Why Is Pizza Unhealthy? (Everything You Need to Know)
By Robert Parsons April 24th, 2023
I love nothing more than a good pizza. And while I would have no complaints about having a nice pizza pie every day, I limit the amount of pizza I eat regularly.
This is because, as much as I hate to say it, most pizzas are fairly unhealthy. This delicious dish is known for its rich and bright flavours. However, most of these flavours come from salt, carbs, and fat, which are terrible for my diet.
But while pizza isn’t the healthiest dish available, that doesn’t mean you need to completely cut it out of your diet.
In this article, I’ll talk about some reasons why pizza is unhealthy and some ways you can make your pizza pie a healthier dish.
So, read on to learn more.
What Makes Pizza Unhealthy?
Think about a classic pizza pie.
There’s a high chance you’re thinking of a nicely charred crust, a bright tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and maybe some meat like pepperoni.
As you might imagine, none of these ingredients is healthy, no matter how you look. In this section, we’ll go over why pizza is so unhealthy and why having that much pizza isn’t a good idea.
To start, pizza is packed with carbohydrates. Most pizza crust is made with refined flour, which is much less nutritious than unrefined flour. Eating refined grains and carbs in pizza crust increases your risk of gaining abdominal fat. More specifically, these refined carbs can increase visceral abdominal fat, increasing the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
Another major component of a pizza pie is salt or sodium. Now, salt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The right amount of salt can bring out a lot of beautiful flavours from the tomato sauce, meat, and vegetables on the pizza. However, consuming too much sodium also increases the risk of high blood pressure. The cheese, meat, and sauce on the pizza results in a lot of salt, so I suggest reducing the amount of pizza you consume regularly.
Lastly, the cheese and meat on the pizza generally have a high-fat content. Like salt and carbs, the right amount of fat is good for you. However, since the fat content in a typical pizza is really high, it puts you at a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, and more.
How to Make Pizza Healthier
Pizza is generally unhealthy. As much as I hate this fact, I have to accept it. However, since I didn’t want to eliminate pizza from my diet completely, I had to look for ways to make pizza healthier. While the tips below won’t make pizza as healthy as a salad, it will reduce its negative health effects.
So, if you want to eat pizza regularly without risking your health, follow these tips.
Change Your View of “Healthy” Food
Firstly, I’d suggest changing your definition of “healthy” food. Instead of classifying food as healthy and unhealthy, I recommend considering your overall eating habits. One meal isn’t going to change your health. So, if you have a slice or two of pizza every few days, you do no harm. However, suppose you make a habit of having pizza loaded with meat, cheese, and other toppings regularly, you put your health at risk.
So, instead of classifying certain foods as “bad” and avoiding them altogether, building balanced and healthy eating habits is better. That way, you can eat whatever you want while being responsible for your body.
Ditch Frozen Pizza and Fast Food
I love the occasional Domino’s or frozen pizza dinner. There’s just something to mass-produced pizzas that tickles my taste buds differently. That said, fast food and frozen pizzas aren’t the healthiest options available. In fact, most fast food and frozen pizzas have a much higher fat, salt, and carbohydrate content than a restaurant or homemade pizzas.
I understand that fast food pizza is affordable, and we all need a cheap meal now and then. But for your regular pizza consumption, consider ordering from a local restaurant or even making the pizza yourself. That way, the pizza still tastes great without risking your personal health.
Try Different Grain Options
As mentioned earlier, the refined grains in the pizza crust can be fairly unhealthy. The FDA recommends that half of our overall grain consumption is whole-grain. So, I suggest testing out whole-grain or vegetable-grain pizza crusts for a healthier experience.
Don’t Overload the Pizza with Meat
We all love a meat pizza. However, you can still have tasty and satisfying meat without overloading your pie. For example, instead of choosing a high-fat meat like pepperoni, try opting for leaner options and putting less meat on your pizza. Trust me, having less meat on pizza can create a more balanced flavour while still perfectly satisfying your appetite.
Top Your Pizza with Fresh Vegetables
Another tip I have is to top your pizza with fresh vegetables like spinach or arugula. Not only does this add a new flavour element to the dish, but it also increases the vitamins and nutrients you get when eating it!
What Is the Unhealthiest Part of Pizza?
Most dieticians point to the cheese as being the unhealthiest part of a pizza. This is because cheese has a high fat and salt content, which isn’t healthy in large amounts.
Is Pizza More Unhealthy Than Burgers?
This depends on the type of pizza or burger you’re eating. However, most burgers have a higher fat content than pizza, which is something to consider if you monitor your health.
Is Pizza Bad for My Diet?
Pizza isn’t necessarily bad for your diet. However, eating too much pizza can be harmful and put you at a higher risk of certain health conditions. So, like any food, it’s best to consume pizza in moderation.
While pizza is one of my favourite dishes, I can’t deny the fact that it’s unhealthy. This is why I have to take different steps to lower the fat, salt, and carbohydrates in my pizza. And on top of that, I also try to limit my consumption.
However, when you have the right amount of pizza, you don’t put your health at risk.
So, try to follow some of my tips above and avoid eating pizza daily. If you do, you’ll be surprised at how it benefits your health.