Breakfast 101: 4 Simple Food Swaps


Karomaza |

photography by Ted Cavanaugh

You’re a busy kinda gal and this season’s all about catching up with people over endless breakfasts, brunches and cocktail parties. But what about your waistline? We’ve got you covered.

We asked dietician Celeste Naudé for smart food swaps you can make this summer – you’ll love that French toast is still on the menu.

You’re Out For Brunch

Eat This: Scrambled egg with bacon and tomato
Not That: Eggs Benedict with tomato and spinach

No, Olive, spinach with your eggs Benedict does not make it healthier. Hollandaise sauce, made with butter and egg yolks, bumps up the total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Keep your helping of bacon moderate – it’s a sodium bomb and, depending on the type, can be fatty too.

Ask for fresh tomato slices and you’ll score one of your veggie servings for the day without the extra grease. For added flavour and folate, ask for a topping of fresh basil leaves.

Eat This: French toast with syrup
Not That: English breakfast

A good old English fry-up has its place, but pass if you’re watching your waist. Two fried eggs, bacon, sausage and tomato can contain more than half your daily kilojoule needs and more than 25g of heart-harming saturated fat. Bacon and sausage up the sodium levels to around 2500mg – more than the health guideline of less than 2300mg (six grams of salt) daily.

Research shows that too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, increasing our risk of heart disease and stroke. French-style toast equals less sodium and only four grams of unhealthy fats. Ask for the golden syrup on the side and only add a trickle.

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Eat This: Bran muffin with cheese and jam
Not That: Croissant with low-fat cream cheese and salmon

Muffins contain a fair amount of fat and sugar, but the bran versions are usually lower in these and have more fibre than white-flour options. A standard bran muffin (about 60g) will give you roughly three to five grams of fibre. Go easy on the cheese and steer clear of those giant muffins. The croissant and cream cheese meal is hefty in heart-unhealthy fats (about 15g).

Rather get your omega-3 benefits from salmon at another meal: grilled, steamed or as sashimi, accompanied with an unrefined carbohydrate and heaps of veggies. As a breakfast option, combine salmon ribbons with a poached egg on wholegrain bread, with fresh tomato slices and coriander leaves.

Drink This: Cappuccino
Not That: Latte

A milky latte is delicious as a treat, but racks in more kilojoules than its cousin, the cappuccino, which is made with less milk. A short latte with low-fat milk comes in at around 720kJ; a cappuccino equals 350kJ.

The best bet when sampling the fine javas from your favourite barista is to opt for skim milk – it makes a better froth, a cappuccino with skim will keep you looking hot in your skinnies with only around 200kJ in a short.

Finally, a legit excuse to eat ice cream! Read whether eating ice cream for breakfast could make you smarter.

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