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Health Issues Relating to Pizza

Pizza is one of America’s most loved convenience foods. It is now possible to order pizza by text messaging, on-line, by cell phone or by land line. The convenience of pizza and the fact that one can even have it delivered late at night makes it all the more appealing. It is one food that is almost universally appealing to people.

How then can a food that everyone loves so much and eats so often pose any health problems?

It’s not the pizza itself that is posing the health problems; it is all of the goodies that are added to it that can change it from a reasonably healthy food item to something that is incredibly unhealthy.

What then are some of the problems associated with pizza?

*The Crust

When a crust is made out of white flour, made into a thick crust pizza, a pan pizza or even a stuffed pizza, the amount of dough in the crust is increased substantially.

For diabetics, that is one of the ingredients that raises the carbohydrate level of the pizza to something that is no longer acceptable.

For people with cholesterol issues, especially a high triglyceride count, the increased carbohydrate level is significant because they are already predisposed to and at increased risk for diabetes.

The crust can cause digestive problems or other issues for people with wheat or gluten allergies.

*The Meat

Pepperoni is easily the most widely loved of all meats on a pizza. Pepperoni is a very high fat meat and the type of fat that is in pepperoni is not the good kind; it is saturated fats. Pepperoni is also high in sodium, nitrates, and a host of other preservatives.

Sausage is also quite high in fat. Anyone who looks at freshly ground Italian sausage will immediately notice how much marbling there is in the meat. All of that marbling is the fat contained in it.

Bacon is another high fat, high cholesterol meat. It too is loaded with sodium, all of which are problems for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, any type of heart disease or weight issues.

Beef may be lower in fat and calories than some of the other meats, but it is still very high in cholesterol. It is now widely known that people who eat a significant amount of red meat are at increased risk for all sorts of cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

*The Sauce

The newest addition to the pizza chains in the U.S. is specialty pizzas and gourmet pizzas. These pizzas offer would be diners a greater choice of what they can have on or in their pizzas. One of the newest additions to the Papa Johns menu is an Alfredo pizza.

Tomatoes are very high in acid. For people who have acid reflux disease, the tomato sauce may trigger a lot of discomfort.

The Alfredo pizza features an Alfredo sauce instead of the traditional tomato sauce. Alfredo sauce is the sauce that is served with the well known Fettuccine Alfredo. It is a creamy sauce that is made with cheeses and heavy cream. It is incredibly high in fat, calories and cholesterol. A cream based sauce can be problematic for people who have problems digesting dairy products or issues such as lactose intolerance.

It is a diet breaker for people who are watching their weight. For anyone who eats such a pizza more than occasionally, there will almost certainly be a danger of higher cholesterol and clogged arteries. The high fat and high caloric content of this sauce is also unhealthy for diabetics and for people who have weight issues.

*The Cheese

On the surface, one would think that cheese is a healthy ingredient, and it does have health benefits. The cheese is a source of calcium, vitamin D, and it can be substituted for other dairy servings in a day. The cheese becomes an issue when and if one doesn’t know whether the mozzarella used is a full fat cheese, a low fat cheese, or one that was made with 2% milk.

Cheese can be a source of cholesterol, and that is not healthy for people who already have high cholesterol. The fat content can be an issue if the cheese is made from full fat milk. That adds calories and carbohydrates. When people order extra cheese, that adds more calories and fat to the pizza.

For some people, cheese can cause severe constipation, and for others, the milk sugars cause other digestive problems.

*The Whole Pizza

Some people have allergies to mushrooms, while others cannot digest green peppers. Some people find that the seasonings are hard on the stomach, while others claim that onions create intestinal difficulties.

Everyone’s body reacts to foods differently. While some people may be able to eat pizza with no adverse affects, there are those for whom pizza can cause life threatening allergic reactions, intestinal distress and discomfort or problems associated with acid reflux. For people who have serious health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, eating pizza on a regular basis may be the equivalent of driving one more nail in their own coffin.

When you put all of the ingredients together, the pizza is laden with fat, cholesterol, calories, carbohydrates and starch. It is unbalanced because the amount of protein, carbs, calories, fat and fiber are not at healthy levels, either for a single slice portion, a portion consisting of a couple of slices, or God forbid, if someone should eat the entire pizza themselves.

The biggest reason that pizza can cause health issues is because people don’t exercise moderation. When they pile the ingredients onto a single pizza, super-size the pizza and ask for double portions of ingredients, the pizza loses all that it might have had as a simple thin crust pizza with sauce and a moderate amount of cheese.