Many of us have developed a habit of consuming cereal every day for a multitude of reasons; either lack of time to prepare a meal or lack of appetite in the morning due to plummeted hunger hormones. Many choose cereal to lose weight by eating less while still getting the necessary nutrition.
However, consuming cereal is not healthy at all, as most brands offer flakes coated in sugar or other harmful flavoring additives. These cereals cause a spike in blood sugar levels, providing a short-term boost in energy but leading to energy drain by noon. There is also a chance of getting diabetes if consuming sugar is your daily morning routine.
The Best Replacement for Cereal
This debate was sparked by famous New York nutritionist Chelsey Amer, who holds an MS, CDN, and RDN, who professed that a slice of pizza packs more fat content and less sugar content compared to most sugary cereal bowls. For example, a bowl of Raisin Bran would deliver 18gm of sugar without any of the healthy fats your body requires. To put things in perspective, the daily sugar requirement of a healthy human adult is 25gm.
Pizza also contains more protein, leaving you with a stomach feeling full for a longer period compared to cereal, helping you avoid unhealthy snacking to survive till lunchtime.
Is Pizza Healthy?
Pizza might be healthier when compared to several other food options, but in the big picture, it is not
Amer cautions that, while pizza may be healthier than most cereal options in the market, she is not declaring pizza healthy. In fact, pizza is unhealthy because it is made from processed white flour and cheese, both of which are difficult for our body to digest. She drew the bizarre comparison simply to make a point: the cereals are so unhealthy, you might as well just consume pizza and it would be healthier for you.
A Healthy Breakfast
As long as your breakfast consists of simple, non-processed and healthy items, you’re good to go
There is no one-size-fits-all composition of a healthy breakfast, but Amer does suggest a few items that should become a part of your daily morning routine. She recommends mixing your favourite fruits with Greek yogurt, rich in calcium and protein. A vegan alternative is mixing fruits with oatmeal (water-based) topped with cinnamon, a breakfast rich in fiber and necessary antioxidants.
If you are more about the taste, than Cynthia Sass, an editor for the nutrition section at Health.com, has the perfect recipe for you that involves last night’s leftover dinner. She says that, to convert it into breakfast, combine the leftover with sautéed vegies and lean proteins, such as chicken, and top it off with a bit of quinoa or lentils.
You Can Make That Slice of Pizza More Breakfast Appropriate
If there is anything recent trends have taught us, it’s that adding eggs to any food item makes it breakfast appropriate. You can do the same with pizza, and the step-by-step recipe can be found here. This recipe combines pizza with eggs, bacon, fontina cheese, and spinach.
Don’t Want to Ditch Your Favourite Cereal?
Remember: Not all cereal options are considered to be unhealthy
The bottom line is, if you are in the habit of consuming an unhealthy type of cereal, you need to change. Notice how this article talks about most cereals, meaning there are options that are healthy to consume as breakfast in the morning. Sass provides criteria that you can check your cereal against to identify whether it is healthy or not. Firstly, the cereal should be made from whole grains and not parts of the grain. And secondly, a cereal that has nuts, dried fruits, or seeds is better than one without them.
To complete the meal, the choice of milk is important as well. It is not enough to choose a low-fat, high-calcium milk option. Sass recommends going for milk that comes from grass-fed cows, or soy milk. This, according to Sass, is much better than pizza, which incorporates processed meats such as pepperoni, and bread that is made from processed white flour. Any food item that comes from organic sources and is unprocessed should make it to your breakfast plate.
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