Your daily tea break could be sabotaging your healthy diet. HFG dietitian Brooke Longfield has the scoop on sugar in mid-morning snacks.
Morning tea is such a civilised concept, but between-meal treats can play havoc with a healthy diet. Of course, enjoying a bite with your cuppa has become a social norm, but we’re not talking about the occasional biscuit or piece of cake — the problem is regular indulgence in such treats.
When birthdays, parties and farewells start coming round too often, morning tea can become a minefield. Few of us have ironclad willpower, so this constant temptation can defeat even the healthiest eaters. Celebrations also involve plenty of chit-chat, so it’s easy to get distracted and neglect to notice how many times you reach for the next tasty treat.
When your tea or coffee break of sweet bites becomes a daily ritual, the kilojoules can add up, but you don’t need to become a morning-tea teetotaller! Faced with a smorgasbord of biscuits, slices, cakes and loaves, you’re usually better off with a bickie.Two Anzacs, for instance, provide fewer than 600kJ (144cal), which is a reasonable amount of energy for a post-breakfast snack.
The treats that send sugar and kilojoules soaring are custard- or cream-filled buns and cakes; dense, rich brownies; and choc-coated biscuits. Try to reserve such treats for really special occasions.
The best strategy? Take healthy snacks to the next office birthday or mid-morning meeting. A fresh fruit plate or small home-made apple and oat muffins will boost your fruit and fibre intakes, and leave the sugar exactly where it belongs — on the shelf.