Tags: pizza | health | benefits

The Health Benefits of Pizza

man talking slice of veggie pizza
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 01 February 2021 09:35 AM EST

Don’t put down that slice! And don’t feel guilty about it either. Pizza has gotten a bad reputation but it’s not deserved. According to a recent article in Eat This, Not That!,  eating pizza can cause some serious side effects that can damage your health including weight gain, cancer, increased risk of heart disease, bad skin, and higher risk of stroke. But experts say that it’s not the pizza itself that is hazardous to your health but what you put on top of the crust that counts.

Adding processed meats like pepperoni and sausage, piling on extra cheese, and not including low-sodium veggies on top of the pizza can lead to medical issues, but a well-crafted pie that includes lots of healthy toppings actually can be good for you, says Tara Collingwood, M.S., R.D., a leading Orlando-based nutritionist and board-certified sports dietitian.

“Pizza is not ‘junk’ food,” Collingwood tells Newsmax. “It has lots of nutritional value, unlike cakes, cookies, and chips. I tell many of my athlete clients who burn a lot of calories and sweat that pizza is an excellent recovery food.”

The expert points out that the crust is grain and has a good amount of B vitamins. The sauce is tomato-based which offers terrific nutrients like lycopene, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Cheese toppings are a good source of protein and calcium, she says.

The only caveat Collingwood offers is that for the average sedentary individual, it’s wise to limit the number of slices you consume and choose your toppings carefully.

To make eating pizza healthier, start with a salad.

“Not just iceberg lettuce with a heavy dressing, but a salad made with dark leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, and other vegetables topped with a light vinaigrette,” says Collingwood, adding that a hearty salad is fiber-rich and can help you control your pizza portions. Then choose a thin crust for your pie instead of a pan or deep-dish pizza soaked in oil and extra cheese. Many grocery stores and pizzerias now offer whole grain or cauliflower crusts.

Top it all off with as many antioxidant rich vegetables as you like, choosing eggplant, mushroom, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and other favorites. If you want to add meat to your pizza, lean chicken or ham are better choices than sausage and pepperoni that tend to be high in fat.

“Eat your pizza slowly and savor every bite,” says Collingwood. “Wait a few minutes before grabbing another slice and ask yourself if you really NEED it or just WANT it.”

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Don't put down that slice! And don't feel guilty about it either. Pizza has gotten a bad reputation but it's not deserved. According to a recent article in Eat This, Not That!, eating pizza can cause some serious side effects...
pizza, health, benefits
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2021-35-01
Monday, 01 February 2021 09:35 AM
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