Move over corn flakes and crumpets! The USA has seen a rise in ‘around the clock’ heavy meals and sweet treats being offered as breakfast options, such as fried chicken, spicy chorizo and doughnuts, which are making their way over to the UK. Popular British breakfast spots like Greggs and Wetherspoons give customers the option to purchase ‘all-day breakfast’ versions of traditional morning meals, while McDonalds now offer a variety of sickly treats like sugar donuts and triple chocolate cookies in their breakfast menu. Even small, independent cafes are selling hefty fried food meals and labelling them as ‘the perfect hangover cure’.
Starbucks have also joined the bandwagon of alternative breakfast options, but have taken a gourmet approach. New for 2017, the chain café will be adding the cascara latte, which is a sugar-pumped concoction of espresso, cascara syrup, coconut and cane sugar, mixed with steamed milk, packing quite a punch for the sweet tooth. They’re also following suit with independent gourmet cafes, conjuring up their cheese-heavy “sous vide egg bites”—one with bacon and gruyere and the other with egg-whites and Monterey Jack, creamy cottage cheese, spinach, and red pepper.
As tasty as these rebooted breakfast meals appear, they have dangerous levels of sugar, salt and saturated fat lurking in them. The triple chocolate cookies that McDonald’s offer as an early morning treat contain 10g of saturated fat, which is over half the recommended daily allowance for an adult.
The large breakfast on the menu at Wetherspoons contains a whopping 1530 calories, over three quarters of an adults recommended daily allowance, leaving little room for the rest of the day, as well as 18.3g of salt, which is shockingly over three times the recommended limit.
Sugar in the morning seems to be a regular culprit for spiking blood sugar levels, causing sweet cravings throughout the day. The blueberry muffin which is also on offer on the McDonalds breakfast menu contains nearly half of our recommended sugar allowance.
Speaking to The Independent, strength and physique coach Charles Poliquin, who has worked with some of the world’s top Olympians and fitness models, insists we should stay away from sugary breakfasts and have meat and nuts instead.
According to Poliquin, it’s an essential and non-negotiable part of every one of his athlete plans and says it’s his single best dietary tip for ‘optimal leanness, energy and sustained mental focus’.
However, speaking to Sunday Times, Terence Kealey, a former Cambridge University lecturer, says that we don’t even need breakfast and that it is detrimental to our health, even going as far to say that breakfast is ‘dangerous’.
Kealey was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and claims that cutting out breakfast helped control his blood sugar levels, eventually curing him of the disease, which he was told was incurable.
As the trend of new innovative food, healthy or unhealthy, continues to grow on UK breakfast menus, it might be a while before you and your colleagues are sharing a bucket of fried chicken and doughnuts before the 9am meeting!