Healthy Food Face-Off: Breakfast

on March 16, 2012

Bacon vs. sausage

While both are loaded with sodium and saturated fat, if you must choose a breakfast meat, go for the bacon. Two medium-thick slices are 88 calories, compared with 133 calories in two small pork sausage breakfast links. The bacon is also lower in fat and sodium. But our first choice? Veggie breakfast links or patties … low in calories and fat, no nitrates, and 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Grits vs. hash browns

If you can resist smothering the grits in butter, they are a good choice, with about one-quarter the fat of hash browns and half the calories.

Orange vs. grapefruit

Both are good sources of vitamin C and fiber. But oranges have more folate and contain polyphenols that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Grapefruit, unfortunately, naturally contains a substance that impairs your body’s ability to break down some drugs, including cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Grapefruit also inhibits the breakdown of estrogen.

Scone vs. doughnut

A plain scone, at 145 calories and 5.6 grams of fat, beats a plain glazed doughnut, with 245 calories and 14 grams of fat. But those gourmet coffee shop pumpkin, blueberry or chocolate chip scones are entirely different story. Many of them have more than 400 calories and more fat than a doughnut.

Tea vs. coffee

Sorry, Starbucks fans: tea is tops. Its unique compounds fight cancer and heart disease. Green tea drinkers, in particular, have lower risk for viral infections, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, periodontal disease and osteoporosis. Black tea drinkers also see some benefits.