Pizza: healthy or unhealthy?

Pizza is generally considered to be rather unhealthy – after all, many pizzas provide large amounts of fat and, as a result, many calories. But depending on the dough and toppings, pizza is actually not that unhealthy. According to an Italian study, regular consumption can even protect us from a  heart attack  . Of course, pizza is healthiest if you prepare the Italian specialty yourself. We reveal which topping is healthy and give you a delicious recipe to follow along.

Pizza: High in calories

How many calories a pizza contains depends on the dough and the topping. A typical Italian pizza with thin dough, lots of vegetables and little  cheese  , for example, has around 550 calories. A Pizza Quattro Formaggi, on the other hand, quickly weighs in at 850 calories. If you want to save calories, hold back on toppings, especially when it  comes to cheese and salami  .

In addition,  the thicker the dough, the more calories  the pizza has. The difference between a thin Italian pizza and a thick American pizza can be as much as 300 calories. The calorie content is particularly high if the rim is also filled with cheese.

Regular consumption protects against heart attack

According to a Milan study, regular consumption of pizza is not bad for our health, despite the high number of calories. The study found that people who eat pizza twice a week are half as likely to have a heart attack as people who only eat pizza occasionally.

Whether pizza is healthy or not depends primarily on the  topping  . If you eat loads of sausage and cheese, the meal is certainly anything but healthy. Instead, rely on plenty of vegetables when topping.

But not only the topping, but also the  dough  plays an important role. When preparing, make sure to use high-quality ingredients and then roll out the dough as thinly as possible. It is best to prepare the dough with olive oil: because olive oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on blood lipid levels.

Make pizza healthy

In order for the pizza to be as healthy as possible, the following ingredients are recommended for topping:

  • Tomatoes:  Tomatoes should not be missing on any pizza – whether sliced ​​or as a sauce. Because the red fruits not only contain few calories, but are rich in  vitamin C  and lycopene. The dye has  an antioxidant effect  in the body and can thus protect us from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  • Spicy herbs:  Not only tomatoes but also herbs like basil, marjoram,  oregano , rosemary and  thyme  contain many antioxidants. So spread the herbs generously on your pizza. This also allows you to save some  salt  – there is often too much of it in the dough.
  • Onions  and  Garlic :  Onions and garlic are high in sulfur compounds that help prevent blood platelets from clumping together. In doing so, they help  prevent a heart attack .
  • Peppers:  Peppers are extremely low in calories, but still pack a lot of vitamins and  minerals . It is best to use red peppers, they contain a particularly large amount of vitamin C.
  • Olives :  Although olives have more calories than peppers, they are still healthy because they are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and secondary plant substances that can protect us from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  • Mushrooms Mushrooms consist largely of water and can therefore be eaten without a guilty conscience. They are also healthy because they provide our body with valuable calcium and magnesium.

While you can safely access vegetables, you should be   economical with salami or ham . If you really want sausage, lean ham is better than greasy salami. It is best to cut the ham into thin strips, so the pizza can also be topped with small quantities.

You should also  only use cheese  in moderation when topping, because it contains large amounts of animal fat. However, it is also rich in calcium, which strengthens our bones and teeth.

Frozen pizza rather unhealthy

While frozen vegetables are considered relatively healthy, caution should be exercised with ready meals such as frozen pizza. Because many ready meals are produced in the laboratory using coloring, flavoring and preservatives as well as flavor enhancers and binding agents. However, there are big differences between individual products.

When it comes to frozen pizzas, always ensure that the product is of high quality. It is best to take a look at the list of ingredients directly in the store and see that you can get a pizza without many  flavor enhancers  and  aromas  . If you then spice up the pizza at home with some fresh vegetables, a frozen pizza is no longer so unhealthy.

Healthy pizza: make-it-yourself recipe

Making your own pizza is not only fun, it’s also healthy. Because then you can decide for yourself which ingredients go into the dough and on the pizza. Here you will find a delicious recipe with which you can easily make pizza yourself.

1. For the dough, mix the following ingredients together:

  • 400 grams of flour
  • a packet of yeast
  • two teaspoons of salt
  • 200 milliliters of lukewarm water
  • five tablespoons of olive oil

Instead of light wheat flour, use at least some  dark wholemeal flour. This contains more vitamins, minerals and  dietary fiber  and also keeps you full for longer.

2. Then let the dough rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes and then roll it out thinly.

3. Spread the dough with tomato sauce and then top the pizza as you like.

4. The pizza can then be baked in the oven at 200 °C until golden brown.

Ideally, combine the pizza with a fresh salad or a delicious fruit salad for dessert. This allows you to enhance the meal as a whole and not have to feel guilty if a little more cheese ended up on the pizza.

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