Pizza is a mainstay of the American diet and there are literally thousands of variations. In its most basic form it can be a nutritious thing to eat but it acquired a bad reputation when the fast food industry stepped in and transformed pizza into something quite unhealthy. Still, not all pizzas are alike. There are good recipes, bad recipes, unusual toppings, etc. Pizza may be considered junk food by dieticians but it doesn’t have to be. To make it a good food it should be simple.
The foundation of every pizza is the dough. To limit calorie intake, ask for a thin crust. Deep dish (pan) and thick crust pizzas taste fantastic, but all that extra bread is nothing except processed white flour so there isn’t much nutritional value. A whole wheat crust is a better choice.
It’s hard to say anything bad about the delicious tomato sauce, the heart of most pizzas. The sauce contains lycopene, which is thought to do a good job of fighting various forms of cancer.
Cheese is a good source of calcium and a thin layer on a pizza is beneficial. Think twice before loading a pizza with extra cheese. It tastes good and die-hard pizza lovers can’t think of eating one without cheese, however, the saturated fat (the bad kind) isn’t a good thing. Cheese can lead to serious health problems if you consume too much of it so reduce the amount by half, or cut it out altogether.
You can’t go wrong with mushooms, red/green peppers, onions, eggplant, zucchini, or even broccoli for a healthier pizza.
Are you planning a trip to Italy? In this country you’ll have the pleasure of tasting some delightful pizzas. Keep in mind, though, that if you order a pepperoni pizza what you’ll get is a pizza with bell peppers. In Italy, the thinly sliced red sausage American tourists know as pepperoni is actually called ‘salsiccia piccante’ or just ‘salame.’ The Italian word ‘peperoni’ means ‘pepper.’ Knowing these words will help to avoid confusion.
Pepperoni adds flavor but you’re also getting a lot of salt and nitrites. If you must have some type of meat, chicken is a healthier alternative because it has protein but less fat.
Pineapple is the only fruit that works well on pizza. It’s not a bad thing since pineapple is full of vitamin C and low in cholesterol.
Is pizza good or bad?
It can go either way, depending on how it’s made. But, healthy or not there’s no arguing that it’s here to stay.