Is a pizza healthy? We don’t know, but we know it is something I always crave! But you may find it surprisingly interesting that it can be super nutritious while being too good on the tongue.
So, pizza can be healthy, right?
Indeed, your pizza is healthy or not; it depends greatly on the ingredients you used during preparation. Moreover, it varies as well according to the toppings you eat. The answer is simple: it can be healthy if you use nutritious toppings and a healthy crust. On the other hand, if you use processed ingredients with frozen toppings, it is possible to contract some diseases. It depends on you which flavor you prefer!
Pizza is among the world’s most popular fast foods. On average, approximately 3 billion pizzas sold in the United States every year. This tells us how popular pizza is.
Let me clear the air for pizza love!
Table of Content
Is a Pizza Healthy?
Yes, of course! No, of course! You may have mixed responses when you ask, “is a pizza healthy?” It greatly depends on the ingredients you used during pizza preparation and its toppings.
In the United States, pizza plays an important role in Americans’ diets. Since most Americans use all nutritious and healthy ingredients in pizza preparation, they enjoy great nutrition with tasty meals.
However, when you use processed or frozen ingredients, you are less likely to take nutrients; instead, you will intake unhealthy nutrients. In contrast, veggies or lean meat on pizza provide you with ample nutrients.
A Short Introduction to Pizza
Indeed, pizza is one of the best meals you can eat. Pizza is a flat edible plate of bread generally topped with oregano, tomatoes, olives, sauces, and cheeses that are baked in an oven to a very high temperature and enjoyed hot.
Pizza is derived from the Greek word pektos, which means clotted or solid. Compared to past pizzas, today’s version is much tastier. The ancient Greeks were used to covering their flatbread with cheese, oils, and herbs.
The major innovation in pizza was the use of tomatoes and tomato sauce as a topping. A baker, Raffaele Esposito of Naples, first invented the modern pizza. Indeed, today’s pizza was originated in Naples, Italy.
In 1889, the palace of Queen Margherita asked Raffaele Esposito to create pizzas in her honor. Among all the different pizzas she tried, her favorite consisted of the colors of the Italian flag: basil (green), tomato (red), and mozzarella (white). The pizza was named Margherita, after the Queen of Italy.
The first pizzeria in North America opened in 1905 in New York City. The chain of pizza restaurants opened as Pizza Hut in the United States in the 1930s. Pizza was just starting to boom shortly after World War II.
Nutritional Profile of Pizza
Pizza, particularly frozen and fast-food varieties, tends to be high in fat, sodium, and calories. The more processed varieties contain additives as well as preservatives and coloring.
Here are the nutritional facts about 1 slice of pizza:
6 Reasons Why Pizza Is Good For You?
Many consider pizza unhealthy because it is viewed as just another delicious food like junk food. However, this view isn’t always accurate. Ingredients vary from pizza to pizza. Making pizza with healthy, fresh ingredients not only gives you a delicious taste but will provide you with many health benefits as well.
Here are a few plausible reasons why pizza is good for you.
Source of Protein
About 12 grams of protein is present in an average pizza slice. So it is a great option to get proteins while enjoying a portion of tasty food.
Protein is an essential macromolecule for a healthy life. It is a component that helps in hair growth, the formation of blood, connective tissues, enzymes, and antibodies. If you do not have enough proteins in your diet, you will often get sick.
You can get a significant amount of protein while enjoying some slices of pizza.
You Can Intake Boring Yet Healthy Vegetables
Kids generally avoid vegetables. Childhood experiences with vegetables aren’t good for everyone, since parents typically force their children to consume a food plate full of vegetables. However, vegetables are a great source of nutrition.
Fresh and healthy vegetables are used in the preparation of modern pizza like tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives, and chilies that not only taste good but are also nutritious.
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called Lycopene, which is used in making sauce for the pizza base. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Lycopene cannot be absorbed from fresh tomatoes but from cooked tomatoes, like from pizza. So to get these health benefits, you can think of pizza.
Better Than Cereals
Is a pizza healthy for breakfast? For breakfast, pizza is a great choice, as it contains healthy ingredients that we all need on a daily basis. The high fiber, calcium, protein, and other nutrients contained in pizza make it a better breakfast option than various cereals. You might feel guilty about what you eat for breakfast, but don’t feel guilty. Eat what is best for your health.
Add Fiber To Your Meal
Whole wheat pizza is a healthy meal. The health benefits of whole wheat are significant, since it contains fewer carbohydrates and more fiber than refined flour. The high fiber makes you feel full, so you will eat less and have fewer cravings. Another advantage is that it remains fresh until the next meal.
All in One – Handy
Mostly, people prefer food that contains more things at the same time as pizza is an edible plate consisting of bread, sauce, vegetables, cheese, and sometimes meat. So people can enjoy the taste of different things at the same time and gain their health benefits as well. You don’t have to take all these healthy things separately. Since pizza is easy to eat and convenient, it can be eaten on the go or at work.
Disadvantages of Pizza
Pizza contains a good amount of nutrients, whether restaurant or homemade, but some additives and preservatives may make a pizza bad for you. Freshly made pizza might be healthier than other types.
Following are the few side effects of eating pizza in large:
- Pizza prepared with refined flour, topped with frozen or processed meat, has a considerably large quantity of unhealthy carbs and fats. Pizza’s high carbohydrate and saturated fat content can increase blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which further leads to obesity.
- Research showed that eating pizza, especially at night, can cause sleep disturbances, sluggish digestion, and increased body fat.
- Frozen and fast food pizzas are high in unhealthy fats, calories, and sodium because of the ingredients, such as preservatives, sugar, and processed meat.
- Most of the pizzas are prepared from refined wheat flour. Refined grain products are directly linked with weight gain.
- Moreover, consuming foods rich in sugars, high-calorie toppings, cheese, and carbs can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases and stomach ailments.
Homemade vs. Restaurant Pizza: Which is Healthier?
Homemade pizzas are much healthier than restaurant pizzas because they contain fresh and healthy ingredients with no preservatives and fewer calories. Restaurants use certain preservatives, coloring, and unhealthy fats that increase pizzas’ taste and shelf life. These ingredients may lead to digestion problems, obesity, and heart diseases.
Restaurants often use refined flour for making pizza crust, which is directly connected with weight gain. By using whole wheat instead of refined flour, homemade pizza can be made healthier. We can avoid all these things at home by using healthy ingredients of our choice.
Everyone has different taste choices. You can prepare pizza at home according to your taste and health requirements.
Easy and Healthy Homemade Restaurant Style Pizza
Making pizza at home can be more convenient and healthful if you follow your health requirements. Choosing a whole grain base and then picking fresh and healthy veggies are the best ingredients over fatty ones. It is advisable to avoid fattening ingredients like cheese and meat. Here are easy and healthy steps for making homemade restaurant-style pizza at home.
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Toppings – as you desire (tomato sauce, garlic, onion, herbs, cheese, mushrooms, grilled chicken)
- First, preheat the oven to 220 Celsius.
- Mix yeast in hot water and stir to dissolve it completely.
- Rest it for 1-15 minutes until it starts foaming.
- Mix cornmeal, salt, and flour in a separate bowl.
- Now pour the yeast mixture into olive oil.
- Combine dry ingredients in the liquid mixture. Also, add some warm water to make it less sticky.
- Continue kneading the dough until it becomes smooth.
- Add some oregano and garlic for extra flavors. Pour some oil on the dough so that it does not dry out.
- Roll the dough into a circular shape with the help of a roller.
- Now mix tomato sauce, oregano, and other herbs and spread them on the surface of the pizza dough.
- Add some mozzarella cheese, veggies, and your favorite toppings to the base to add more flavors.
- After that, bake it for 20-25 minutes at 220 Celsius. That’s it, enjoy hot, delicious, and healthy pizza at home at any time.
Is Pepperoni Pizza Healthy?
Although pepperoni adds a more tangy and spicy flavor to pizza, it is not a healthy topping. Since it contains a very high amount of sodium and saturated fats, that is considered bad for heart and diabetic patients. Moreover, regular eating of pepperoni pizza may lead to serious health consequences.
Pepperoni pizza may lead to chronic weight gain since you take 12 g of fat per ounce of pepperoni. This high intake develops infertility, anxiety, and diabetes, type 2. Besides fats, you will intake 483 mg of sodium per ounce, which increases the risk of hypertension and heart strokes.
Moreover, processed pepperoni may contain a significant amount of nitrates added to preserve food for a long time and prevent bacterial growth. However, it leads to methemoglobinemia, nitrosamines, and cancer in humans.
As a whole, pepperoni is not harmful when eaten occasionally, but it can cause chronic health problems if taken regularly and in large quantities.
Some Tips To Make Pizza Healthier
Pizza lovers have a variety of ways to eat this dish while still being healthy. Let’s look at some interesting tips on how to make pizza healthier.
- Add more fresh and cooked veggies that boost up the nutritional value of your meal.
- Use grilled chicken, a great source of protein, instead of processed meats like pepperoni.
- Use crusts made up of whole wheat that contribute to high fiber content.
- Use sauces that have low added sugars.
- Use a thin crust base instead of a stuffed crust that is less in calories and carbohydrates.
- While eating pizza, don’t become greedy. Avoid large-sized slices!
- Try various recipes to make your pizza a healthy one by adding different nutritious ingredients.
Question: Why is a pizza healthy?
Answer: Pizza contains healthy ingredients such as proteins, calcium, fibers, and fats, so it is considered a healthy meal. Because pizza contains veggies rich in nutrition, it is a healthier option. The whole-wheat base contributes to good fiber. The tomato sauce in the pizza base contains an antioxidant that helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Question: Why is pizza unhealthy?
Answer: Although pizza is delicious, it contains a high amount of calories and unhealthy fats that contribute to increased cholesterol levels. Which further leads to weight gain, heart problems, and gut problems. Small consumption won’t affect your health, but large intake can cause serious health issues. Because of the preservatives and coloring used in pizza, we cannot say it is completely healthy.
Question: Is pizza healthy for breakfast?
Answer: Yes, pizza is an excellent option for breakfast because it contains fresh and healthy ingredients such as veggies, olive oil, whole wheat, etc. They are much better in nutrition than cereals for breakfast. Some people consider it unhealthy for breakfast, but in actuality, it is not because of its nutritional value.
The Bottom Line For Pizza Lovers!
Is pizza healthy? Although pizza contains many nutritious ingredients, it still has some unhealthy consequences. Most restaurant pizzas are not healthy, as they mostly use processed toppings to save time and boost flavor.
Fortunately, you can make healthy pizzas at home with a few simple steps and give your pizza cravings a healthy boost. Pizza can be made healthier by using healthy toppings and whole-grain crusts.
The fact that pizza is healthy depends on when and how we eat it.