One common argument in support of the consumption of less healthy food is that healthy options are more expensive and hence less affordable. People therefore have to turn to the take away or highly processed options. However, this is not the case at all! There are many healthy ingredients and products that can be used to make an affordable and nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This article will focus on breakfast options and will compare the cost and nutrition of different items.
Cereals and breakfast options
What do the guidelines recommend and how do the below breakfast options stack up against the criteria?
The table below shows the recommendations according to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
The green figures in the following table show that the product meets the recommendation for that nutrient. The red figures represent an undesirable content of the nutrient in question – either too much to too little.
For the purpose of comparison, the below values are based on a 100g serve of each product. The values for the Up & Go, McMuffin and muffin have been worked out per serve due to their larger serving size.
The Prices were retrieved from the Woolworths online shopping tool and the nutrition information from Calorie king – Current as of 29/09/2014.
When it comes to cereal, the biggest concern is generally how much sugar has been added and if the fibre content is adequate. Cereals rarely have a high fat content. When it comes to pastries and breakfast rolls, the biggest concern will be the total/saturated fat content and sodium. These latter foods may or may not have a high sugar content also.
What does the comparison tell us?
The first three products are clearly the healthiest options. Not to mention the cheapest! They have a low Glycaemic Index which will keep you more full for longer and they will also provide you with more health benefits than the other less healthy options. For example, Up & Go may only have one red value but it will not provide the same cholesterol lowering properties as oats. Additionally, breakfast beverages are very expensive.
A 500g box of oats will provide 12.5 serves for only $3.75 where as a 6 pack of Up & Go will set you back $9.43. Or if you prefer a muffin, at $3.70 a pop you would be throwing away $46 over 12 days opposed to the $3.75 for the box of oats!
A healthy breakfast can be more than affordable and will in fact save you a lot of money in comparison to fast food options. Not satisfied with cereal alone? Add a piece of fruit.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have questions about losing weight, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.