Made mostly from butter, flour and sugar, croissants are high on calories (approx. 300) and saturated fat (approx 10g) and low on nutritional value. If you are craving baked goods, opt instead for some wholegrain bread or a wholegrain bagel topped with egg, spinach and mushrooms. While bagels can still be high in calories, they have less fat, and depending on the brand, less sugar. Bagels made from whole grains are also typically higher in fibre and some vitamins and minerals.
SUGARY BREAKFAST CEREAL
Breakfast is important for so many reasons, including boosting mental performance and reducing your desire to overeat later in the day. While a quick bowl of cereal can be a great idea, not all breakfast cereals are created equal. For a healthy option, check the label and look for a cereal that has less than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams. High fibre is also important, with the recommended amount being at least 10 grams of fibre per 100 grams. Wholegrains such as rolled oats, also offer more nutritional value than refined grains.
The humble ham sandwich, a lunchbox staple for many years, has been found to be not so great for your health. Classed as a processed meat (like bacon and sausage), research published in PLOS Medicine found that eating ham may put you at greater risk of developing colon and lung cancer. Relatively high in salt, nitrates and calories, processed meats are best avoided. Instead, opt for vegetarian options like egg, hummus, tzatziki, avocado and salad, or white meat like chicken, tuna and turkey.
A staple in many households, your weekly spaghetti bolognese can be given a health boost by using less meat and more legumes (such as red kidney beans or lentils) and veggies (such as carrot, zucchini and celery). Lean minced beef, chicken and turkey can also be alternated each week, and remember that using wholemeal pasta will up the fibre content. Don’t forget to add herbs such as dried or fresh oregano and rosemary, which improve flavour as well as having their own health benefits.
Natural yoghurt with probiotics can be great for your digestive health. To enjoy the full health benefits of yoghurt, it is recommended that we avoid flavoured, fruit, vanilla or lite yoghurts, all of which can be high in sugar, and opt instead for full-fat natural yoghurt, to which you can add your own fruit for extra sweetness. According to Harvard School of Public Health, references to yogurt and health date back to 6000 BC, as seen in Indian Ayurvedic medicinal texts. The live bacterial content in yoghurt, which is also present in other fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, has been found to have a beneficial action that aids conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.