• Dr. Hansra

Make pizza you can eat regularly and not gain weight


Who doesn't love a good slice of pizza? For most people, pizza is a childhood staple. Most store bought and fast food takeout pizzas are loaded with calories, bad fats, and low in fiber that can easily derail your health goals. It's ok to enjoy a good slice of restaurant or fast food and processed pizza once in a while but fast food and processed pizza if consumed regularly can lead to weight gain and other health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, accelerated aging (1, 2, 3). To get around all this you should make your own pizza and cut down not only on empty calories but also on other harmful macronutrients.




Ingredients per pizza


  1. Mission brand high fiber tortilla (medium, 45 calories, 9 grams of fiber!) - or similar

  2. Mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup per pizza

  3. Pizza sauce, one tablespoon

  4. Optional: pepperoni*, other ingredients you enjoy on pizza

  5. Watch the video instructions

* Pepperoni is associated with health risks and we will discuss this concept further below




Instructions


  1. Toast the tortilla in the over for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned and firm

  2. Add pizza sauce to cover the pizza

  3. Add Mozzarella cheese evenly throughout

  4. Add other toppings as desired

  5. Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and you have the desired crust

  6. Enjoy!




Nutrition comparison



What's the bottom line?


Making your own pizza is a part of a larger concept: making your own food at home will benefit your health. Store bought and fast food frozen pizzas are loaded with calories, unhealthy fats, salt, carbohydrates, and other processed ingredients that can reek havoc on your health. If your craving pizza making it your self is definitely the way to go and this method will save you money too. My pizza has 5x less calories, 3 x less fat, 2x less cholesterol, 3 x less sodium, 6x less carbohydrates, 2.5 x more fiber, 13 x less sugar than the leading frozen pizza. There is less protein in my pizza but the fiber makes up for that to keep you full.


"Make gradual dietary changes in a healthy direction and gradually cut down on unhealthy foods". - Dr. Damien Hansra MD


A note on pepperoni


Pepperoni is considered a processed meat and regular consumption can be associated with numerous health consequences (3-5) so it is best to cut down on this ingredient. Try to use pepperoni that has the least amount of preservative, grass fed, and no antibiotics. The reason I included pepperoni in this blog post is to highlight that when making changes to your diet you can't go from one extreme to another otherwise it won't stick in the long term. For example, if you love pepperoni pizza and you try my pizza recipe without the pepperoni odds are it won't stick because it's too extreme and you'll go back to eating the same pepperoni pizza as previous. A better example is when some people try to eat healthy and they think that eating salads are the way to go despite never eating salads regularly. After a while if you start eating too many salads you'll get sick of eating salads and go back to your old eating habits. I've done the salad thing before! The key point is to make gradual dietary changes in a healthy direction and gradually cut down on unhealthy foods. In my pepperoni pizza example, you should try toppings other than pepperoni like chicken, mushroom, peppers, etc. and gradually phase out the pepperoni.




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References:

  1. Malouf NM, Colagiuri S. The effects of McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut meals on recommended diets. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 1995 Jun;4(2):265-9.

  2. Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Azizi F. Fast Food Pattern and Cardiometabolic Disorders: A Review of Current Studies. Health Promot Perspect. 2016;5(4):231-240. Published 2016 Jan 30.

  3. Fuhrman J. The Hidden Dangers of Fast and Processed Food. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2018;12(5):375-381. Published 2018 Apr 3.

  4. Battaglia Richi E, Baumer B, Conrad B, Darioli R, Schmid A, Keller U. Health Risks Associated with Meat Consumption: A Review of Epidemiological Studies. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2015;85(1-2):70-8.

  5. Abete I, Romaguera D, Vieira AR, Lopez de Munain A, Norat T. Association between total, processed, red and white meat consumption and all-cause, CVD and IHD mortality: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep 14;112(5):762-75.

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