Let’s be honest: most of us adore pizza. It’s warm and gooey, and you can top it with anything you want, from pepperoni to pineapple. But, with all of the bread, cheese, sauce, and salt combined to make a delicious meal, is eating pizza bad for your body? What happens when you eat pizza, and how bad is pizza for you?
How bad is pizza for you?
Is pizza bad for you? If we’re talking about “regular pizza,” the answer is yes. Eating pizza every day may sound like a dream come true, but most pizzas we buy are considered junk food due to their high levels of refined carbohydrates, fat, and sodium.
This is because the pizza crust is made from refined flour and contains no fiber, vitamins, or minerals. Consuming refined flour increases visceral abdominal fat, putting you at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even breast cancer.
Pizza cheese is also high in saturated fat, which raises your chances of developing high cholesterol and heart disease. Adding meat to your pizza increases the amount of saturated fat. Too much-saturated fat can be addictive, leading to even more unhealthy habits. Pizza is also high in sodium, which can be harmful in large quantities.
Pizza, like most processed foods, can contain unhealthy ingredients such as preservatives, colorings, and sugar. This is why, while eating fast food or frozen pizza on occasion is harmless, doing so on a regular basis can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of developing chronic health conditions.
1 . You might crave more food that is high in saturated fats and sodium.
A study on adolescents and young adults who ate pizza frequently revealed that on days when they ate pizza, they actually ate more food that was high in saturated fats and sodium, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
So, what caused this? It could be because studies have shown that saturated fats are highly addictive. Essentially, the more saturated fats we consume, the more we desire. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, high saturated fat consumption can impair dopamine functions in the brain’s reward and motivation areas. Your body will crave these foods more frequently, and you may naturally want to treat yourself.
2 . You may increase your risk of heart disease.
You might want to reconsider if you eat a lot of meat on your pizza, such as pepperoni. Processed meats, such as pepperoni, sausage, and cold cuts, have been linked to obesity, some cancers, and heart disease, according to Pub Med. Consuming more of these processed meats, particularly if you are unaware of the source of the meat, can have a negative impact on your heart health. This can be a difficult combination when combined with the high levels of saturated fats in the bread, butter, and cheese found in a slice of pizza.
3 . Your body will process the carbs as simple sugars.
It’s not always about the number of calories you consume when you eat pizza: It’s all about the type of calories. Let us break this down:
Pizza is mostly made from processed ingredients. When we eat pizza, the simple sugars (or glucose) enter our bloodstream in 5-10 minutes. When you eat pizza, which contains a lot of processed sugars in the bread, your body releases insulin quickly to help you digest the food. This insulin level can remain elevated for several hours. When compared to more natural, whole foods, your body absorbs processed chemicals into the bloodstream very quickly.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, consuming processed fats and sugars on a regular basis causes the body’s insulin response to produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in tissue. This can eventually lead to problems with blood regulation.
4 . Your metabolism will slow down.
When you eat something, your body metabolizes it to digest it, which uses energy. When we consume a high-protein diet, our bodies work harder than when we consume fats or sugars, which is why eating protein is always a good idea. According to a National Institute of Health study, eating a lot of saturated fats causes the body to slow down and not work as hard to metabolize the food. When you consume foods like pizza, which are almost entirely composed of saturated fats and sugars, your body does not have to work as hard because it is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. This can make calorie burning and weight loss more difficult, which no one wants!
5 . You’ll lose energy and probably feel sluggish.
For starters, no one ever eats only one slice of pizza. Because of the high fat and sodium content, you’ll want more, but you’ll often feel too full afterward, which can cause you to lose energy and feel groggy, sluggish, and unmotivated.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a slice of pizza has a very low nutrient density. When you eat foods that are high in nutrients, your body can use them to boost and maintain energy levels. However, when you eat foods that are low in nutrients and high in processed fats and sugars, your digestion slows down. Even if you eat pizza with vegetables on it, your body will not process the vegetables quickly due to the slow digestion required by processed foods. This will prevent you from getting energy from the food you’re eating at that meal, leaving you feeling sluggish.
8 Easy Ways to Make Pizz Healthier
- Load Up Your Pizza With Veggies for Extra Nutrients
- Opt for a Thin-Crust Pizza to Cut Down on Calories
- Be Mindful of the Cheese You Choose to Limit Saturated Fat
- Go for a Whole-Wheat Crust for Extra Nutrition or a Veggie Crust for Fewer Carbs
- Choose Lean Proteins Like Chicken Over High-Sodium, High-Fat Pepperoni
- Slather on the Red Sauce — It’s Loaded With Essential Nutrients
- Pair Your Pie With a Healthy Side to Complete Your Meal
- Eat Slowly to Enjoy Your Food, and Relish the Company