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Stephanie D. Murillo
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Is Pizza a Junk Food or Healthy Food?

Pizza is almost everyone’s favorite food which has become ideal for a quick meal and for any type of social gathering. It is not surprising that pizza is considered as a premier food in the American diet. According to a study, in America, each person consumes almost 46 slices of pizzas each year. The secret is that Pizza is an easy-to-make, tasty, satisfying and inexpensive meal. The thick or thin crust, chicken, veggies or cheese, you can choose a pizza with a variety of toppings that you love. Although the conventional and latest variety of pizza are very popular among people but often you’ll hear that pizza is a junk food.

In my previous post, I’ve discussed Chinese food, today I’m going to share something interesting about Pizza. Is pizza really a junk food? Here is a serious debate on this alarming question. But before answering this question, you should know what is junk food.

Pizza
Image Credit by patiocanariolanzarote

 

 

What is Junk Food?

Junk food is a term usually used for cheap food that contains a high content of calories, fat, salt and sugar with a little amount of protein, fiber, minerals or vitamins. Junk foods can also represent the high-protein food, such as meat prepared with saturated fat. Just because of these risky components, junk food is considered as unhealthy food. A study reveals that the consumption of fast food and junk food in the US have raised dramatically, with 25% of people are now consuming junk food diets on a regular basis. That’s why; American people are at the higher risks of obesity, diabetes, depression, nutrient deficiencies and various other health problems.

Now we come back to the question whether pizza is junk food or not. Commercially prepared fast food and frozen pizzas can be junk food because they have less nutritional value. They are often rich in fat and salt, and sometimes they also contain undesirable additives, such as preservatives and colorings. So, they are unhealthy to eat. However, you can make your pizza healthy for you by adding the right and healthy ingredients for your pizza base and toppings.

Junk food
Image Credit By pikspost

Now we discuss this question in detail;

Why is Pizza a Junk Food?

Take a look at each of the main component of pizza to know why pizza is considered as unhealthy junk food.

  • Crust

The key component of pizza is the crust and mostly pizza crusts are made from refined flour dough. White refined grains or flour contain more sugary carbohydrates with very little amount of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some of the refined products are high in vitamins and minerals but they are also low in fiber. By indulging in the refined grains like pizza and bread, you are at higher risk of abdominal fat. On the other side, low fiber foods can disturb your digestive system and also increase the bad cholesterol level that can lead to heart diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancers.

Pizza crust

  • Sauce

Pizza sauce is another important component of pizza that makes it tastier. But, it is important to note that the pizza sauce is generally made from the salty and spicy ingredients which are unhealthy for you. Several studies have found that when you eat too much sodium, it may lead to high blood pressure.

Spicy pizza sauce

  • Cheese

Pizza is incomplete without cheese as it is the dominant component of the pizza. But, the cheese usually is packed with saturated fat which may increase the threats of bad cholesterol level and heart disease. Harder cheeses contain more fats than soft cheese while some cheeses are also rich in sodium. A research shows that each 5-ounce serving of cheese pizza offers 18.5 grams of fat. And when you add meat to your pizza, the amount of saturated fat will also increase. So, this type of pizzas can lead to high blood pressure, kidney damage and heart diseases.

cheese pizza
Image Credit by albnews
  • Toppings

One of the most delicious and mouth-watering components of pizza is topping. Currently processed meat toppings are used which have a lot of fat and salt when meat is mixed with other unhealthy ingredients during processing. So, avoid the meat like bacon, pepperoni and ham etc in your pizza recipes.

pizza toppings

Now the question is:

How to Make a Pizza Healthy?

Actually, it depends on you to make pizza junk food or healthy food. If you add nutritious ingredients, you’ll enjoy a pizza as a part of healthy diet. Here, we are going to share some healthy alternatives for all the four components of pizza. These alternatives not only make your pizza delectable and tastier but also make it healthful.

  • Make the pizza dough with whole grain or use whole-wheat flatbread. Whole grain crust is healthiest because it includes
    Veggie Pizza
    Image credit by muloqot

    fiber, minerals and vitamins.

  • Prefer to use the tomato sauce for your pizza instead of bottled sauces that are salty and spicy. Tomato sauce is high in lycopene which makes the sauce easy-to-digest. Moreover, tomato sauce is also potent to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Without cheese, pizza is not completed. Avoid the high-fat cheese because they are unhealthy. Prefer to choose soft cheeses which are higher in dietary fiber, protein, and other minerals.
  • Top your pizza with lean beef or grilled chicken as an alternative to processed meats. Instead of meat, you can use plenty of fresh vegetables like, spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms to make your pizza completely nutritive.

By following the above-mentioned tips, you can easily bake a healthy and tasty pizza on your own, but if you’re unable to make it at home for any reason, you can order your much-loved pizza by clicking here.

How do you make your pizza healthy and tasty? Share the nutritional ingredients of your pizza with us?

Stephaine D. Murillo is a Dubai-based American professional nutritionist who tells the secrets of a healthy and longer life. She is ambitious to find the significant benefits of a nutritional and balanced diet. She guides food lovers about the health benefits and drawbacks of vegetables, fruits and other types of food. She loves to share information about food & health through Papaorder Blog. So, subscribe Papaorder blog to get her health & food tips.

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Papaorder Blog explores the food culture of various nations while the main focus is on Arabic culinary style and culture.

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