Toast – a versatile breakfast option (or even a lunch or dinner), enjoyed by most. I mean, who doesn’t love a warm, crispy slice of bread to kick start their day?! Not to mention, it is a quick option which keeps the kids happy and can be eaten on the run to the office. But is toast a healthy option? Well, our dietitians are here armed with ideas to ensure your toast is both delicious AND nutritious!
It All Starts With the Bread…
Wholegrain Bread is Best!
With SO many bread options on the market, which is best? When looking for a bread, one with whole grains is the best choice. Wholegrain bread is higher in dietary fibre, which is great to ‘keep things moving’ and is typically lower GI (glycaemic index), meaning it is digested at a slower rate, preventing blood sugar spikes. Due to their low GI nature and high dietary fibre content, whole grain bread will keep you feeling fuller for longer!
Wholemeal bread comes in second place. Although higher in fibre than white bread, it still falls behind a wholegrain bread due to the grain being processed to a finer texture. Due to the lack of grains, wholemeal bread has a higher GI than your typical whole grain bread.
White Bread – Limit if Possible
White breads are not preferred as the flour used is highly refined, meaning the dietary fibre and micronutrient content is lower when compared with wholegrain bread. It is also high GI, meaning it is digested at a faster rate, which may leave you feeling hungry sooner and can lead to blood sugar spikes. If you really dislike a grain bread, opt for a high fibre, low GI white bread.
What About Sourdough or Rye Bread?
Sourdough breads are actually on the low GI side of things, making it an appropriate choice for diabetics. If given the option, look for a wholegrain/wholemeal sourdough. Again, this will be higher in dietary fibre and micronutrients, supporting good health!
Contrary to what is generally understood, many rye breads on the market contain limited amounts of rye, with the rest of your bread product consisting of wheat flour. If you are looking for a more nutrient-dense, true rye bread, look for a pumpernickel or dark rye bread, as these typically have a higher rye and wholegrain content, compared to lighter rye breads.
So, now we have established our base, how can we make sure our toast toppers hit the mark in terms of nutrition?
Nutrition AND Delicious Toast Toppers
Here are some of our favourite toast-toppers for all occasions from breakfast through to dinner, or even a snack in between:
- Avocado paired with sliced tomato and a poached egg or two
- Low-fat ricotta topped with berries such as blueberries or raspberries, with a drizzle of honey +/- walnuts
- Hummus topped with sliced tomato
- Reduced-fat cream cheese/cottage cheese/ricotta topped with sliced tomato and balsamic glaze
- Spread pesto on toast and top with diced tomato and onion
- Salt-reduced baked beans
- Reduced-fat cheese and tomato
- Low sodium peanut butter or almond butter topped with sliced banana
If you’ve got a bit of time to jazz it up, you could also try:
- Bruschetta: Diced 1 x tomato, ¼ red onion and combine with basil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve with a sprinkle of reduced-fat feta, parmesan or even an egg!
- Smashed avo: Combine ¼ avocado with a squeeze of lime juice, a sprinkle of reduced-fat fetta and some finely sliced mint leaves
- An avo-glamourised old favourite: Vegemite on toast topped with ¼ avocado
- Smashed pumpkin: On toast with a sprinkle of low-fat fetta
- Open toastie: Toast bread of choice, pair with toppings and then grill, such as avocado, tomato, roasted chicken OR turkey and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese!
What Toast Toppings Should We Eat in Moderation?
Not all toast accompaniments are created equally. Spreads such as Nutella, jam and honey, although delicious, can pack a lot of sugar, with little nutritional benefit. Others such as peanut butters with added sugar and salt should be swapped out for ‘no added salt/sugar’ or ‘reduced salt/sugar’ alternatives. Try out Bega Peanut Butter No Added Sugar or Salt, Sanitarium No Added Salt or Sugar PB or Mayver’s Peanut Butter Range: No Added Salt or Sugar!
Consider swapping out butter for avocado, low sodium nut butters, hummus (such as Yumi’s Traditional) and margarine spreads made with poly and monounsaturated oils (like Olive Grove or Nuttelex). Additionally, meats high in salt and fat, such as ham and bacon, may be limited and replaced with low-sodium protein alternatives such as poached/boiled/grilled eggs, low-sodium baked beans, hummus, reduced-fat cheeses and grilled, skinless chicken and turkey.
So, toast doesn’t have to be so boring after all AND it can pack a nutrition punch? What a win! If you are looking for more tips and tricks to improve your daily nutrition, get in contact with one of our incredible dietitian’s today by heading to our website!