Breakfast Face-Off: Which is Healthier?

By: Food Network Magazine
Related To:
FNM-CowsMilk-085_1.tif

FNM-CowsMilk-085_1.tif

Food Styling: Brett Kurzweil

Photo by: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Marko Metzinger/Studio D, Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Food Network Magazine staged a breakfast face-off and asked a registered dietitian to name the better choices. The results might surprise you.

Cow's Milk vs. Soy Milk

WINNER: Cow's milk. To make soy milk taste better, many manufacturers add sugar (especially to flavored kinds). Plus, soy milk doesn't naturally contain as much protein or calcium as cow's milk. Soy milk can be a healthful alternative if it's fortified and doesn't have too much added sugar, but unless you're lactose intolerant, just stick with 1 percent or skim milk.

FNM-Peanutbutter-041.tif

FNM-Peanutbutter-041.tif

Food Styling: Brett Kurzweil

Photo by: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Marko Metzinger/Studio D, Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Smooth Peanut Butter vs. Chunky Peanut Butter

WINNER: It's a draw. The amount of salt, sugar and oil in peanut butter can vary by brand and even within each brand, but smooth and crunchy versions are the same nutritionally—one is just ground more than the other. The healthiest option: peanut butter without added sugar or salt.

FNM-Preserves-063.tif

FNM-Preserves-063.tif

Food Styling: Brett Kurzweil

Photo by: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Marko Metzinger/Studio D, Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Jam vs. Jelly

WINNER: Jam. The two main ingredients in jelly are fruit juice—which is high in sugar—and sugar. Jam and preserves are chunky because they're made with actual fruit. Although jam manufacturers still add a lot of sugar, at least you get a little more fruit (and vitamin C) in a serving.

FNM-Yogurt-070.tif

FNM-Yogurt-070.tif

Food Styling: Brett Kurzweil

Photo by: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Marko Metzinger/Studio D, Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Regular Yogurt vs. Greek Yogurt

WINNER: Greek yogurt . Greek yogurt is really just regular yogurt thickened by straining. Because the liquid has been removed, it has about twice as much protein, nearly half the carbs, and less sugar by volume than regular yogurt. Just note that some of yogurt's calcium is in the whey, which is removed from Greek-style versions. So if you're concerned about calcium intake, stick with regular.

FNM-SteelCutOats-087.tif

FNM-SteelCutOats-087.tif

Food Styling: Brett Kurzweil

Photo by: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Marko Metzinger/Studio D, Hearst Communications Inc., 2012

Steel-Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats

WINNER: It's a draw . Some people dismiss rolled oats, claiming they are more processed than steel-cut ones: Rolled oats are flattened, steamed and lightly toasted, while steel-cut oats are left raw and simply chopped. But both versions are, in fact, whole oats, and their nutrition labels are virtually identical. Choose based on the texture you like. (Quick oats are just as nutritious, too.)

Our Expert: Takami Kim is a registered dietitian with NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital's Department of Food and Nutrition.

( Photographs by Marko Metzinger/Studio D)
Keep Reading

Next Up

Thanksgiving Day Breakfast

Breakfast is an important meal Thanksgiving is no exception; don't skip this meal, instead fuel up with a breakfast that includes whole grains, fruit, and dairy.

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner?

Food Network asked Facebook fans: “Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Which is your favorite, and which could you go without?”

Light & Easy Breakfasts

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. It doesn’t have to be a large and complicated meal, but you do want to get a balance of nutrients from some simple and healthy ingredients (no toaster pastries, please!).

Breakfast for Dinner

For dinner tonight, serve up a switcheroo in the form of eggs, bacon, hash, French toast and sweet maple syrup.

Spotlight Recipe: Breakfast Cookies

Ellie Krieger dubs these her "breakfast cookies" -- thanks to the added rolled oats and bran flakes. They work well as a mid-morning snack, paired up with herbal tea, or a breakfast on the go.

Breakfast Changes Lives

We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a new study show just how important breakfast is for kids.

Breakfast Anytime — Meatless Monday

Spice up your usual lunch and dinner routines by cooking up Food Network's breakfast-style dishes for late-day meals on Meatless Monday.

Spotlight Recipe: New York Breakfast

Skip the bagel and try this smoked salmon and cream cheese open-faced sandwich instead.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.