Find out how to make a healthy and low fat Full English Breakfast – with a few simple adjustments
Ahh, the full English breakfast, otherwise known as ‘The Fry Up’, it sounds about as healthy as it is.
Over the years it has grown quite a reputation for being, quite possibly, the unhealthiest meal you can eat. But it isn’t all bad, and there are ways that you can enjoy this decadent British staple without the guilt or worry.
As the professionals say, everything in moderation; we are not suggesting that you should be eating this on a regular basis but, as a treat from time to time, there is no reason that you can’t make a few moderations and make the most of a weekend morning.
The low-fat full english
To begin with, this is definitely a meal that should be eaten in the morning, or for brunch. Fans of the ‘Reverse Diet’ (a diet that consists of eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner) will tell you that your body will burn the fat more efficiently if it is consumed earlier in the day.
In the evenings we tend to relax a lot more before going to sleep, this means any calories we have eaten for dinner are not necessary being used to our advantage, and therefore, get stored as fat.
Apart from that, eating a good breakfast will provide your body with much needed energy to keep you going, as a result you will not feel the urge to snack, or get lethargic in the afternoon.
Ok, first things first, lets look at the most important element of the Full English…bacon.
Bacon, unfortunately, is a bit of bad guy in the dieting stakes. It is high in saturated fats and high in cholesterol. But you can’t have a Full English Breakfast without the bacon can you? Actually, you can.
Try switching to turkey rashers instead of bacon. They are much lower in fat, 0.4g per serving, as apposed to the bacon’s approx 4g of fat for two rashers. It is extremely tasty and delicious alternative.
If you really can’t bare to not have the real thing, simply cut all the fat (or rind) off the bacon rasher before grilling (as opposed to frying) and enjoy sparingly.
Secondly, the eggs…eggs are an excellent source of protein, and despite containing cholesterol, it is not from saturated fats (so it’s slightly better for you).
The problem with eggs comes from frying them in oil, which does contain saturated fats. Now, there are several ways you can overcome this; you can try scrambled eggs instead (and use skimmed milk inside of whole milk) or you can poach them in hot water, avoiding all the additional fats altogether.
Alternatively, if you just must have a fried egg, try using a teaspoon of rapeseed oil instead of other oils. It has half the saturated fat of sunflower oil (that’s a third of the saturated fat that’s in olive oil!), and is high in omega 3.
BEANS, MUSHROOMS & TOMATOES
The beans…baked beans might seem like the healthiest bit of an English breakfast, but beware! The tomato sauce that they are covered in is high in high in sugar and sodium. Opt for the low-sugar, low salt varieties and stick to a tablespoon sized serving.
The mushrooms and tomatoes in a Full English Breakfast are typically fried. I’m sure you see the difficulties with this if you are intending on cooking a yummy low fat version – the secret here is grilling.
Grilling is the best alternative to frying since there is no oil involved in the process and it will pretty much taste exactly the same. If you grill on a grill rack as well, much of the oil and fat contained in anything that you are cooking will drip onto the tray below (much like a certain ex-boxers famous kitchen appliance).
Toast…it goes without saying that, if you are going to enjoy bread with your breakfast, it should be toasted and not fried, but opt for one slice of wholegrain bread and low fat spread rather that white bread.
As someone who is wheat intolerant, giving up bread was the hardest part of my new diet. With a Full English Breakfast, I have potatoes instead. Boiled new potatoes are best, but sometimes that’s just not the same; in which case, hash browns are ok, if you bake them in the oven rather than shallow frying them.
So, lets take a look at the figures…(all figures are approximate)
Typical Full English Breakfast
Bacon (x2 rasher) 152kcal
Egg (x 1 fried) 92kcal
Baked beans (per 100g) 151kcal
Fried Mushrooms (per 100g) 44kcal
Fried Tomatoes (per 100g) 59kcal
Fried White Bread (x1 slice) 141kcal
Or White Toast (x1 slice) 87kcal
Total 639kcal (or 585kcal with toast)
Healthier Option Full English Breakfast
Turkey Rashers (x2 rashers) 51kcal
Poached Egg (x1 egg) 70kcal
Or Scrambled Egg (x1 egg) 77kcal
Low sugar/sodium Baked Beans (per 100g) 70kcal
Grilled Mushrooms (per 100g) 35kcal
Grilled Tomatoes (per 100g) 20kcal
Brown Toast (x1 slice) 65kcal
Total 311kcal (or 318kcal with scrambled egg)
That’s less than half the calorie count of a traditional Full English Breakfast! Go ahead and treat yourself, without the guilt.