By The Slice: Is Pizza Healthy Or Not?

Pizza is one of the most loved foods in America. Pizza even has its own national day (February 9th) to celebrate it more than we already do. Americans love pizza so much that the average person consumes about 23 pounds of pizza each year. Roughly 17% of U.S. restaurants are pizzerias and over one billion pizzas are sold each year; it’s safe to add another billion for frozen pizzas.

 

Eating a lot pizza can dramatically increase your saturated fat intake, which isn’t a good thing. Additionally, eating pizza on a somewhat regular basis can raise your blood cholesterol levels, ultimately increasing your risk of obesity and heart disease. Common toppings like pepperoni or sausage are typically processed and contain nitrites, both of which can increase your cancer risk.

 

High Glycemic Index:

While there are grain-free crust options, the average pizza crust contains refined flour, which doesn’t contain fiber and in turn has a high glycemic index. This can affect your blood sugar levels because your body breaks down the simple carbs to convert them into sugar for fuel. The unused sugar, which is a lot, becomes fat. Refined grains typically increase abdominal fat.

 

Increased Blood Pressure:

Pizza contains a lot of sodium, which is not conducive to people who have high blood pressure. In fact, the average slice of cheese pizza contains 23% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of sodium; and chances are that the average American isn’t just eating one slice. Add pepperoni to that slice and sodium increases to 33%. People with high blood pressure should be working to decrease sodium levels, not intake more!

 

There are healthier ways you can eat pizza. It depends on the quality of the sauce, the toppings, the dough, and whether or not you put a pound of cheese on top. During our recent coverage of the LA FitExpo, for example, we found a great cauliflower pizza crust. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and beneficial for anyone who wants to enjoy a low-calorie pizza. While we didn’t make a recipe with this cauliflower crust pizza, we hope you enjoy the recipes we provided, and maybe you’ll make them more once you try them. Let us know what you think!

 

Zucchini Pizza Boats:

zucchini-pizzas

Don’t worry about refined flour because it isn’t in this recipe. Using the zucchini as a vessel, you can create personal pizzas that are filled with bright, flavorful toppings.

Click here to make the recipe.

 

Zucchini Pizza Crust:

zucchini-crust-pizza

For those who don’t want to deal with all the carbs of regular pizza dough, this is a much healthier option that is surprisingly delicious. Try it out and you might like it more than the real thing!

Click here to make the recipe.

 

Sources:

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-pizza-day-february-9/

https://www.foodsforbetterhealth.com/is-pizza-unhealthy-33963

2019-02-05T11:48:28-07:00