I love pizza. Always have, always will. I had my first taste as a kid, at the pizza parlor uphill from my house. That same parlor still stands and is still my favorite place to go for a slice…or two. People always tell me that I should cut pizza out of my diet completely. Even fitness gurus, when I did research, said that pizza is bad and will hinder your fitness goals. However, is pizza bad for you? When it comes to fitness, how much you eat is much more important than what. When I first read that, I admit I was skeptical. So I decided to try an experiment.
Once I became comfortable with my nutrition plan, I decided to incorporate pizza once a week. Of course, I researched the nutritional info for pizza slices using the MyFitnessPal app beforehand. So, for a few weeks, I kept an eye on the scale and body fat percentage during the experiment. To my astonishment, both numbers were still dropping. I discovered, at that moment, that I can still enjoy my favorite foods and still lose weight. Not only that, I also discovered that eating pizza provides us with a whole host of benefits
According to the BBC, Italian researchers claim that eating pizza can reduce the risk of cancer. Based on their findings, they claim that eating pizza can reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer by 59%, colon cancer by 26%, and mouth cancer by 34%. The researchers came to their conclusion by studying the eating habits of over 8000 people. 3300 of them had developed cancer, while 5000 have not. They discovered that the group who haven’t developed cancer ate pizza at least once a week. That’s when they found that eating pizza can reduce the risk of developing cancer. Score one for the slice.
Reduce The Risk Of Heart Attacks
Would you believe me if I told you pizza could lower your risk of heart attack? Probably not. However, The European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition did a study where the researchers looked at the diet of about 1000 Italians. 500 of them were recovering from heart attacks in the hospital while 487 were all healthy. What they found is that groups of 478 lowered their risk of acute myocardial infarction (aka heart attack) by eating pizza more often than the group of 500. Hmm…anyone else craving a slice right about now?
So what is the “miracle” ingredient that’s bringing about these wonderful benefits? It’s the tomato sauce. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene that fights free radicals in your system and promotes a healthy heart. Lycopene is shown to reduce the risk cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and can even help you live longer. It also gives tomatoes their red coloring.
So, is pizza bad for you? Only if you eat too much. As the saying goes, too much of anything is never a good thing. So don’t take this as a sign to go out eat all the pizza you want. If you want to reap the benefits of this awesome Italian creation, it’s best to practice moderation. I always like to visit my favorite pizzeria Gaby’s once a week and pick up a couple of slices. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you stop by. Every time I swing by, I’m like a kid in a candy shop…except with more self-control. One last thing, the studies performed on pizza involved Italian pizzerias. Chains such as Dominos and Papa Johns (in my opinion) should be enjoyed every once in a while. So instead, go to your neighborhood pizzeria.
How long have you been a pizza lover? My favorite toppings are sausage and pepperoni. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments below