What’s the healthiest toast topper, peanut butter vs. avocado?
Toast is a breakfast staple. But its benefits are dependent on certain choices you make, i.e. the quality of bread and what you decide to top it with. Our resident dietitian breaks down two of our favourite toast toppers, peanut butter and avocado, in a nutritional face-off.
A slice or two of toast can make for a quick n’ easy brekkie – but what you choose as your topper plays a big role in the healthfulness of this convenient meal. Most people know that lashings of butter is on the ‘not-so-good-for-you’ list, and so often turn to healthier options in avocado and peanut butter. But which comes out on top, nutritionally speaking?
Before we get into it, let’s talk about the bread – because unless you get that right, there’s no point in analysing the toppings. In contrast to popular opinion, bread can be a super healthy base to any meal. The right slice provides slow-burning carbs, gut-loving fibre and even a little boost of protein.
Less healthy options, however, can rapidly spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling less than satisfied. To nail a healthy toast meal, I’d recommend a wholegrain loaf – that’s brown bread with visible grains and seeds.
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Is peanut butter on toast healthy?
Peanut butter is enjoying its time in the sun lately, touted as a good-for-you plant-based spread – and in most cases, that is true. Peanuts are technically legumes, but nonetheless, provide many of the same nutritional qualities of true tree nuts. Rich in healthy fats for your heart and brain, they also provide a decent protein punch. Not only is that a good thing for muscle health, but it’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied, too.
When choosing a healthy PB, it’s important to opt for a ‘natural’ variety.
The traditional PBs you probably grew up with as a kid contain lots of added sugars, salts and oils, whereas natural varieties are usually 100 percent peanuts. To be sure, check the ingredients list on the back of the jar.
A key consideration with peanut butter is the portion size, because it contains a lot of energy in a relatively small amount. Just one tablespoon (20 grams) packs over 120 calories.
Is avocado on toast healthy?
Yes, avocado is very good for you. It’s also rich in healthy fats to support your heart and brain and provides fibres for a happy digestive system. Avocado also offers Vitamin C to support immune health and the disease-fighting antioxidant, Vitamin E.
Again, the main consideration with avocado is its energy density. That’s not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination – but simply means it’s wise to pay attention to portion size. You might be surprised to learn that a whole avocado contains over 400 calories, so it’s best to stick to just a quarter per meal.
Which is healthier?
The good news is that avocado and peanut butter are nutritious choices and I’d encourage you to include both in your toast topper repertoire. As both are rich in calories, it’s important to pay attention to portions with your waistline in mind. Natural peanut butter is a great option because it provides fibre and protein, but if avocado is your go-to, I’d encourage you to include some extra protein in your meal (think: an egg or a sprinkle of cheese) to help balance it out.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.