Pizza for breakfast is an American classic. Whether it's cold and taken straight out of the box or served after warming up in the early morning, it's basically a delicacy in and of itself. However, I have never characterized the tradition as healthy in any way. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've never heard "pizza" and "healthy" in one sentence … until now. New York-based nutritionist Chelsey Amer says a cheesy, greasy, carbohydrate-filled slice is better for you than your favorite breakfast cereal. I think it's time we revisit all our eating habits – and celebrate.
Amer rates the high sugar content in most cereals for his bad reputation, while The Daily Meal adds the lack of protein and healthy fats contribute to his "nutritionally poor" status. "You'll be surprised to find that an average piece of pizza and a bowl of cereal with whole milk contain almost the same amount of calories," Amer told the site. "However, pizza has a much larger amount of protein that will fill you up and increase your satiety throughout the morning."
While it's still a bit of a stretch to call your morning pizza treat a healthy option, it's definitely healthier . That counts, does not it? Amer attributes his protein content and admits, "A piece of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold mueslis, so you will not experience a quick sugar crash."
That does not mean that all pizzas or cereals are the same. According to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor, not all breakfast cereals need to be banned, and some may even be preferable. "A cereal made from wholegrain, nuts or seeds, as well as fruit with organic grass milk or herbal milk is a better choice than a fatty pizza made from processed meats such as hot peppers on a white flour crust," she says.
Is that a win for Pizza Superfans? Not quite. There are still about a million healthier breakfast options available, but at least we can feel a little better about the occasional morning glitch.