Pizza is a typical dish in many parts of the world.
Even the pickiest eaters will enjoy the addictive combination of tasty crust, creamy tomato sauce, and salty mozzarella cheese.
It is, however, widely regarded as unhealthy due to its high calorie, sodium, and carbohydrate content.
This article examines the nutritional value of the most common types of pizza and offers suggestions for making them healthier.
Is Pizza a Healthy Dish?
While particular forms of pizza are unhealthy, others that are less processed may be safe.
Ingredients That Aren’t Good for You
More packaged pizzas, like all foods, contain more unhealthy ingredients than those made from scratch.
Preservatives, colorings, and unhealthy fats can be used in frozen and fast-food pizzas.
However, no matter how they’re made, all pizzas are usually made with refined wheat flour.
This flour contains less fiber than whole-grain flours, making it less filling.
Weight gain has been related to processed grain items, such as ready-made meals like pizza.
A survey of 1,352 people found that people who ate more than 70 grams of ready-made foods per day, such as pizza, had more belly fat than those who ate less than 70 grams per day.
Calories, carbs, sodium, and sugar are all high in certain forms.
Since they’re commonly topped with cheese, salty meats, and other high-calorie toppings, most pizzas are high in calories and sodium.
Furthermore, the crust, some toppings, and sauces on certain pizzas contain added sugar.
Red Baron Barbecue Chicken Pizza has a whopping 21 grams of sugar per serving (1/4 pizza).
Consuming processed foods with added sugar regularly has been shown to raise the risk of chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease.
Furthermore, choosing stuffed crust or deep-dish pizzas will improve your slice’s carb and calorie content.
While a slice of fast food or frozen pizza once in a while is unlikely to affect your weight, consuming these foods daily can lead to weight gain and raise your risk of chronic health problems.
Some Recipes Can Be Beneficial to Your Health
Even though many types of pizza are high in calories, fat, and sodium, those made with new, whole ingredients can be a healthy option.
Traditional pizza is made with flour, yeast, water, salt, oil, tomato sauce, and fresh cheese and is a portion of relatively simple food.
Pizza made from scratch with these few ingredients can be very nutritious.
When making homemade pizza, add nutrient-dense toppings like vegetables or safe protein sources like grilled chicken to increase the nutritional quality.
Many pizza restaurants sell whole-wheat and gluten-free crusts and organic toppings, including fresh vegetables and herbs.
It’s essential to indulge in your favorite foods now and then as part of a healthy eating plan.
Although it’s OK to eat a frozen, fast-food, or pizzeria-style pizza once in a while, it’s better to limit yourself to a few times per month.
There are, however, ways to make this cheesy dish a whole lot healthier for true pizza lovers who want to eat it more often.
Make Your Own
You have no say of what goes into the recipe when you buy a frozen pizza or one from a fast-food restaurant.
Making your own allows you to control what goes into — and what doesn’t go into — your meal.
Fiber content can be increased by making your crust with wholesome ingredients like whole-grain or gluten-free flour.
You can also use cauliflower or nut flour to create a grain-free crust.
Unsweetened sauce, high-quality cheese, and nutritious toppings such as peppers, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, arugula, chicken, garlic, or mushrooms can all be added to your pie.
Ingredients should be whole.
When making your pizza or buying one, look for items that are made with whole ingredients.
Examine the ingredient lists of products and make a point of purchasing only those that contain whole-food ingredients.
High-fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, added sugar, processed foods, and artificial preservatives can all be avoided in crust mixes or pre-made pizzas.
Rather than buying a crust mix or ready-made pies, make your pizza with homemade crust and healthy toppings.
Control the portion sizes.
Overeating any food, whether safe or unhealthy, will lead to weight gain.
That is why portion control is so essential for optimal health.
It’s particularly crucial when eating foods like ice cream, bread, cake, and pizza, easy to overeat.
Portion control is an ideal way to avoid excessive calorie consumption, whether you’re eating a freshly baked pizza or a pre-made slice.
When ordering takeout pizza, set aside a portion for yourself and eat from a plate rather than the tray.
For a more nutritious lunch, start with a fiber-rich green salad before enjoying a slice of your favorite pizza.
Pizza is not only delicious, but it can also be a safe meal choice when adequately prepared.
Pizza can be made healthier, even if many frozen and fast-food types are high in calories, fat, sodium, and other unhealthy ingredients.
For health-conscious pizza lovers, portion control, selecting items with limited ingredients, adding healthy toppings, and making it at home are some choices.
It’s important to remember that while eating a whole-foods diet is best for overall health, it’s also OK to indulge in your favorite foods now and then, even if they aren’t the healthiest.