You know that pepperoni pie you tucked into last night but would feel far too guilty to eat for breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Get over it and chow down.
In a boon to college students and hungover people everywhere, some nutrition experts are now saying that pizza is actually healthier for you for breakfast than that box of cereal you grew up with.
As Newsweek reports, registered dietitian Chelsey Amer told food website The Daily Meal that a slice of the traditional late night snack can actually be a smarter meal than your typical bowl of cereal.
“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,” Amer told The Daily Meal. “However, pizza packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning.”
Indeed, although pizza is often oozing with grease, it also has far less sugar than many cereals. Sugar often wreaks havoc on mood and hunger.
“Plus, a slice of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold cereals, so you will not experience a quick sugar crash,” Amer said in Newsweek.
Of course, size matters. One piece of pizza can really fill you up while many of us hit the cereal box pretty hard, which can be dangerous. A single serving of Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains 130 calories, 3 grams of fat and 9 grams of sugar, according to General Mills, but many folks aren’t satisfied with just one bowl.
Indeed, Consumer Reports conducted a study of folks to see how many people overindulged on the sugary staple. Apparently, 92 percent ate more than one serving. And those who used an 18-ounce bowl consumed between 43 to 114 percent more than the suggested serving. Those who used the largest bowl, which held 18 ounces, poured 282 percent more granola than a single serving. Gulp.
Meanwhile, a large, hand-tossed slice of cheese pizza from Pizza Hut would set you back only 290 calories and 11 grams of fat but at the same time it can bolster your day with 13 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, according to the chain’s website.
Now, it goes without saying that pizza is not exactly a health food. You could also just scramble up some eggs or tuck into a Greek yogurt with a piece of fruit. But if it is a quick and dirty kind of morning, you might want to check the fridge for last night’s take out.