Pizza is one of those foods you can’t help but love! The combination of rich crust, tart tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and meaty toppings make for one near-perfect meal. In fact, if it weren’t for all the calories in pizza, it would be THE PERFECT dish!
Sadly, pizza is fairly high in calories, particularly the thick-crust, meat-topped pizzas. While there are low calorie pizza options, they’re few and far between.
Want to know how many calories are in a whole pizza? The table below gives you the calories in the average 9-inch pizzas:
[table id=62 /]
A lot of calories in some cases, right?
But don’t think pizza is all bad! Just because it’s fairly high in calories, that doesn’t mean it’s a food you should drop from your menu just yet. Why not?
- It can help to fight cancer — What? Pizza as a cancer remedy? According to a number of studies, eating pizza is proven to reduce your risk of throat, esophagus, and prostate cancer. It’s primarily thanks to the tomato sauce in your pizza. Tomato sauce contains high quantities of lycopene, a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant. Raw tomatoes contain some lycopene, but the antioxidant is only present in high quantities after the tomatoes are cooked. Thanks to the sauce on your pizza, you can reduce your risk of cancer!
- It’s rich in antioxidants –– Pizza contains a whole lot of antioxidants from all different sources. As seen above, the tomato sauce used to make your pizza contains a lot of lycopene. But you’ll find that black olives, red peppers, onions, and even the pizza crust itself also contain antioxidants. While it’s not the best source of antioxidants around, it’s a good way to enjoy your meals and give your body toxin-fighting nutrients at the same time.
- It’s a good source of calcium –– In order to have strong, healthy bones, you need to consume more calcium. Not only does calcium strengthen your bones, but it speeds up the rate of repair after injuries. As you guessed, pizza is a good source of calcium, thanks primarily to the cheese used to top the pizza. A single slice of pizza can give you around 20% of your daily calcium needs.
- It’s not too dangerous –– While many people link eating pizza to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes, a number of studies have disproven this. Pizza, unlike other Italian meals, is not directly linked to arterial blockages (which can cause heart attacks or strokes). While it may not PREVENT heart problems, aren’t you glad that it’s not the cause of those problems?
The truth is that pizza is one of the tastiest foods around, though sadly it’s not one of the healthiest. It is fairly high in calories, but, if made the right way, it can offer you a good deal of nutrition.
So what does “the right way” really mean? Simple: thin crust (New York style), tart tomato sauce (without sugar or sodium), natural cheese (no low-fat nonsense), and vegetable toppings. Most of the meat toppings you get on pizza are fairly high in fat and sodium. If you’re going to have meat on your pizza, stick with ham.
Note: NEVER buy frozen pizzas. While fresh-made pizza offers nutritional value, frozen pizza has almost nothing to offer. Worse still, it’s usually highly processed and made with far more sodium than is good for your health. If you’re not going to make your own home-made pizza, at the very least order it fresh from the oven.