oat flour, and toss in a scoop of healthy whey protein powder."

For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read these next:

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha