Researchers reveal common breakfast foods to avoid for a healthy start to the day

Breakfast is often linked as the most important meal of the day, but sometimes it can be the hardest to have – especially if you need a breakfast on the go.

With little time in the morning, breakfast often becomes a meal of convenience, where you will lather a piece of toast with jam or pour yourself a bowl of cereal like corn flakes.

However, a new “Food Compass” has pinpointed the healthiest foods to have for breakfast – and jam and corn flakes do not make the cut.

Instead, scientists at Tufts University have pointed to foods like raw salmon or avocado for a healthy breakfast, and have said to avoid eggs where possible.

They have created the Food Compass to rank 8,000 foods from one to 100, with 100 being the healthiest option.

They looked at 54 nutritional attributes for each food which were divided into nine categories: vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, additives, phytochemicals, processing, specific lipids, and food-based ingredients.

The researchers found that anything with a mark over 70 is a “good” food to have, while anything with a mark under 30 should be avoided.

In terms of breakfast foods, Cheerios scored a 95 on the scale, while raspberries scored 100, as did celery juice, raw salmon, avocado, red kidney beans, and raw broccoli.

Poached or boiled eggs scored just 51 on the list, while foods like fizzy drinks, jam on white toast, fudge, and frankfurters scored one out of 100.

Despite Cheerios’ high ranking, other cereals didn’t quite match, with corn flakes being ranked at 19 out of 100, Special K ranked at 18 and Frosties ranked at 15.

The average score for all of the 8,000 foods tested was 43, with snacks and desserts rated the lowest.

Fruit, vegetables and legumes were the top-scoring groups, while meat scored just 25, poultry scored 43 and seafood scored 67.

Study co-author, Dr Renata Micha, said: “With its publicly available scoring algorithm, Food Compass can provide a nuanced approach to promoting healthy food choices – helping guide consumer behavior, nutrition policy, scientific research, food industry practices, and socially based investment decisions.”

you can find the Food Compass here.

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