Is pizza really bad for you? Of course not!
Pizza is actually a great source of essential nutrients, as well as being a convenient and tasty meal that is enjoyed by thousands of people around the world every day! Find out more about the nutritional value of pizza and how to choose healthier pizza options.
Nutritional Value of Pizza
Pizza may have a reputation as a ‘sometimes food’, but it is actually full of essential nutrition that your body needs to sustain itself. If you’re looking to enjoy pizza without the guilt, stripping it back to basics will ensure that you are only consuming normal and healthy amounts of things like sodium and fat and loading up on the minerals and nutrients you need.
Calcium is an essential part of a healthy diet. As a kid, you probably got told to drink your milk to keep your bones strong. But calcium plays a much larger role in our health, regulating your heart rhythm, helping muscles to contract, and playing a role in blood clotting.
You will find calcium in just about every kind of pizza you can buy. Calcium is present in cheese, which is a base ingredient of most pizzas. Plus, good news if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan – lactose free cheese alternatives are a great source of calcium as well!
Potassium is a crucial mineral in the body, regulating nerve signals, fluid balance and muscle contractions. A high potassium diet is recommended for people concerned about stroke, osteoporosis and other health conditions. There is about 200 mg of potassium in the average pizza.
Know anyone with an iron deficiency? Being low in iron can affect your energy levels and lead to growth deficiencies in kids. Luckily, iron can be easily absorbed by eating many of the toppings found on pizza! From red meat to spinach, creating an iron-boosting pizza is easy.
Why Is Pizza Called Unhealthy?
So if pizza actually contains lots of the stuff we need in a healthy diet, why does it have a reputation as an unhealthy food?
It depends on where you are eating pizza. In Italy, pizza is still considered an artisanal dish that is suitable for everyday consumption. However, pizza has become popular around the world, leading to big pizza chains popping up in places like the USA and Australia.
The rise of the fast-food pizza and the at home frozen pizza has caused more people to eat this favourite dish in a way that isn’t how pizza was originally meant to be enjoyed. These fast-food styles of pizza are loaded with salt and oil, making them a less healthy meal.
Even though pizza’s reputation has been tarnished, that doesn’t mean you need to stop loving your favourite food! Being more aware of where you get your pizza, making it yourself, and using fresh and healthy ingredients will take your pizza from a greasy sometimes food to a lovely and nutritious meal.
How To Eat Heathier Pizza
Watching your diet? Want to cut down on the calories this week? You can still enjoy delicious authentic pizza. Check out our suggestions for healthier pizza options.
Choose Healthy Toppings
There are so many delicious things to put on a pizza, and luckily, most of them are actually good for you as well! Choosing healthy pizza toppings is easy; just opt for the freshest ingredients possible, and choose produce that is locally sourced and in season.
Gently roasting your vegetables, like pumpkin, eggplant and zucchini, will release the flavours for a mouth-watering pizza topping. Red onion, cherry tomatoes and olives offer delicious pops of intense flavour. When it comes to choosing and combining yummy vegetables, the sky is the limit!
Try a Different Base
Pizza can be quite high in carbohydrates, but a good way to avoid this is to experiment with alternative pizza bases.
If you’re making your own pizza dough at home, play around with a Keto pizza dough, a gluten free dough recipe, or using almond flour!
A great way to add some extra veggies at the same time as cutting calories is to try cauliflower, mushroom or zucchini bases, which add a new flavour profile while being healthier for you.
Skip the Meat
Meat pizzas are delicious, but there are plenty of plant-based alternatives which will also hit the spot!
A fully veggie pizza can be a tasty option, or you can opt for protein substitutes if you’re still craving that filling sensation.
Pair it with Healthy Choices
Pizza is delicious when enjoyed with a glass of wine or a cold beer, but if you’re concerned about your diet, these sorts of beverages won’t help. Additionally, you can quickly tip over into consuming too much salt and carbohydrates when you snack on garlic bread or another fatty side dish with your pizza.
Instead, drink water or another healthier beverage instead of soft drink and alcohol. Water will help your body digest your food more easily and keep you hydrated.
Up your veggie intake with a crisp and yummy salad to go with your pizza. Our salad options are full of healthy ingredients like roquette, cabbage, cherry tomatoes and more.