Pizza Is Actually Healthier For Breakfast Than Most Cereals, Nutritionist Says
Good news for those of us who simply can’t resist a bit of leftover pizza the morning after a heavy night on the town.
A nutritionist has revealed that pizza actually makes for a healthier breakfast than the majority of cereals many of us would happily chow down every single morning without a second thought.
However, this of course doesn’t mean that you are now advised to get your daily slice in alongside your five-a-day. Indeed, this is really more reflective of how unhealthy many cereals are rather than how nutritious pizza is. But still, vindication at last for my bad hangover choices, food-wise at least.
Speaking with The Daily Meal, Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, said:
You may be surprised to find out that an average slice of pizza and a bowl of cereal with whole milk contain nearly the same amount of calories.
However, pizza packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning.
Plus, a slice of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold cereals, so you will not experience a quick sugar crash.
Although this is certainly surprising, this obviously doesn’t mean you should start ordering a Domino’s every morning before work to set you up for the day. But maybe it’s time we all stopped assuming a big bowl of our favourite cereal will automatically provide us with the nutrition we need.
Simon Jurkiw, Performance Nutritionist at sports and active nutrition brand bulk, told UNILAD:
The good thing about pizza, in comparison to many breakfast cereals you find on the market, is that it does contain a balanced amount of protein, fats and carbs. A bowl of breakfast cereal meanwhile, is likely to contain a high amount of sugar.
As an example, a typical pizza would be less than 5g sugar per 100g whereas some cereals can be as high as 40g sugar per 100g. Pizza would be higher in saturated fat compared to breakfast cereals. Nonetheless, the perception is that breakfast cereal = good, and pizza = bad.
Simon explained that, while he wouldn’t recommend pizza for breakfast, he would recommend kicking off your day with a meal that ‘combines a balanced amount of healthy fats, fibre, slow release carbs and protein to set you up for the day’.
Good examples of this given by Simon include a bowl of porridge (which he would top with ‘a spoonful of peanut butter’), or ‘a fibre-rich breakfast smoothie like bulk’s, which as well as being high in protein, contains carbs via the oats, and fibre through the real fruit’.
UNILAD also heard from qualified nutritionist and nutrition coordinator for Exante, Sophie Elwood, who also had some thoughts on how to best enjoy the most important meal of the day.
It’s true that breakfast cereals are not always as healthy as they seem. It’s easy to see a cereal box plastered with ‘high in fibre’ or ‘high in protein’ and assume it’s healthy.
Though, it’s worth noting that a lot of these cereals, even granolas, can have a similar amount of fat and saturates to a standard supermarket pizza. And they’re often much higher in sugar.
Sophie has advised cereal lovers to ‘always check the label’ on the box before buying, explaining:
The traffic light system, usually on the front of the pack, tells us the amounts of
nutrients per serving, though remember, these serving suggestions are often very small, so it’s easy to
get much more calories, or sugar than we planned.
She has also, brilliantly, advised on how you actually can have a guilt-free pizza at 8am, giving the following very tasty sounding suggestion:
Now you fancy pizza for breakfast, right? Why not whip up a homemade pizza using wholemeal flour, a sprinkle of low-fat cheese and fresh or tinned tomatoes? That way you’ll be getting fibre, protein and one of your five a day.
Bringing cold, greasy slices from your local takeaway back to bed with you on a Sunday morning is one of life’s greatest small pleasures in my opinion, especially when accompanied by a good box set.
However, on a day-to-day basis, it’s always good to check in and think about how you’re setting yourself up to feel at your best.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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The Daily Meal