Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day, however a balanced diet is just as crucial.
That’s why two nutrition experts have revealed the top breakfast foods to avoid if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Dietitian Natalie Forester told The Sun that opting for natural, unprocessed foods to start the day should always be your first step.
Natalie said: ‘If there’s a packaged product you want to consume, first check the ingredients and ask yourself, can I imagine this ingredient growing? – And move forward from there.’
Nutrition expert Rebekah Blakely says Brits should ditch flavoured instant oatmeal packs, because they are actually packed with lots of sugar (stock image)
Processed breakfast foods
For an optimal diet and healthy living, Natalie warns that it’s best to skip most processed foods. Things like pies, pastries and biscuits are best avoided as they contain high trans fat, which can increase your risk of chronic illnesses.
The NHS adds that buying processed foods can lead to people eating more than the recommended amounts of sugar, salt and fat, because they may not be aware of how much has been added to the food they are buying and eating.
These foods can also be higher in calories due to the high amounts of added sugar or fat in them.
White bread and refined grains
Let’s face it, on some mornings time is a luxury we just don’t have – leading us to opt for quick hunger fixes like a slice of toast.
However, Natalie says white bread and refined grains lack nutrients and fibre, so you should opt for whole grain or sprouted bread, bagels, and quinoa.
What’s more, processed white bread is often shunned by health experts due to its low nutritional value.
White bread is made from refined flour, which goes through a milling process to remove the bran and the germ. When it goes through this process, many of the beneficial nutrients are removed from the flour.
Nutrition expert Natalie Forester says things like white bread and refined grains lack nutrients and fibre, so instead, we should opt for whole grain versions (stock image)
Dietician Rebekah Blakely adds another bombshell to the list that’ll have you clearing out the cupboard.
The expert says you should ditch the flavoured instant oatmeal packs, because these seemingly healthy oats are actually packed with lots of sugar.
She adds that plain oats contain zero to one grams of sugar, while a flavoured pack will often have 11 to 14 grams of sugar.
So instead, grab plain oats which you can add fresh fruit to.
You’re probably thinking time is of the essence and standing behind the stove every morning to whip up a plate of oats just won’t cut it.
So Rebekah says you can still cook regular oats in the microwave, and if you really want to stick with instant oatmeal packs, just choose the original unflavoured version.
Low fat peanut butter
The childhood favourite is made of ground peanuts – often roasted first – before being blended into a thick paste.
It’s also a great way to get some protein in the morning, but if you choose the reduced fat option, the expert warns you may be making a mistake.
Rebekah advises we shop for full-fat peanut butter, as it’s known to be healthier for your heart, eyes and immune system.
She said: ‘Yes, peanut butter is about 70 per cent fat, but it’s primarily monounsaturated fat which is heart healthy and you get a good source of fat-soluble vitamin E, an antioxidant important for eye, heart, and immune health.’
Sadly another breakfast favourite has made it to the list, but here’s why you should shelve the sweet treat.
Natalie says although Danish pastries can be deliciously enticing, they are jam packed with calories, sugar and saturated fat.
They say everything in moderation right? But just remember these can be harmful to your health when consumed in large amounts. A single pastry can contain up to 500 calories or more.
For a healthy alternative, opt for a chia bar with added fruit, which Natalie says is sure to cure your sweet fix.