One Major Side Effect of Eating Pizza, Says Dietitian

There are many types of pizza, both healthy and unhealthy options. If you're making your own homemade pizza, you have the ability to choose fresh and healthy ingredients for the dough and the toppings. However, if you're out and about on the town and stop by a fast-casual pizza chain, your odds of ordering an unhealthy pizza are very high.

Mia Syn, MS, RD shares a few ways on how your go-to pizza order could be derailing your overall wellbeing.

"If your pizza is loaded with high-fat meat toppings like pepperoni and sausage, it is easy to exceed your recommended saturated fat intake limit of 10% of total daily calories," she says. "Eating foods that contain saturated fat, may increase your risk of heart disease. To cut back on this value, load up on veggie toppings."

RELATED: One Major Side Effect of Eating Processed Meat, New Study Says

"Additionally, if your pizza is made with a traditional refined white flour crust, you may be lacking on fiber that helps you feel full and is important for digestive health," Syn says.

eating pizza

With that being said, there are plenty of chains, both regional and national that offer healthier pizza pies, including Oath Pizza's new Banza chickpea pizza crust that's both gluten-free, vegan, and high in fiber. As far as national chains go, Domino's thin crust pizza with light cheese and veggies is another healthier option. Some chains and sit-down restaurants will even allow you to make crust substitutions, meaning you can ditch the refined white flour and opt for an alternative that contains more fiber.

"A crust made with whole-grain flour or even a cauliflower crust will help ensure you are adding fiber to your meal, a nutrient that an estimated 90% of women and 97% of men fall short on according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans," says Syn.

Another concern restaurant pizzas as well as some frozen pizzas raise is sodium content. The registered dietitian points out that regularly consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease

"For example, one slice of pepperoni pizza can have as high as 700 milligrams of sodium. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends keeping sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day," she says. "Because sodium is found naturally in all foods, this is easy to exceed when pizza is included in your daily meal rotation."

Bottom line: if you regularly eat pizza out, you could be ingesting too much saturated fat and sodium and not enough fiber, which could increase your risk of heart disease.

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