Registered dietitian Chelsea Amer caused a stir this week after telling the Daily Meal (US-based foodie network) that a slice of pizza for breakfast might actually be better for you than a bowl of cereal. Say what?
According to Amer, a slice of pizza and a bowl of cereal with whole milk often clock comparable kilojoule counts. So, in a situation where you have either leftover pizza in your fridge or cereal in your cabinet, maybe consider the pizza.
At first, this revelation seemed to fall into that “too good to be true” health news category.
After all, pizza has never been considered a health food. But cereal isn’t necessarily healthy, either—it’s generally low in fibre and protein while high in sugar.
Typical pizza ingredients and toppings (like cheese, vegetables, and meat) mean a morning slice might help you eat more of the foods that are lacking in most people’s diets—and you’ll be more satisfied, too.
“Someone is going to feel fuller for longer having that pizza in the morning than if somebody has a bowl of cereal, where you’re ready to eat your arm maybe 15 minutes later,” says Leslie Bonci, a registered dietician and the owner of Active Eating Advice.
Bonci says that eating cereal “without much fibre, without a lot of protein, without any fat” might mean “you’re eating again an hour later.” But she says if you keep the serving of pizza reasonable—one slice— then you’re setting yourself up to feel full without overdoing it.
Other filling breakfasts for the pizza-averse: Rather than a bowl of cereal, Bonci suggests a small container of Greek yogurt with cereal sprinkled on top, or layered in a parfait with fruit and nuts.
A smoothie with kale, kiwis, pineapple juice, a protein like ricotta cheese or yogurt, and a fat in the form of almond butter will keep you full while giving you a good dose of vegetables early in the day.
“Most importantly, I think people need to ask themselves, ‘Is this breakfast I’m having able to tide me over until lunch?'” Bonci says.
”If it’s not, then there’s something missing from that breakfast, and that might mean we’re doing some extra nibbling between breakfast and lunch that maybe we should not be doing.”
So, next time someone smugly pours themselves cereal while judging you for grabbing a morning slice, consider this your vindication. Pizza is maybe not the breakfast of champions, but it would seem to at least outrank those frosted cereal flakes.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com.
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