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What do nutritionists agree are the best components of a healthy breakfast?

healthy breakfast

The breakfast brigade falls into two camps. One called carbs and one called protein. Every morning they battle it out, one side crying out that carbs are evil whilst the other rallies against fat, meat and cholesterol. Its an age old argument and serves no purpose other than to highlight the fact that what we eat is a hugely personal thing. And therefore divisive.

As with most things, there are the extremes and there is balance. Two sides to every story.

We set out to investigate the battles behind breakfast, and here’s what we found to be the best components of a healthy breakfast.

 

The components of a healthy breakfast

For a start, not everything is black and white. The days of Atkins and a pound of bacon for breakfast are behind us. Even the Paleo crowd understand that the salt content of bacon and sausages make them an every other Sunday special. Yet not all protein comes from animal sources, or with a hearty dose of salt and saturated fat, just as not all carbs will send you into a diabetic coma.

We researched dozens of articles and found that nutritionists, on the whole, agree on two things. The first is that refined carbs and sugar, excessive saturated fat, and salt have no place on the healthy breakfast menu. The second is that wholegrains, fruit and veg, proteins and healthy fats most definitely do.

The basic message is to include something from each of the five food groups.

What are the five food groups?

  • Starchy foods – provide essential energy
  • Fruit and veg – for vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals
  • Dairy – a good source of calcium
  • Protein – essential for growth and repair
  • Fat – provides essential fatty acids

Yet within these groups some foods are better for our health and more nutrient dense than others. Refined carbs such as white bread and sugar will cause blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. With excess energy that is stored as fat. Too much saturated fat in the diet may lead to heart attacks and stroke, whilst excess salt can lead to water retention and cause a rise in blood pressure. Even vegans love bacon, which is why fake bacon exists, but you don’t want it as your daily driver.

So that basic message can be narrowed down a little further. Stick to foods as close to their natural state as possible.

So, what does a balanced breakfast look like?

According to most of the experts, a balanced healthy breakfast is composed of…

  1. A serving of wholegrains
  2. A portion, or two, of fruit.
  3. A serving of dairy, or other high calcium equivalent.

Additional fats and proteins can be added depending on your needs.

It varies, but on average that is 30g wholegrains, 150g fruit, and 100g yoghurt or 250ml milk.

Wholegrains

wholegrain cereals

Wholegrains are less refined than say white wheat flour or instant oats. With their natural structure more intact, they provide plenty of fibre and offer greater nutritional value. The fibre helps to slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream and encourages digestive transit. Some wholegrains, such as oats, contain soluble fibre that further lessens the impact on blood sugar.

Wholegrains include wholewheat, spelt, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, bulghur and brown rice. Collectively known as cereals, the group also contains some pseudo grains such as millet and quinoa.

Fruit

fruit for breakfast

One of the major components of a healthy breakfast, fruit contains fibre as well as lots of healthy vitamins, minerals, and a range of hugely beneficial phytochemicals. Yes fruit contains sugars, but packaged as they are in their natural unprocessed form the benefits outweigh the downsides. Fibre in fruit helps to slow down the uptake of sugars, as does the other components of a healthy breakfast.

Blueberries and raspberries, in fact all berries, are superfoods in their own right that work particularly well for breakfast. Bananas provide quick and slow release energy alongside essential vitamins and minerals. Grated apple is also good for breakfast.

Dairy

dairy for breakfast

With the rise of veganism, dairy is a bone of contention right now. There are alternatives available, with varying nutritional profiles, and we will discuss them at length in a further post. Suffice to say that dairy foods are still considered the number one dietary source of calcium, and non-plant protein. Especially when it comes to breakfast.

Milk and yoghurt go hand in hand with healthy breakfast cereals, providing not only calcium but vitamin A, D, and B vitamins as well as calcium, potassium and phosphorus. A source of essentially fatty acids, and protein, dairy foods do deliver for breakfast.

Adding protein

Protein is considered ideal for breakfast. Essential for growth and repair, it also keeps us feeling fuller for longer so less likely to snack in between meals. Eggs are an ideal source of protein for breakfast, and are great for switching it up when we have more time to prepare and linger over breakfast. A cooked breakfast of eggs means we can enjoy vegetables as a change from fruit, and have spinach, mushrooms, or tomatoes without them feeling out of place.

You can of course eat anything you like at any time of day. The goalposts of breakfast have certainly moved. But one thing about breakfast is that for many of us it needs to be really quick and super easy. Which is why the cereal/fruit/dairy combo fits so well.

There are other ways to add protein to your breakfast. Some yoghurt has higher protein content than others. Nuts are also excellent sources of protein. Protein powders, both dairy and plant, are also popular.

Including healthy fats

Many of the ingredients in a good granola contain healthy fats, as do chia seeds and flax seeds. Adding nuts also increases intake of essential fatty acids as well as protein; why not try a spoonful of nut butter with your breakfast?

Healthy breakfast cereal

components of a healthy breakfast

When it comes to eating wholegrains for breakfast, for most of us that means breakfast cereal. We have already talked about refined carbs and sugars for breakfast, but watch out as some wholegrain cereals still come with a load of sugar. A healthy breakfast cereal has plenty of fibre and is low in added sugar. Look for high quality versions of granola and muesli, and try overnight oats or hot porridge. Variety really is key so try not to have the same thing everyday. Sometimes though, a routine is the only way that many of us get the nutrients we need. So if eating the same bowl of porridge with berries or granola with banana makes the difference between breakfast or no breakfast then totally have at it.

Is granola healthy?

Granola is a great breakfast for many reasons. Not least that it is quick and easy to prepare and to eat. Good granola does not have too much sugar, is usually oat based, and comes with plenty of other nutrient dense goodies. Watch out for those that have too much sugar, too much fat, and not enough of the good bits like nuts and extra fruit. You can also consider granola bars and bliss balls. Just aim to get a portion or two of fruit too okay? As demand increases, gluten-free granola is more widely available.

Is muesli healthy?

Muesli is essentially granola without the fat that is used to make it crunchy. Some muesli may have less sugar than granola, or contain no sugar at all. But do read the label, some mainstream commercial muesli will contain sugar as well as milk powder. If it makes the milk sweeter and creamier then it probably does.

10 benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every day

  1. Breakfast restores energy levels. With more energy you are likely to move more throughout the day.
  2. Replenishes nutrient levels after the period of fasting whilst asleep.
  3. Eating breakfast makes it more likely you will reach your five a day.
  4. A healthy breakfast will help regulate hunger, preventing snacking through the morning.
  5. Breakfast is the easiest way to get more fibre into your diet.
  6. Increased focus. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast enhances mental performance.
  7. Breakfast boosts metabolism so you burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.
  8. Your blood sugar levels will be more stable.
  9. Eating breakfast allows for better weight control.
  10. Increased vitality creates a positive feedback loop. Feel better. Be better.

It is not difficult to achieve the components of a healthy breakfast, in fact you are more likely to eat breakfast if it is quick and easy. Once you discover the benefits, you will have formed a healthy habit for life.

We have a range of healthy granola, or head over to our wholesale site for all your gourmet groceries.

Toasted Cranberry A Healthy Quick Breakfast Cereal

Toasted Cranberry Granola by Mulberry Tree is a natural whole food mix. It is a mixture of toasted granola with sweet and tangy cranberries. Mulberry Tree is a granola company favorite in high-quality superfood because our products are mostly made from wholefood ingredients. The Toasted Cranberry Granola is scrumptious oven-toasted granola; it is then laced with cranberries, apple, raisins, and almonds. The best way to enjoy the meal is by soaking it in fresh milk with added fresh fruits and yogurt.

Mulberry Tree is a label brand of Opera Foods a wholesale granola supplier. We offer crunchy granola and muesli for a healthy cereal breakfast.

All our products are packed in reusable zip zeal packs to retain the freshness with no added artificial preservatives. We deliver products to retailers and consumers direct from our online warehouse in NSW. Visit us to check out more details about our products along with huge discounts on your first order.

Roasted Almond Crunch a High Protein Breakfast

Mulberry Tree crunchy granola

Mulberry Tree crunchy granola

Roasted Almond Crunch, from Mulberry Tree, is a really crunchy roasted granola and an easy healthy breakfast with milk, almond milk or yogurt and fresh fruit.
However it also is a high protein breakfast suitable for active people who want a low GI breakfast that will give them sustained energy long into their day.

Roasted Almond Crunch is based on Almonds which are the most nutritious nut and a perfect taste for a low sugar breakfast.

Almonds are 21% protein and a nutritionally dense food, containing a rich source (over 20% of the daily Needs) of the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, vitamin E, and the essential minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Almonds are also a source of the B vitamins thiamine, vitamin B6, and folate, choline, and the essential mineral potassium. They also contain substantial dietary fiber.
Roasted Almond Crunch is loaded with healthy Australian almonds. Buy healthy crunchy granola direct from wholesale distributors and manufacturers Opera Foods.
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Roasted Almond Crunch for Stamina

GMulBerry-Tree_Roasted-Almond-CrunchGet the stamina to sustain your day with a healthy low sugar low GI granola like best seller Roasted Almond Crunch from Mulberry Tree. Mulberry Tree is a long established Australian manufacturer that is focused on healthy granola and muesli products with no added sugar for an easy healthy breakfast. For fitness enthusiasts, a healthy granola packed with almonds and served with yogurt and fresh fruit can be the best natural high protein meal of the day. Buy it from IGA Market Central Wentworth Point or Greenwood Grocer of Greenwood Plaza North Sydney right next to the station. Mulberry Tree is a division of Opera Foods. #mulberrytree #granola #roastedalmondcrunch #healthygranola #noaddedsugar #lowsugar #easyhealthybreakfast #muesliproducts #bestseller #stamina #lowgi #operafoods #fitness #highprotein #almonds #yogurt #freshfruit #igamarketcentral #igawentworthpoint #greenwoodgrocer

New Re-sealable Bags for Mulberry Tree Range

New Mulberry Tree muesli bags

Mulberry Tree Granola

Mulberry Tree Granola

Mulberry Tree have announced that their range of muesli and granola breakfast cereals will be packaged in a new re-seal-able and re-use-able bag.

The new high strength bag that is heat sealed will ensure maximum freshness and shelf life and the convenient zipper sealer enables consumers to re-seal in an instant ensuring their breakfast cereal remains fresh until totally consumed.

The bags are also flat bottom style which ensures they stand upon the grocery shelf and give retailers the best space saving and product exposure.

Opera Foods director Aniko Silk said that she particularly liked the matt black colour of the bags that will make the product stand out on the supermarket shelves.

Mulberry Tree breakfast cereal products will be shipping in the new style muesli bags from next month.