9 Unhealthy Breakfast Foods That May Have Fooled You

Updated: Jul. 22, 2022

You'll be shocked to discover that certain breakfast foods aren't as healthy as you thought.

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Healthy and unhealthy breakfast food at table
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Sure, we all know Birthday Cake Pancakes may not be a nutrition-packed superstar at the breakfast table. But some unhealthy foods aren’t so easy to identify! We’re uncovering the sneaky go-to breakfast foods that are actually breakfast flops.

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Taste of Home


These yeasty, chewy rounds of dough can have anywhere from 200 to 300 calories per bagel, and that’s without your favorite toppings. If you’re a regular fan of bagels, opt for a half topped with sliced avocado, smeared with almond butter or paired with a hard-boiled egg to jump-start your morning.

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Portrait of young woman in underwear eating cereals. Isolated on white

Dried Fruit Cereals

Whole grain flakes coupled with dried fruit may appear to be the perfect pairing, but unfortunately these cereals are a nightmare for anyone who monitors their carbs. Dried fruits usually pack a sugary punch! Instead, grab a healthy whole grain cereal and add in your own freeze-dried fruits.

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Taste of Home


While there are some healthy options for granola, many are packed with added sugars, saturated fats or as many calories as French fries (1 cup = 312 calories and 1 cup granola = 300 calories)!

Stick to sprinkling granola on plain yogurt instead.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothies Recipe photo by Taste of Home


Walk into a smoothie shop and you might be surprised to find out most smoothies have 350 to 400 calories and over 100 grams of carbs. Liquid calories have also been shown to be less satisfying than whole foods. Though smoothies boast a big serving of fruits and vegetables, you’re better off eating ’em.

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strawberry yogurt in glass with vintage spoon and cloth place on white wooden background. pink yogurt. pink yoghurt, strawberry yoghurt.
Shutterstock / meaofoto

Flavored Yogurt

Just compare the stats for 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (120 calories, 22 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbohydrates), against 1 cup fruit-flavored yogurt (210 calories, 18 grams of protein and 27 grams of carbohydrates). Whoa!

Power up yogurt with fresh fruit, chia seeds or flaxseeds instead.

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Turkey bacon
Shutterstock / paplemini

Turkey Bacon

We often think “healthy” when we see the word turkey, but you might be surprised when you do a side-by-side comparison of bacon vs. turkey bacon. Turkey bacon may be leaner, but it actually has less protein and more sodium. Bummer!

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pretty brunette and an blank soda can, focus on drink
Shutterstock / Fotos593

Energy Drinks

Flashy colors make these drinks appear to be healthier alternatives to coffee, but all the buzz around added supplements aren’t worth the risks seen in research. You’re better off sipping good old-fashioned black coffee (skip the sugar-packed drinks at coffee shops) or black tea.

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Taste of Home


The ingredients in your muffin will weigh in on how healthy each breakfast bread might be. If the muffin tastes more like a cake you may have been deceived! Opt to make Cranberry Oat Muffins or Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins instead.

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Bottle of freshly squeezed orange. Woman drinking orange juice in a cafe


Somehow we lost the 4-oz juice glasses our grandparents used to have, and instead found ourselves with 16-oz tumblers. That full juice glass will pack a whopping 200-plus calories! Sip a 4-ounce pour or simply grab an orange and get the added fiber.