Is Thin Crust Pizza Healthy
Technically speaking, thin-crust pizza is healthier than thick-crust pizza! The thinner a pizza crust is, the fewer calories and carbohydrates it contains. Thin crust pizza also has less salt, less sodium, and less saturated fat.
Pizza is one of America’s favorite foods — so much that in 2016 Americans ate almost 26 billion pounds (11.2 billion kilograms) of pizza. But what makes pizza so popular? It probably goes back to its origins as an inexpensive way for people living with limited resources to feed their families. While there are many different types of pizzas on the market today, most can be traced back to two main styles: traditional or deep dish. Traditional pizza typically consists of a basic cheese base topped with tomato sauce, pepperoni slices, and other toppings. Deep dish pizza is similar but incorporates more ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and sauces. One thing both varieties have in common is thickness: They’re thicker than regular breads because they need to support heavier ingredients like sauce and toppings.
So why do some believe these thick-crusted pies aren’t healthy? In fact, you may think these kinds of pizzas contain too many calories, sodium, fats, and carbs. And while this might be true, the reason behind it isn’t necessarily bad food science; rather, it’s because of the way pizza manufacturers cook them. Typically, pizza is cooked using high heat at temperatures around 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius). This means any oil used in cooking the dough would burn off during preparation. As a result, pizza makers use water instead of oil when baking their products. However, even though the dough itself doesn’t contain oils, it does still contain fats from yeast and dairy. So if we take away all the oils and fats that make up the dough, how long could a slice of pizza last before going bad?
Well, thanks to the magic of bacteria, pizza will stay fresh for about six hours after being baked. During this time, it’ll go through three stages: first, the outside will start getting soggy. Then, the inside will become lumpy and discolored. Finally, the top layer will get slimy and brown. Once this happens, the pizza is no longer fit for consumption. While your eyes may not appreciate the beauty of these changes, your taste buds certainly will. When eating pizza, look out for signs of mold growth in the crust. If you see these signs, throw the pizza away immediately. Otherwise, you could end up consuming unhealthy amounts of sodium, fat, and carbs.
In order to understand whether thin-crust pizza is better than thick-crust pizza, let’s compare them side by side. First, consider the nutritional breakdown of a typical round pizza, which is usually made with either a traditional or deep dish style. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, a single slice of this kind of pizza contains 420 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 47 milligrams of cholesterol, 3,200 milligrams of sodium, and 0 grams of fiber. To put things into perspective, 1/3 of the total sodium comes from added salts in processed meats, cheeses, and seasonings. These numbers are pretty scary considering the average American consumes 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is the equivalent of 13 teaspoons of salt!
Now let’s compare those numbers to another type of pizza: thin-crust. A standard 12-inch (30 centimeters) thin-crust pizza weighs roughly 350 to 400 grams (12.7 to 15.4 ounces), depending on where it was purchased. Eating just half of it would give you 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 800 milligrams of sodium, and 0 grams of fiber. That’s 50 percent less sodium, 33 percent less fat, 10 percent less calories, and 6 percent less protein compared to a typical round pizza. Furthermore, a thin-crust pizza only has 1 gram of sugar versus a deep dish pizza that has 7 grams.
While thin-crust pizza may seem healthier than thick-crust pizza based solely on nutritional data, it becomes even better once you learn about the cooking process. Since pizza is cooked using lower heat, it requires less oil to prepare. Therefore, it produces less fat and calories when compared to a thick-crust pizza. For example, since oil burns off at higher temperatures, a pizza prepared with a thin crust only uses water and flour to bake the dough, resulting in far less calories and fat than a traditional pizza. Another benefit of a thin crust is that it’s easier to manage and clean. After all, who wants to waste valuable counter space on extra pans and dishes?
Thin-crust pizza is also beneficial because it reduces the amount of saturated fats found in traditional pizzas. Saturated fats are known as “bad” fats because they can increase levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and decrease HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Unfortunately, most pizza bases include tons of saturated fats due to the presence of animal fats and hydrogenated oils. Even worse, the saturated fats often come from cheap vegetable oils that were extracted using harsh chemicals and processes. On the contrary, thin-crust pizzas tend to use flaxseed oil, which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds are also packed with antioxidants, making them great alternatives to trans fats.
When it comes down to choosing between thin-crust and thick-crust pizzas, the answer depends on what exactly you want out of your meal. If you’re looking to eat something delicious that won’t cost you a fortune, then opt for a thin-crust pizza. However, if you’d rather enjoy a tasty treat without sacrificing your health, stick to a thick-crust pizza. Either way, a good rule of thumb is to choose a pizza with the lowest number of ingredients possible. You don’t want to add unnecessary calories, carbs, and fats when you already have enough trouble controlling your weight.
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