- Iceland tops the breakfast charts as the healthiest place to start the day
- Discover some smart changes for healthier British breakfasts
- Adopt the breakfast of your favourite holiday destination to improve your health
We’re nearly half way through January and the Christmas leftovers are long-gone, those final calorific chocolates, cheese and mince-pies have been eaten or thrown away. It is well and truly time to improve our diet and where better to begin than the first meal of the day? Travel company Canvas Holidays have commissioned award-winning dietitian Harriet Smith to find out which nation has the healthiest breakfast and what tweaks we can make to our own breakfasts to improve our health.
Widely considered the most important meal of the day, breakfast varies massively across the world in terms of fat content and calories, as well as health benefits.
Top Five Healthy Breakfasts
The findings show that the top five countries dishing up the healthiest breakfasts are:
Iceland, Japan, Spain, France and Germany
Iceland came out on top of the survey with their Hafragrautur (oatmeal) which they serve with SKyr yoghurt, fruit, coffee and cod liver oil.
According to dietitian Harriet Smith this is the perfect way to start the day:
“It’s high in protein, fibre, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in fat and salt. It provides around one-fifth of the daily recommended fibre intake and over one-third of a women’s recommended daily protein intake. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, so this breakfast is likely to keep you full throughout the morning!”
Second on the list was Japan, though some Brits might not be keen to swap their sausages and bacon for rice, grilled fish, pickled vegetables, miso soup, egg and natto (fermented soybean).
The British Fry-up
The home countries don’t fare too well in the healthy breakfast stakes due to their love of traditional fry-ups (Ireland 8th, England 9th and Scotland 11th). However, Harriet has offered some modifications and simple swaps, which mean a cooked breakfast can be enjoyed from time-to-time without worrying too much about expanding waistlines.
Healthy Swaps and modifications
- Instead of having fruit juice, swap for whole fruit. Not only is it more filling, it also provides some all-important fibre.
- Sometimes it’s just down to preparation – grill instead of fry!
- Replace a high fat item for a veggie option. For example instead of two sausages have one and some avocado, mushrooms or a couple of spoonful’s of beans
- Breakfast is a great meal to increase fibre intake, beans or wholemeal toast work well. (In the UK, fewer than one in 10 adults eat the recommended 30g of fibre daily)
- Add protein to feel fuller for longer. Scrambled or poached eggs or a small pot of yoghurt are ideal.
Suzy Lynch from Canvas Holidays, who commissioned the research said:
“We are all aware how beneficial holidays are as a time to de-stress, re-connect with family and generally relax and have fun. But by adopting your holiday destination’s breakfast habits you could also help your health and your waistline. So don’t wait for summer to try French, Italian, Spanish or Croatian breakfasts, do it now and get in the holiday mood ahead of time.”
The full list:
www.canvasholidays.co.uk/blog for the infographic on calorie count and details of the breakfasts.
Canvas Holidays has been arranging fantastic family holidays for British holidaymakers for 56 years. Their travel experts organise self-catering holidays to over 250 brilliant campsites across Europe including France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Croatia.
Based in Dunfermline, Scotland, Canvas offers a variety of holiday options including luxury mobile homes with hot tubs, glamping in safari tents as well as great-value camping holidays.
British Travel Award Gold winners 2019 in the Best Camping and Mobile Home Company (Medium) category.
Harriet Smith, BSc (Hons), RD –Registered Dietitian and Founder of Surrey Dietitian
Harriet is a Registered Dietitian and Award-Winning Health Writer, based in Epsom, Surrey. She helps people to manage their medical conditions and eat healthily by providing evidence-based nutrition advice.