There’s nothing quite like waking up to a hot cup of coffee, some freshly cut fruit, and a gooey slice of pizza, right?
Wait, what? Pizza for breakfast?
No, this isn’t some Boston Pizza-endorsed diet – according to nutritionists, a slice of pizza may be better for you than the typical, sugar-filled breakfast cereal alternatives we eat every morning.
Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, a nutritionist based in New York, explained to The Daily Meal that “a slice of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold cereals, so you will not experience a quick sugar crash.”
To illustrate her point, consider one cup of Raisin Bran has 18 grams of sugar (close to the 25 gram daily limit recommended for women), and zero healthy fats.
Amer also highlighted pizza’s protein count being more robust than a bowl of cereal’s, which keeps appetites in check, and limits snacking between meals.
Remember – no one is advocating you swap your bowl of cereal for a cheese pie in the mornings. Pizza will never be mistaken for healthy food, so don’t reach for that slice of heaven on a regular basis. It’s just that with all things considered regarding today’s breakfast cereals, pizza is a more balanced option – but not a recommended one. Think of it as a lesser of two breakfast evils!
What can we recommend in the mornings? Rather than sugary cereals, try starting your day with Greek yogurt with fruit (you’ll score extra calcium and protein points!), or oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit, which offers fiber and antioxidants.
“Even a second helping of dinner set aside from the previous night can make a healthy breakfast if it’s chock full of veggies and balanced—for example, a generous portion of veggies sauteed in EVOO with herbs tossed with a lean protein, or chicken breast or lentils with a small scoop of quinoa,” suggests Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health‘s contributing nutrition editor.
Still disappointed that you can’t really have pizza for breakfast? We get it. If you really want to make that slice more, uh, breakfast-y, check out Health’s recipe for breakfast skillet pizza. This easy-to-make recipe includes all the high-protein ingredients that are good in the morning – eggs and bacon – as well as fontina cheese, plus spinach for those vitamin-packed leafy greens.
Or are you more disappointed in losing your faithful, A.M. bowl of cereal? Sass still says cereal bowls have a place in a good, balanced diet – it’s all about choosing the correct type of cereal.
“A cereal made with whole grains, nuts or seeds, and fruit with organic grass-fed milk or plant-based milk is a better choice over a grease-laden pizza made with processed meat like pepperoni on a white flour crust,” she says.
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