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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > July 2019 > WHAT’S BEST TO POP ON YOUR TOAST?


We love eating it for breakfast, lunch or anything in between. But how does your favourite spread or toast topping measure up nutritionally? Amanda Ursell looks at popular choices

The healthiest topic revealed!

NICE CUP OF TEA AND A SLICE OF TOAST is a go-to when you want something quick and easy. But is it healthy? That depends both on the bread and the topping you choose. Whether you opt for wholemeal or white bread will have little impact on the amount of fat, saturated fat, protein, carbohydrate and sugars you’re getting – although the fibre, vitamin and mineral content can vary a lot (see below), which makes wholemeal the winner in the nutrition stakes.

Those little extras add up

Nutritionally, the crunch really comes with your choice of topping. Some options, such as yeast extracts, add a significant amount of salt to your snack, while honey and other sweet choices can come with a hefty dose of free sugars. Nut spreads, meanwhile, have useful amounts of protein and fibre but are high in calories. Cheese toppings boost bone-building calcium but you’ll need to take fat into account.

Whatever their nutritional advantages and disadvantages, there’s a place for all your favourites if you take a balanced approach to eating. Here’s how some popular toppings measure up.



Women are advised to limit their total saturated fat intake for the day to 20g and men to 30g. If you enjoy nothing more than hot toast with a slick of butter, the key is to factor its 5g saturated fat per 10g serving into your daily total. While salted butter provides 0.2g salt per 10g portion, you can reduce this by half or bring it down to zero by selecting unsalted versions; levels vary depending on the unsalted brand. The difference is so small per serving, however, that you may prefer to stick with your favourite butter.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Find your sense of inner calm with our guide to understanding hormonal changes and simple mindful breathing exercises to de-stress your day. We investigate how IBS might be improved in just 9 weeks and a new diet for carb lovers. Summer fruits and toast toppers fall under the nutritional spotlight, and we put alcohol-free spirits and ice to the test. Plus fish and chips and ice-cream treats get a makeover.