Recommending Pizza – Really?

February 20, 2018 in Foodland Chronicles, General, Health, Nutrition, Uncategorized by Joyce Bunderson

I must admit; I’m a sucker for clever headlines and cleverly written articles. But since I’m in the admitting mood; I must also admit that sometimes what someone else thinks is so clever is just down right annoying for me.

Case in point headline: “PIZZA FOR BREAKFAST IS HEALTHIER THAN CEREAL, SAYS DIETITIAN – FINALLY.” In brief, the dietitian quoted in Newsweek says that other than the sodium problem of the pizza, the pizza is better than the blood sugar spike from the cereal even though both have about the same calories.

I was happy to discover that another dietitian, part way down the article says pizza is still not a smart pick. Note this dietitian works with morbidly obese patients. Do we want people to think that starting the day with a saturated fat laden, processed grain pizza is a great way to start the day? I hate to categorize food as good/bad; but seriously, pizza is a trouble food for America and its obesity problem. Yes, so is sugar cereal, but couldn’t we make a better recommendation to replace a sugar cereal breakfast than pizza?

My point is …..Are we so nutritionally lost, that we can compare two foods both of which we should be reducing in our diet and say that one is better than the other? Should we start rank ordering the more nutritious candy bars? To me it’s a case for the fact that many nutrition bars (essentially candy bars) add some protein and call them protein bars. I’d really like to put eating suboptimal foods (ie sugar-sweetened cereals, protein bars and pizza) in the past and keep focusing on how to improve our diets a little every day.

If you’re stuck somewhere and you’re hungry for breakfast, and the only two options are pizza and sugar cereal; the experience could be used as a stepping-stone for the future. You might pick pizza and then make a plan to try not to get in that fix again. If you don’t happen to have an option of pizza, there could be a way to try to repair a little of the far less than optimal sugar cereal breakfast. How about adding some fruit, use non-fat milk and sprinkle with sliced almonds. And of course, don’t forget to try to encourage someone to stop buying the sugar cereal. How about boiling some eggs ahead, so in a pinch, you could grab an egg; a slice of whole grain bread and an apple. Possibly one consideration is to not have the fridge stocked with leftover pizza. Just sayin’.

Whew! Now that I’ve let off some steam, I’m still hoping that no one walks away from the article thinking that pizza is a great start to a day.