SPOKANE, Wash.—It’s a saying many of us have heard for years, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” We’ve heard it from our parents and health experts time and time again, but what you might not have heard was pizza could be one of the healthier options to help jump start your day.
The curiosity over if pizza were a healthy option for breakfast sparked after a study was posted to social media. Having one of people’s favorite comfort foods for a healthy breakfast option seemed like one of those studies that could be too good to be true so KREM 2 set out to verify the claims.
Founder of the Fit Father Project, Doctor Balduzzi, weighed in on the issue.
Dr. Balduzzi broke down the importance of a good breakfast and if pizza really was a healthier option.
People’s bodies need carbohydrates, protein and fat, according to Dr. Balduzzi. Those macronutrients work together to give our bodies the calories and energy we need to get through the day.
When it comes to calories, cereal and pizza match up for a tie. There are about 230 calories in one slice of pizza and in one serving of cereal paired with half of a cup of two percent milk.
Protein is another important element when it comes to breakfast. In this category pizza takes the lead. Pizza has anywhere from three to five times more protein when compared to cereal.
Experts said protein was important because it helps keep people feeling satisfied and full throughout the day. A breakfast packed with protein can help fight off the feeling you are starving by the time lunch rolls around.
Doctor Balduzzi said his number one concern was the sugar that was added to most cereals. The sugar found in lactose, or milk is natural but when it is combined with the cereal it adds up to about 12 to 20 grams of sugar.
That is about six times more than pizza.
“Basically, it is like kicking your day off with half a can of soda,” said Dr. Balduzzi.
Balduzzi said the added sugar was the reason people experience energy crashes and mood swings throughout the day. It also can lead people to make poor food choices before the morning is even over.
Moving onto the final category: fats.
Healthy fats and fats in general will slow down the speed of sugar spikes and digestion, according to Balduzzi.
Balduzzi said on average breakfast cereals are very low in fat, with about two grams per serving. That amount of fat does not really keep you satisfied compared to the “sugar shot” from a bowl of cereal.
The only edge cereal has over pizza is the “vitamin load” that boxed cereals are packed with, according to Dr. Balduzzi. He said boxed cereals are fortified with all the vitamins and minerals, which means its added to the ingredients to give people more energy and nourishment.
The cereal is a more common breakfast for people, some of us have opened the fridge to see a leftover pizza from the night before and gone for it. While pizza might not be the healthiest option, in terms of overall nutritional value it takes win.