Breakfast, or Sugary Dessert?
Your alarm goes off.
You try to open your eyes, with varying levels of success, and try to shut that darn ringing off.
A yawn and a stretch later, you get up, go into the kitchen and…
(Please finish that sentence in the comments below, I’m dying to hear the end of this!)
Yes, what does happen next?
Do you go straight for the coffee machine, or do you make yourself some yummy breakfast?
If it’s the latter, what is that breakfast made of? Or, could it technically classify as dessert?!
Today, I’m going to have a merciless look at some of the usual breakfast suspects, and how much sugar they contain. I’ll also give you awesome alternatives for your healthier lifestyle.
Let’s start with something pretty “harmless” – cereal.
If you’ve been following me for some time, you already know what I think about it. As I’m only looking at the sugar content, my opinion of cereals otherwise, will be suspended for the following sentences.
In a recent blog post, Ann Fernholm, a Swedish scientific journalist, specializing in how nutrition affects the body, pointed out that Kellogg’s Coco Pops contain 35 g of sugar/100 g, whereas a brand of chocolate cookies contains 33 g of sugar/100 g.
The cereal is relatively sweeter (contains more sugar) than milk chocolate cookies. How disturbed is that?!
Many cereals have more sugar than desserts do. Here is a little list of comparison of how much sugar they contain per 40 g of product:
Kellogg’s Coco Pops – 14.8g
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes – 13.6g
Scoop of vanilla ice cream – 10g
Nestle Cheerios – 8.6g
Jam doughnut – 8.6g
Even the “healthier” Weetabix doesn’t go under the radar here, even if 2 of them “only” have 2 grams of sugar in them. What you don’t see in that fact, is that 69% of the full weight of a Weetabix is carbohydrate, which will turn into sugar (glucose) as soon as you digest it
Ok, fine. But what about a sandwich? With some nutella (because it “just tastes better”)? So, 2 slices of white bread has 3 grams of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of nutella contains 21 grams of sugar. This is truly spreadable candy, with 23 g of sugar per serving!
Oh, and add a little fruit juice to that yummy breakfast, too? Add another 13 g of sugar to that, making it almost-worth-eating-cake-for-breakfast-worthy with 36 grams of sugar.
And what about yoghurt?
Actually, there’s a very broad spectrum when it comes to yoghurts. If it’s a plain, no-sugar-added, preferably full fat, version, please, go ahead. Enjoy that yoghurt!
But let’s have a look at another one, too.
For the average light (meaning low fat, meaning chemical sh*t-storm), strawberry flavored pot of yoghurt (ca 130 g), there will be 20 g of sugar.
And what about if you have to grab breakfast on the run? (The following 2 examples should scare you off from doing that…)
Let’s say you’re running late, and run into the Starbucks on your way to work or school. You’re super hungry by this point and need something quick.
You go for a much-loved breakfast combo that you can eat on your way to work; a caffe latte and a muffin!
Let’s crunch the sugar-numbers. A Starbucks Latte has 17 g sugar (and, if you go for the pumpkin spice latte, because, hey, it’s autumn (PSL is also poisonous, though) you have 49 g of sugar In. One. Cup! And your beloved blueberry muffin has another 29 g of sugar, making it a total of 46 (or 78!!) g of sugar. In one meal.
Or, my personal favorite to discuss is the Swiss power-breakfast-combo of an energy drink and a nussgipfel (which is a croissant with a nut filling). It almost pains me to write this, as I see So. Many. People. (and mostly teenagers, too) have this in the mornings. That can of energy drink has 26 grams of sugar, and that nussgipfel has another 36 g of sugar, totaling 52 grams of sugar.
No wonder we’re getting fatter every day! Not to mention these poor people’s inability to concentrate throughout the day, if they’re only fuelled by sugar in different shapes and forms! (Which, in turn, leads on to the non-surprise that more and more children are diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and other concentration-deficits. But that’s a topic for another blog post!)
A little disclaimer: we’re not even talking about carbohydrates here, we’re talking about real, pure sugar that is dumped into these usual breakfast items.
So, what options are left!? (That’s the question I get asked most frequently when I start explaining to my clients what sugar (and carbs) does to their body.)
The answer is MASSES. There are masses, loads and countless options out there instead of these breakfasts/desserts.
One of them is a lovely nut muesli, served with coconut milk. Nuts contain about 4 g of sugar/100 g (and here, you eat about 30-40g). There’s also 3.3 g sugar in 100 g coconut milk (and you eat maybe 50 g). This makes a total of 2.7 + 1.7 = (drumroll please… ) 4.4 g of sugar per serving.
Or, take a weekend favorite of mine, Coconut pancakes. It contains: 3.3 g sugar from the coconut milk, 6 g sugar/100 g of shredded coconut, 1.1 g sugar in the egg. This makes a total of 10.4 g sugar for the whole batch, about 5.2 g sugar per serving.
(The recipes for these are available in my PDF that you get as a welcome present when you sign up for my VIP list just to the left of this text.)
Or an omelet with 2 eggs, bacon, tomatoes and cheese: 2.2 g sugar in the eggs, 2.6 g sugar in 100 g tomatoes, 2.3 g sugar in 100 g cheese. This gives you a total of 7.1 grams of sugar (if you actually use 100 g each of tomatoes and cheese…)
Now it’s your turn; what’s usually on your breakfast table? How do you go about choosing what you eat in the mornings? Let me know in the comments below!