A nutritionist just called pizza a healthier breakfast than cereal—a win for those of us who love a good slice. It turns out that all kinds of delicious pizza recipes could be a better choice than a bowl of America’s favorite breakfast food.
“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,” registered dietitian Chelsey Amer told The Daily Meal. “However, pizza packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning.”
That may seem counterintuitive when you consider that pizza isn’t exactly a health food. But according to Amer, “A slice of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold cereals, so you will not experience a quick sugar crash.” Basically, it’s a more balanced way to start the day than with a bowl of sugary flakes.
To put things in perspective, a single serving of the very popular morning treat Frosted Flakes contains 110 calories, less than a gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar and only 1 gram of protein. Still, there are even worse offenders: Honey Smacks is made up of nearly 56% sugar by weight, which translates to 16 grams of sugar per serving (about the same as a Twinkie!). That’s nearly two-thirds of the amount of added sugar an average woman should consume in a day according to the American Heart Association. Of course, there are cereals on the market that are healthier than a slice of pizza, but most any with a cartoon character on the front of the box falls short of a being part of a balanced breakfast.
Just keep in mind that while pizza may be lower in sugar and higher in protein than your favorite morning cereal, it can be very high in fat and salt. So, it’s probably best to save this breakfast-of-champions for when you have limited options and choose a better-for-you breakfast most mornings. If you’re looking for a go-to morning meal, our easy breakfast ideas are made with 5 ingredients.