Five Simple Food Swaps for a Healthier Breakfast
1) SWAP Flavoured Porridge Sachets with Traditional Rolled Oats:
Often marketed as a health food, flavoured porridge sachets undergo more processing than traditional rolled oats, being rolled or steamed for longer so that they cook faster, however losing nutritional value in the process.
Traditional oats only take a minute or two extra to cook than instant, be it in the microwave or on the stove. Plus, they contain no added sugar or funny ingredients that you wouldn’t keep in your pantry; A popular brand of fruit-flavoured oats on the other hand contains three different forms of sugar (white sugar, golden syrup and glucose) as well as a thickening agent (maltodextrin) and ‘flavours’. You wont find these in traditional rolled oats, which retain their naturally sweet flavour, creaminess and chew.
If you’re making the switch from flavoured instant porridge to the real deal, add fresh fruit (mashed banana cooked through is awesome) and a sprinkle of cinnamon for some wholesome sweetness.
2) SWAP Flavoured Low Fat or Diet Yoghurt with Full Fat Unsweetened Yoghurt:
Back in my diet days, my no-fat diet crème brulee yoghurt would only leave me craving a real piece of cake…Yes low fat and diet yoghurts may have less kilojoules than full fat, unsweetened varieties, but this comes with a catch: With low fat flavoured yoghurts, you get a lot of added sugar to make up for the satisfying taste that fat provides, while diet yoghurts tend to have a chemically aftertaste from the artificial sweeteners and flavours (I’m not sure if ‘crème brulee’ and ‘yoghurt’ were ever two words that were meant to go together).
Switch to full-fat, unsweetened varieties of yoghurt and I bet you’ll find you’ll eat less of it than you would a low fat or diet yoghurt; A couple creamy dessertspoons with my oats for breakkie really leaves me satisfied.
3) SWAP Multigrain Toast for Wholegrain, Rye, Spelt or Sourdough Toast:
Most multigrain and seeded breads aren’t as healthy as they look or claim to be, being based on refined, white wheat flour with a few seeds thrown in. When you read the ingredients list on a loaf of bread, looks for things like ‘wholemeal’ or even better, ‘wholegrain’ wheat flour, which will give you more fibre and B vitamins than wheat flour. I’m also a fan of spelt (an ancient form of wheat) because it’s easier to digest than typical wheat. Low GI sourdough and breads based on rye flour also get the tick of approval.
4) SWAP Commercial Spreads for Fresh Fruit and 100% Nut Butters:
Jam just gives you concentrated sugar, but fresh fruit on your toast, like sliced strawberries or smashed banana provides natural sweetness along with a whole heap of vitamins, minerals and filling fibre. More of a peanut butter fan? Commercial peanut butter can contain unnecessary added sugar and ‘hydrogenated’ or hardened vegetable oils, which can turn into undesirable trans-fats. Go for pure nut spreads instead like 100% peanut or almond butter for some satiating protein and healthy fats without the nasties; I have these on toast with banana or swirled through my porridge or yoghurt.
5) SWAP Pancakes with Protein Pancakes:
If you love a good of stack pancakes but find they leave you with a raging appetite an hour or two after, try 12 Health’s Vanilla Protein Pancakes; Based on pea protein isolate and egg whites, these will help keep your blood sugar stable - Three standard pancakes made with this delicious mix gives you 30 g protein, only 6 g carbs and zero sugar. Serve with unsweetened Greek or coconut yoghurt and a handful of fresh berries and you have yourself a much healthier alternative to your typical carb-heavy, syrup-laden pancakes.
12 Health Vanilla Protein Pancake Mix: 30g of protein per serve and only 6g of carbs. Zero sugar & zero nasties! Made in Australia from the highest quality natural and organic ingredients. Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free.