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- Why Pizza Is Considered To Be A Junk Food?
- Calories In A Slice Of Pizza
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Do you want to have Pizza in your evening snacks or as a dinner? I know most of you will surely want to have it. Pizza is not only favorite food among kids or teenagers but it also attracts adults too. Whenever we feel hungry, most of us will order pizza without considering its calories. Do you ever think before eating a pizza that how many calories a slice of pizza contains? Before starting my article, I would like to answer one of the important and common question.
Why Pizza Is Considered To Be A Junk Food?
Pizza is considered to be junk food because of the ingredients that are used to prepare Pizza. The basic pizza contains following ingredients.
Refined flour –
The pizza base is prepared by a refined flour. Refined flour does not contain husk which consists of bran. Due to removal of husk the refined flour has less fibers, vitamin B complex and minerals. It has been revealed in many researches that consuming refined flour is major cause of obesity, Diabetes and cholesterol.
The other major ingredient is cheese which add lots of taste to your food. Cheese are good source of protein but it also contains saturated fats which leads to many problems like high cholesterol and high triglycerides.
According to American Heart Association the recommended dietary allowance of sodium for an adult is 1500mg per day but single serving of pizza contains approx. 700mg of sodium.
Canned Meat –
Processed meat and sausages contains lots of preservatives in it. Some harmful preservatives which are used in canned food are potassium nitrite and sodium nitrite. These preservatives are used to maintain the color of the food. Chemical like Sulphur dioxide is also used to inhibit the growth of microorganisms but it might cause breathing problems in some people.
Let’s understand the calories content in one slice of Pizza
Calories In A Slice Of Pizza
There are many varieties of pizzas available but here I am taking an example of 12-inch medium cheese burst pizza.
The Main Ingredients Are –
- Refined floor
- Cheese spread
- Mozzarella cheese
- Liquid cheese
- Milk powder
Calorie Content Of 1 Slice Of Medium Size (12 Inch)Pizza
The cheese burst pizza gives you the taste which is amazing and dropping cheese from the is mind blowing. This is what we expect from cheese burst pizza but beside from taste can we consider the calories in a slice of a pizza.
Whatever we eat contains some amount of calories in it. The calorie intake of a person depends upon his daily calorie requirement. There are some foods which are known as empty calories. Most empty calories are processed foods which has lots of fat and sugar in them. We can put our cheese burst pizza in this category as it contains processed and fatty ingredients.
Vegetable contains lots of vitamins and minerals like zinc, potassium and iron in them. They are also good source of fiber but cheese burst pizza does not contain any fresh vegetables in them.
Let’s take an another example of Pepperoni Pizza
The Main Ingredients In Pepperoni Pizza Are-
- Refined flour
- Mozzarella cheese
Calorie Content In A Slice Of Medium Size Pepperoni Pizza
The main ingredient here is pepperoni other than basic ingredient like refined flour and cheese. Pepperoni is basically cured pork and beef mixed together. They are dried sausages which is spiced with paprika and red pepper flakes. Calories in Pepperoni pizza increases with the calories that contains in pepperoni. Only 20% calories from the pepperoni comes from protein- the nutrient which is needed for tissue regeneration. The 80% of the calories come from the fat which is hidden in pepperoni. Depending upon our lifestyle our basic calorie requirement changes. Now the question arises that –Is the calories in Pepperoni Pizza healthy?
As it has been discussed earlier that fat comprises 80% of calories in pepperoni pizza. Fat is very essential nutrient for our body. It helps in vitamin absorption and also needed for cushioning of vital organs. Pepperoni also provides some essential vitamin like B12 and pantothenic acid which is required for proper brain functioning.
Inspite of these healthy facts of pepperoni pizza we can’t put pepperoni pizza among healthy foods because of certain reasons-
The maximum calories of Pepperoni pizza come from Saturated fats. Saturated fat is a type of dietary fats which is solid at room temperature. Consumption of saturated fats increases level of LDL cholesterol and triglyceride in your blood. The high level of cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular diseases. For example, If the total calorie requirement per day is 1800kcal then only 6% of calories should come from saturated fat. According to calculation the calories from saturated fat should not be more than 108kcal. 1 gram of fat gives 9kcal so, we can say only 12 grams of saturated fat per day is recommended. Now, we can conclude that only 2 slices of Pepperoni pizza (1 slice contains 5 g of saturated fats) is enough for a person if he is free from all ailments. Please note that if you consume 2 slices of pepperoni pizza in a day, then you have to cut down all other intake of saturated fats for that day.That’s what nutritional balance is all about.
The recommended dietary allowance of sodium is 1500 mg/day. Sodium is very necessary mineral which plays very vital role in our body. The sodium deficiency can be very dangerous. It can cause seizures, coma and serious hyponatremia can lead to death. If sodium level increases in your blood, it can create lots of problem for vital organs like heart and kidneys. Can you imagine that single slice of Pepperoni pizza contains 700 mg of sodium which is half of daily sodium requirement. A normal adult can consume 4-5 slices of pepperoni pizza in a meal. Now you can calculate how much sodium he has consumed in a single meal.
Most of the pepperoni which are used to make pepperoni pizza have been treated with nitrates during curing process. The curing process gives pepperoni its taste, flavor and color. These harmful nitrites sometimes cause migraine in some people. It can also be harmful for pregnant women. The nitrites when react to hemoglobin and it prevents oxygen transportation to fetus. The oxygen deprivation can lead to fetus death in some serious cases.
We all know that eating healthy food is always beneficial for our health but it doesn’t mean you have to keep deprived from your favorite pizza.
Let’s see how you can convert your unhealthy pizza into healthy and tasty option. There are many ways by which you can increase its nutritious value.
- Traditional Pizza is made up of refined flour but you can replace refined flour with whole wheat base. You can also add multigrain in your whole wheat dough. Some multigrain like flax seeds and sesame seeds are good options. Flax seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is good for your heart and helps to reduce cardiovascular disease. Sesame seeds contain good amount of calcium which is good for your bone health.
- Try to prepare your pizza sauce at home. Pizza sauce that are made up of freshly ripened tomatoes are better choice than packed sauce which is available in the market. Packed sauce contains lots of preservatives and additives that can have effect on your health. Fresh tomatoes contain lycopene which helps to reduce your blood pressure.
- Always try to add some color to your food. It has been said that foods which are eye appealing are always healthy. You can add many colorful vegetables like broccoli, spinach, corn, mushroom, olives and bell pepper as a topping to increase its nutritious value. Vegetables contain lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants which protect us from free radicals.
- Try to make your pizza with little innovation. You can make pesto sauce for your pizza crust which is originally made up of nuts and fresh basils. Spicy coriander and garlic paste with spinach, mushroom and artichokes on the top are also nice options. Coriander and garlic gives your pizza Indian flavor and taste.
- You can replace your pepperoni pizza with grilled chicken sausages to reduce calories from pizza slice.
- Pizza contains lots of cheese on it. Cheese is good source of protein and calcium but it also contains saturated fats. You can replace your cheese with cottage cheese (paneer) cubes or tofu.
- If you love to eat sweet then, pizza made up of dark chocolate sauce and loads of colorful fruits as a topping is perfect choice for you. Fruits like strawberries, kiwi and pineapple with diced banana are good options.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean boring and tasteless food. You can add many spices and veggies to enhance your food. Always try to check ingredients before you purchase any food item. It will help to control your calories.
I hope next time you will enjoy your pizza with healthier options.
Eat healthy, be fit.
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