Is no breakfast better than an unhealthy breakfast?
Should you eat breakfast? Let’s be clear here- Curejoy are right in saying that given the current state of scientific evidence, unfortunately, the simple answer is: we don’t know. It depends. If you normally breakfast like a King then there’s no reason to change your ways. Do what works for you.
So is there such thing as an “unhealthy breakfast”. We believe no food should be classified as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but obviously certain foods are more nutritious than others. The main problem here is stating that you should “avoid certain foods forever” is sensationalist and unnecessary. Additionally, the science behind some of Curejoy’s claims is simply wrong. Here’s why:
“Wholegrain cereals are highly processed, high in sugar and contain very little wholegrain”
Truth: The clue is in the name. Whole grains are the complete grain. Unlike highly processed refined cereals (think rice crispies), a whole grain cereal has had nothing taken away from it. Whole grains are packed with nutrients and play an important role in a healthy diet. Low sugar whole grain cereals include shredded wheat, Weetabix and porridge oats.
“Pancakes and waffles are high in refined sugar and flour”
Truth: It’s not the pancakes themselves that are the bad choice. There are plenty of healthy pancake recipes available (we like this one). It’s the toppings that determine how healthy they are. Instead of butter and syrup, opt for naturally sweet fruits and some natural yogurt. The protein will keep you full for longer, and the fruit will count as a portion of your 5-a-day.
“Toast with margarine is highly processed and high in trans fats”
Truth: Health concerns around trans-fats has led to the reformulation of margarines to make them virtually free of trans fats. Choose wholegrain toasts as it has a great nutritious profile (see previous post!)
“Muffins are high in sugar and fat”
Truth: Generally, these are not the most nutritious breakfast choice due to the high sugar and fat content. However, if you are having breakfast on the run, an occasional muffin can be quite handy. Choose a savoury muffin to keep the sugar content low, or if you’re feeling creative, make your own! Here’s a healthy recipe for carrot muffins.
“Fruit juice is as bad as soda”
Truth: Nonsense. Yes, fruit juice is high in sugar and therefore should be limited to one small glass (150ml) a day. But it provides an abundance of vitamins and minerals not found in soda, and if you opt for 100% fruit juice with pulp, you’ll get the added benefits of fibre. Fruit juice is a much better choice than soda.
“Sweetened low-fat yogurts contain comparable amounts of sugar as a scoop of ice cream”
Truth: In some low fat yogurts sugar is used to replace the taste lost by removing fat. However, this claim is exaggerated; when we analysed the sugar content in several well-known brands, yogurt had less sugar than ice cream.
If you need to reduce your fat intake, opt for a low fat and a low sugar yogurt. If you are not dieting, don’t be afraid of opting for a full-fat- it will curb your hunger for longer than a low-fat sugary yogurt. Read the great yogurt debate here.
“Granola bars are just a form of candy bars”
Truth: If you select a brand that is low sugar and low fat, a cereal bar can be useful for an occasional on the go breakfast. This website gives a good overview on reading labels when selecting cereal bars.
Reference: images from http://www.pixabay.com