We have some bad news for you if you enjoy eating a bowl of Raisin Bran or another healthy-sounding cereal first thing in the morning: most cereals are loaded with sugar and aren’t the healthiest way to start the day.
One dietitian offered a strange substitute for your daily serving of Kellogg’s to emphasize the point that sweet and crunchy flakes shouldn’t be your go-to breakfast: a piece of pizza.
Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, a nutritionist based in New York, told The Daily Meal 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.” One cup of Raisin Bran, for example, has 18 grams of sugar (close to the 25 gram daily limit recommended for women) and zero healthy fats.
Amer also noted that pizza has more protein than a typical bowl of cereal, so it can satisfy your appetite for longer and prevent snacking between meals. But before you order a personal pie for your breakfast table, it’s important to remember that pizza still isn’t particularly healthy, and you shouldn’t reach for that cheesy goodness on a regular basis. All things considered, it’s just a more balanced option, explained Amer.
If you want a truly nutritious way to start the day, try Greek yogurt with fruit (you’ll score a calcium and protein boost) or oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit, which offers fiber and antioxidants.
“Even a second helping of dinner set aside from the previous night can make a healthy breakfast if it’s chock full of veggies and balanced—for example, a generous portion of veggies sauteed in EVOO with herbs tossed with a lean protein, or chicken breast or lentils with a small scoop of quinoa,” suggests Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health‘s contributing nutrition editor.
Still interested in a little ‘za for breakfast? To make your slice more, well, breakfast-y, try Health‘s recipe for breakfast skillet pizza. It includes high-protein ingredients like eggs and bacon, plus fontina cheese, and then spinach for those vitamin-packed leafy greens. The video above shows you how easy it is to make.
Not interested in parting with your a.m. cereal bowl? Sass says you can still incorporate it into a healthy diet—if you choose the right type of cereal. “A cereal made with whole grains, nuts or seeds, and fruit with organic grass-fed milk or plant-based milk is a better choice over a grease-laden pizza made with processed meat like pepperoni on a white flour crust,” she says.