In today’s busy world, a bowl of cereal can seem like a quick and easy option for breakfast. 

But a study by Imperial College London has found that eating ultra-processed foods – including fizzy drinks, mass-produced breads and most breakfast cereals – may be linked to an increased risk of developing and dying from cancer. 

In the first UK study of its kind, researchers looked at the diets of 200,000 middle-aged adults and monitored their health over a 10-year period. 

They found higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a greater risk of cancer overall – and specifically with ovarian and brain cancers. 

It was also associated with an increased risk of dying from cancer, most notably with ovarian and breast cancers. 

So, in light of the study, we have spoken to Gillian Killiner from 121 Dietitian to get some healthy breakfast inspiration. 

She has come up with her three top alternatives to cereal that will help keep hunger at bay and set you up for the day ahead. 

Whisk two to three eggs and pour into a warm pan with a little oil or butter. 

The eggs can be completely cooked and used either as a wrap or turn them into an omelette and add whatever veggies you have in the cupboard, such as mushrooms, chopped plum tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, onions or peas. 

Not only does this breakfast offer a quick and warming meal, changing the fillings every day mean you’ll never get a chance to get bored. 

Now for the technical stuff – Gillian explains this breakfast will provide protein, antioxidants, healthy micronutrients including choline, selenium, iodine, and vitamins A, B, C, D and E. 

Move over oats – there’s a new breakfast in town. 

Gillian recommends buckwheat as a filling and nutritious nutty breakfast, and to reduce the cooking time, you can soak the groats in advance. 

Using her recipe, you should soak 100g for a minimum of four hours or overnight, which will make three to four meals. 

Once soaked, drain and add to a food processor or blender with 500ml of milk of your choice. Blend until smooth. 

Add to a saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer and stir occasionally for around five minutes. 

Toppings can include seeds, fruit or nut butter. 

Best of all, buckwheat is actually a seed and is therefore suitable for coeliacs. 

It includes fibre, antioxidants, magnesium and rutin, which are all important for anti-inflammatory benefits, assisting heart health and weight loss. 

Gillian’s final top breakfast choice is perfect for vegetarians and vegans and can help keep you fuller for longer. 

Tempeh is a versatile, fermented soy, so it less processed than tofu. 

Cook to crispy in the pan and add a mix of colourful vegetables, such as spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. 

If you like a bit of morning spice, Gillian recommends adding some tabasco or sriracha. 

Alternatively, marinate overnight, arrange it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. 

Lauding the health benefits of tempeh, Gillian explains: “Tempeh has a higher amount of protein than tofu and provides various vitamins and minerals including iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.  

“These are all good for stabilising appetite and are important for bone health, while having pre and probiotics, it can assist digestion and inflammation.”