A well made pizza can be many things. The perfect way to unwind on an Italian holiday, stuff your face after spending too much money in the pub, or desperately try to forget your ex girlfriend while you squat sobbing on the sofa, there aren’t many scenarios that can’t be improved by a slice of something hot, baked and cheesy. However, while it might provide a short term fix, pizza has never been a favourite of the forward thinking health advocate. Wherever you’re eating it, it always feels a little guilty.
This makes the recent declaration of New York-based nutritionist Chelsey Amer all the more exciting. According to the registered dietician and master of science, there is strong evidence to suggest that eating pizza instead of the cereals many of us enjoy could be a much healthier way to start the day. Finally, we all have an excuse for that 10 AM Domino’s order.
According to Amer, the key lies in the huge quantities of sugar that are typically packed into a bowl of cereal. American website “Health”, for instance, states that, “One cup of Raisin Bran,” which you might assume would be a relatively healthy option, “has 18 grams of sugar (close to the 25 gram daily limit recommended for women) and zero healthy fats.”
Pizza, on the other hand, looks like a bowl of quinoa by comparison. In an interview with The Daily Meal, Amer explains, "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." She went on to add 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." Good news for the nation’s beleaguered pizza lovers.
At this point, it would be easy to go giddy with excitement and spend all your savings on a lifetime morning subscription to your nearest pizza parlour. However, as ever, there are a few caveats to the news. Amer herself was quick to point out that the comparison doesn’t necessarily make pizza a “health food” - it just makes it abundantly clear how nutritionally barren most of America’s most popular breakfast cereals really are.
Top make matters worse, other experts have weighed in since Amer’s claims were first made public. According to Dr Quinn Hand, a naturopathic doctor and founder of Q Wellness in Toronto, suddenly switching to an entirely pizza based breakfast regime is extremely ill advised. In an interview with Global News, Dr Hand explained, “It’s OK to eat leftover pizza for breakfast once in a while [versus sugary cereal], but it’s very easy to use that as an excuse to tumble into poor nutrition habits.,” before adding, “If you have to choose between a sugary cereal and pizza, go with pizza. But it’s really an argument about choosing the lesser of two evils.”
Despite the disappointing revelation that daily Pizza Hut breakfasts aren’t going to make us all healthier and sexier, the news concerning the lack of nutritional value in our current breakfasts is certainly concerning. Pizza might not be the permanent answer, but it’s abundantly clear that something needs to change.