Are these regular breakfast items healthy to eat?


Whole cow's milk contains many micronutrients necessary for our health, but it can also quickly add to your daily calorie and fat count, so drink it in moderation. — AFP

I love drinking milk – whole milk, not the skimmed or low fat variety. But I was told whole milk is unhealthy. Is this true?

Mother’s milk is definitely the healthiest for the baby!

But I assume you are talking about cow’s milk.

Nowadays, there are so many different kinds of milk in the dairy aisles of the supermarket.

You even have plant-based milk like cashew milk and soya milk.

Most people assume plant-based milk is healthier than animal-based milk.

However, traditional cow’s milk has been well studied for decades.

It contains nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein.

All of this is essential to your well-being, growth and digestion.

Whole cow’s milk will also not contain added sugar, which is sometimes present in plant-based milk.

If you are not sure, pick up a carton of plant-based milk next time (e.g. soya milk) and read the ingredient list.

You are likely to see some sugar in the list, which is added to the milk to make it taste good.

ALSO READ: Want milk that isn’t actually milk (from an animal)?

I love natural whole cow’s milk! Can I drink as much of it as possible?

Again, everything must be in moderation!

If you take too much of anything, you are not going to have a balanced diet, plus the caloric content will be too high.

According to some nutritionists, the best way to make the most of your milk intake is to mix up different kinds of milk.

Whole milk gives you fullness and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D, compared to low-fat and fat-free milks.

But you cannot drink it like tap water, because one cup of whole milk contains 148 calories and 5g of saturated fat.

That is already one-quarter of your daily recommended consumption.

So it’s best to just drink one serving of whole milk every day, preferably at breakfast.

If you love milk so much and must drink it constantly, you can drink two servings of low fat milk for morning or afternoon tea.

Speaking about breakfast, I love eating bread. I love all sorts of bread, from simple white bread that I can toast, to buns, sourdough, brioche and everything else. Is bread really as unhealthy as people claim it to be?

Bread gets demonised because it is a carbohydrate, just as rice is.

But not all carbs are bad, and you definitely need some carbs in your daily diet.

Many breads that you get from the supermarket shelf are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fibre.

They would usually have been fortified with B vitamins, iron and magnesium as well.

The best bread is whole wheat bread, which has a high fibre content.

If you are not sure, look carefully at the ingredients label before you buy anything.

Be careful of added sugars (usually anything that ends in “-ose”).

Once again, moderation is the key. Do not eat seven slices of bread at breakfast just because you like it!

When eating bread, keep the toppings and fillings nutritious.

Make sure your sandwiches are loaded with veggies and good protein like tuna.

If you like sweet fillings, some peanut butter is good for you, as are berries and cinnamon. (But not condensed milk and extra sprinkled sugar!)

Speaking of peanut butter, I love it. But is it not terribly unhealthy?

Peanut butter contains protein, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin and vitamin B6.Peanut butter can give you a protein boost, but is also high in calories, saturated fat and salt, so have no more than two tablespoons a day. — FilepicPeanut butter can give you a protein boost, but is also high in calories, saturated fat and salt, so have no more than two tablespoons a day. — Filepic

Many people consume peanut butter to fortify themselves when they are trying to gain weight or body build.

But it is also high in calories, saturated fat and salt.

So you should only take two tablespoonfuls a day if you are not trying to body build or gain massive weight, because those two spoons already contain 200 calories.

Peanuts and peanut butter can promote satiety, which stops you from eating too much, boost your heart health because it contains unsaturated fats, manage your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of benign breast disease.

You mean I can only eat two tablespoons of peanut butter a day? But I love peanut butter!

This is how you can make those two tablespoons of peanut butter a day last.

  • Spread it on bread and make a sandwich of it.
  • Use it as a salad dressing (like in a Thai salad).
  • Include it in a smoothie.
  • Pair it with apples and bananas as a snack.
  • Put it into yoghurt.
  • Put it into oatmeal.

You need not do without peanut butter and you can make other bland foods more tasty with it.

Still on the subject of breakfast, I love fruit juice. But I was also told the ones that come out of a carton are unhealthy. Is this really true? I have stopped drinking fruit juice because of this.

It is true that some processed fruit juices contain a lot of sugars.

It is best to squeeze your own fruit juice, or make sure you buy one that comes in a carton that says “100% fruit juice”.

For your daily dietary intake of fruits, it is better to get it in its entire fruit form rather than juice.

This is because the sugar in fruits come in fructose form, which has to be broken down by your body.

But if you love juices, then make sure you get it in its natural form without any added sugars.

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health, computers and entertainment. For further information, email starhealth@thestar.com.my. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only, and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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Diet , nutrition , milk , bread , peanut butter , fruits

   

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