Sure bran flakes may look and sound healthy, but check out their nutritional info and you’re likely to see ingredients like honey - high in fructose, this is one of the worst foods to start your day with.
A simple sugar, fructose acts differently to other sugars, instead of being converted to energy, fructose is sent straight to the liver after consumption, where it becomes stored fat.
Another issue with fructose: It ignites the brain’s reward centre – which might explain why one bowl of sugary honey nut bran flakes is never enough.
100% traditional rolled oats (skip the more refined, quick-cooking ones) on the other hand are a wholefood. The perfect muesli base, rolled oats are rich in filling, blood-sugar stabilising fibre. They also contain ‘beta-glucan’, a soluble fibre that binds to and helps eliminate LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad’ kind of cholesterol.
White rice puffs may give your muesli some crunch, but they have a high GI and offer minimal nutritional benefit.
Go for a muesli with a nice mixture of nuts and seeds instead, like Table of Plenty’s Nicely Nutty Muesli. This has the perfect amount of almonds, cashews, pepitas and sunflower seeds which provide much more flavour and more nutrients, like energising B vitamins and antioxidant-rich vitamin E than a muesli full of bland puffed rice.
Nuts and seeds also offer healthy fats, protein and fibre, all of which will help tide you over for several hours after brekkie.
It’s okay to have a little dried fruit every now and then, but to have it every morning in your muesli isn’t ideal.
Not only does dried fruit stick to your teeth and promote cavities, it contains much more energy than a piece of whole fruit (it’s easy to eat four dried pear halves, but unlikely that you’d eat the equivalent fresh amount in one serving). Certain dried fruits like apple and pear are also highly concentrated in fructose.
Shredded or flaked coconut is a much healthier muesli topper. Funnily enough coconut is technically a fruit, although dried coconut lacks the high sugar content of your typical dried fruit. Coconut imparts a nice chew and nutty flavour into your oats, along with a subtle sweetness, sans the sugar.
Many people think they’re doing a good thing pouring skim milk on their muesli every morning, but chances are they get a grumbling stomach an hour after brekkie… Fat keeps you full!
Not only are full fat milk and yoghurt much closer to their natural state than low fat dairy, they slow stomach emptying and provide a well-rounded mouth-feel leaving you feeling satisfied. Switch to full cream milk and you’ll probably find that you’ll need less of this than the fat free version.
Skip that squeeze of fructose-loaded honey on your muesli for a sprinkle of spices like smooth, rich vanilla powder or sweet and spicy cinnamon. These add a depth of flavour to your oats without the blood sugar spike.
Table of Plenty Nicely Nutty Muesli: Fruit Free and crunchy, a delicious blend of whole rolled oats with almonds, cashews and seeds, oven baked with our signature vanilla recipe. It also contains NO honey and is suitable for vegans and those who are avoiding honey due to fructose malabsorption. For more head to www.tableofplenty.com.au