You have probably heard much about the negative health effects of eating fast foods and why you should avoid them if you want to stay healthy.
You have also probably been warned that Pizza should not be on your list of healthy foods.
Mind you, we mostly agree with that. In spite of this, you may be surprised to learn that pizza, though classified as one of the fast foods, is actually much healthier than you might have imagined or as you may have been led to believe. Or it can be made to be, depending on the reasons mentioned below.
So what are the benefits of eating pizza? What makes pizza a healthier choice compared to many take-out foods like burgers or chicken?
1. The Oil-Free Cooking
Because it’s not fried in oil like most fast foods, it has less fat content. Many pizza cooks prefer whole-wheat flour, which is healthier than your regular white bread flour.
2. Healthy Ingredients
The commonly-used type of flour that makes pizza is good for fiber, which is good for digestion. We're discussing the most commonly used pizza ingredients here, have a look!
a) Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Most pizza cooks use whole wheat dough rather than the white bread-making dough. Whole wheat is the kind of dough used to make brown bread.
Wheat, especially whole-grain wheat, is rich in Vitamin B. Whole grain wheat also has folic acid, which is great for red blood cells formation and helps prevent defects in unborn babies.
Commonly, a pizza contains a lot of tomatoes, which is great of lycopene antioxidant. This is said to reduce risks of heart disease and cancer. And yes, tomatoes certainly make your pizza more tasty than not!
Another common ingredient is onions, rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and potassium. Onions have numerous benefits in your body, including a healthy heart by reducing high blood pressure risk, helps in clotting of blood. Onions are also an antioxidant, helping keep harmful stuff out of your system.
Cheese, another common pizza ingredient, contains calcium, vitamin A, protein, zinc, and vitamin B12. This delicious ingredient is good not only for muscles build-up but calories as well.
Meat: A great source of proteins, but try to avoid fatty meats. The fresh meat is rich in zinc as well as iron and selenium. Iron helps in forming hemoglobin to transfer oxygen to different body organs, while zinc is good for the formation of body tissues and metabolism. Selenium helps break down body fats and chemicals. Generally, meat is good for your skin, bones, hair, and blood.
Pizza toppings like carrot, peanuts, mushrooms, spinach, almonds can be another great option for healthy eating.
What Can Make One Pizza Healthier than The Other?
This is easy to guess. Type of ingredients, of course. In case you decide on home-made pizza [which is advisable], try to use beneficial and healthy ingredients. Try to balance your pizza ingredients for health benefits.
The source. Home-made pizzas tend to be healthier than take-outs, due to better or more topping choices. Home-made pizzas are also more likely to be more hygienic in their cooking than take-outs. This is not a vendetta against the pizza sellers.
Also, avoiding fatty options in the making of the pizza is highly encouraged.
Fresh ingredients. No matter how good your ingredients, if they comprise of stale flour, stale tomatoes etc, they will never taste or be as healthy as fresh ones!
An example of a healthy and unhealthy pizza portion based on a 100-gram slice of pizza:
The Decider: Is Pizza Healthy or Not?
Eating too many pizzas can lead to high cholesterol levels, and this can lead to heart complications. Some pizza-makers use refined flour rather than whole grain flour, and this is not a very healthy option.
You may be consuming too many carbohydrates and proteins by eating too many pizzas in a short span of time. Too much of anything is not a good thing. Therefore, pizza can be a healthy option especially if you are careful about the ingredients or if you order pizza with the right ingredients, or make your own pizza at home and take control of what goes into your pizza and how you cook it.
Pizza can be unhealthy depending on the ingredients, cooking method, or how often you eat it. It is advisable to order pizza from sources you know, whereby you know the ingredients, the hygiene and the cooking reputation of the source or take-out restaurant.
In a nutshell, a healthy pizza or an unhealthy can depend on where [source], how [cooking], what [ingredients] and what you decide to do to ensure that you eat the healthiest pizza possible because you can!