Did you know that every day, some 40 million people in this country eat pizza? Indeed, it is the world’s most popular dish, and this is proven in our country better than anywhere else. Indeed, we love pizza so much that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has release a report detailing our consumption.
Pizza is recognized as a high consumption food and a contributor of nutrients of public significance in the American diet, including total fat, calcium and sodium.
In spite of the above statistics, most of us believe that pizza is very bad for us. Most highly popular dishes are, after all. Yet, it now seems that some nutritional experts are saying that pizza itself is not actually bad for our health. What matters is how we eat it and when we eat it. A report stated that 13% of Americans eat a pizza on any given day. If children and teenagers are included, this figure rises to 22%. If the dish were homemade, this would not be a problem. Unfortunately, it is not a homemade dish.
The president of the Spanish Association of Nutritionists, Guiseppe Russolillo, has explained the big difference. In Italy, where pizza originated from, the dish is a product of beauty. In our country, however, it is a type of junk food. In most cases, a pizza is either a frozen supermarket product, or a fast food chain offering.
Interestingly, it seems that men are more keen on pizza than women. Additionally, there are variations between different ethnic groups. For instance, non-Hispanic white people eat the most pizza. Black non-Hispanics will eat at least one pizza slice per day.
According to Ruben Bravo, who is part of the European Medical Institute, this is a cause for concern.
This tells us about the diet in the US, and that this could well be one of the reasons why this country has the highest numbers of obesity cases.
Indeed, experts agree that pizza should be consumed no more than three times a month – less if possible. Additionally, it should not be part of the staple daily diet, particularly for children. This is because children are going through growth periods and they need to eat a varied, nutritious diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The Abuse of Pizza
Pizza became part of our country’s diet at the start of the 20th century. Italian migrants brought the dish with them and the first pizzeria was opened in 1905 in New York. People quickly fell in love with the dish, and some three billion pizzas are now sold every year in our country alone. Indeed, 6% of children’s total energy intake comes from pizza. This figure drops to 4% in adults. This means that on the day it is eaten, pizza accounts for 27% of the amount of energy people use.
On average, adults consume 744 calories per pizza, and children consume 538. The problem, therefore, is not actually the pizza. Instead, it is the pizza getting abused. The food is high in calories, but not to the point that it should constitute a problem. After all, a sandwich can be just as bad. It is full of fats and refined flours, neither of which are good for your health.
Nutrients in Pizza
The reality is that there are nutrients in pizza, and the American diet could certainly do with more nutrients. By eating pizza, consumers get around as much fat, protein, fiber, saturated fat, lycopene and calcium as they need. Indeed, a pizza represents a third of the total daily intake for calcium. Additionally, it provides more than 50% of the required daily intake of lycopene. This is a micronutrient and a very strong antioxidant. Furthermore, children and adults alike are able to get sodium out of pizza as well.
However, it is important to understand that most of these nutrients are only present in homemade pizzas. Factory products tend to be full of saturated fats and carbohydrates, rather than nutrients. Wholemeal flour is replaced by refined flour, and this is a leading cause of high cholesterol and obesity. Additionally, it causes elevated blood sugar levels.
If seen as a cereal, however, pizza does provide a number of needed micronutrients and nutrients, so much so, in fact, that homemade pizzas could be eaten at least once a week. That doesn’t mean pizza has to be promoted as a healthy product, particularly when other products like vegetables are much better.
How to Eat Pizza
A particular area of concern for nutritionists is how people eat their pizza. A homemade pizza should be free of ingredients that are full of preservatives, fats and salt. As such, it can be a good source of nutrients. However, a pizza should never be eaten at night. In reality, however, 44% of children and 59% of adults that eat pizza in the US do it at dinnertime. This is something that Ruben Bravo has expressed particular worry about.
The most recent research on form biorhythm and circadian mood infers that consuming nourishment high in carbs and immersed fat around evening time prompts an expansion in muscle to fat ratio ratios, clarifies Bravo. This implies that in the long haul these supplements could be helping heftiness.
It is also believed that eating a heavy meal at dinnertime, like pizzas, can cause digestion to become sluggish. This can also lead to problems with sleep. In other words, there is a very big difference between a lunch time pizza and a pizza consumed at night.
How to Eat Pizza the Right Way
So, just how unhealthy is pizza? It all depends on the type of pizza and how you eat it. The reality is that millions of us eat pizza each and every day, and it isn’t good for us. However, if we choose to eat homemade pizza, with wholemeal flour and natural ingredients, and if we choose to eat it for lunch, rather than dinner, we can eat a pizza once a week without feeling guilty.