A Serious Look At Pizza and Health
Pizza is healthy.
Are you a pizza lover? Most people in North America enjoy pizza on a fairly regular basis, but many of them are also aware that there can be some potentially serious health concerns with respect to pizza consumption.
*Potential health concerns may include the following:
1. High salt content
2. High fat content
3. High cholesterol level
4. Gluten intolerance
5. Potential allergies
6. High carbohydrate level
Note that these potential health concerns are not limited to pizza. A person’s health and well being is generally determined to a large extent by his or her personal dietary management. This is true with respect to pizza consumption as well.
*What is pizza?
Traditionally, pizza comes from Italy, as a round, flat bread with tomatoes, or tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and various toppings, baked in an oven. Pizza is normally purchased at a pizzeria, a pizza parlor, or made in a person’s own home. (1)
A wide variety of toppings can be ordered when one is purchasing a pizza, or used when one is making a pizza. The choice will generally depend upon one’s country, culture, or personal preference.
*Traditional pizza toppings may include any of the following:
Tomato sauce tomato mixture, pesto, alfredo or barbecue sauce
Cheese mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, parmesan, or a blend of various cheeses
Herbs and seasonings basil, oregano, red pepper
Fruits and vegetables garlic, artichoke hearts, eggplant, olives, onions, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, banana or jalapeno peppers, pineapple
Mushrooms of various kinds
Meat sausage pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage
Other meats ham, bacon, ground beef, chicken
Seafood anchovies, tuna, salmon, shrimp (2)
Note that there are many different ways that these, or other toppings can be combined when one is ordering a pizza from a pizza place, or making a pizza at home. In other words, with respect to a person’s heath, or a possible health risk, it is possible to avoid the majority of potential health concerns.
Consider the following suggestions:
*High salt content: For those who know that they have salt restrictions in their diet, pizza can be made without pepperoni, or other meats that have a high salt content. Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for tomato sauce, if the salt content is too high.
*High fat content: Pizza can be made using lean meat and low fat cheese. Reducing the amount of meat and cheese that is used in making the pizza, can also be helpful.
*High cholesterol level: For those who are on high cholesterol diets, pizza can be made from only the kinds of foods that have lower cholesterol levels.
*Gluten intolerance: For those with gluten intolerance, other kinds of flour that they can tolerate, may be used to make the pizza crust.
*Allergies: Most people who have allergies, know what they are sensitive to and can have a pizza made without any of the food products to which they might react in a negative way. Making a pizza at home, has the added advantage of knowing exactly how it is made and what is included in it.
*High carbohydrate level: To avoid high carbohydrates, one may order a pizza with a thin crust.
There really are no hard and fast rules! Ordering or making a pizza has unlimited possibilities.
The majority of potential health concerns can be circumvented with proper dietary management. The important thing to know is what the potential health risk might be and how to work around that in terms of ingenuity and common sense.
Moderation in all things is generally advisable, even in terms of pizza consumption.
Is pizza healthy? Yes!
But it also depends upon how much one chooses to eat and how the pizza has been made. In comparison to many of the other foods that people all over the world consume, pizza is probably far healthier than a lot of them.