If you’re the kind of person who’s spent your whole life eating things like pizza, there may come a time when you have to watch your nutrition and caloric intake. This is especially true if you’ve recently received a diagnosis for diabetes or high cholesterol. So, it’s very common to ask the question, “Is pizza low fiber?”
No, it’s not. In fact, it’s quite high in complex carbohydrates. But, this is not the kind of fiber that’s good for you either. The sole kind of pizza that’s low in fiber, if it would be, is cheese only. Even still, it jams full of sodium and saturated fats.
If you have a diet restriction requiring you to consume less fiber, you’re going to have to be deliberate in how much pizza you eat. As long as you exercise in moderation, you’re fine to eat pizza about two to three times per month, but no more.
Nutrition Facts about Pizza
One slice of thin-crust cheese pizza can contain around 2½ grams of dietary fiber. Pepperoni will have around three grams while a pizza with all the trimmings can contain approximately five grams.
In regards to daily recommendations of fiber intake, you should only consume about 38 grams for men and 30 grams for women per 2000 calories. This means a slice of pizza can take up as much as 10% of the recommended dosage. As you can see, the answer is no when asking, “Is pizza low fiber?”
Besides, pizza chocks are full of things like fat, sodium, added sugar, and other items that don’t often contribute to a healthy, well-rounded diet. This is because of the ingredients that comprise the crust as well as the sauce, cheese, and toppings that usually accompany it.
High Fiber Ingredients
The crust will be the crowning factor in terms of fiber. Often comprising wheat flour, the fiber in the dough will increase or decrease depending on what else comprises it. Olive oil, lard, and other fats will surely destroy any healthy presence of dietary fiber.
This is because seed oils, like olive oil, actually break down with heat, which can create some problems with digestion, heart function, and blood flow, for instance. However, other pizza ingredients such as sesame seeds, onions, green peppers, and other vegetables do have high amounts of fiber. But, the star of the fiber show will be the crust.
Keeping Pizza Low in Fiber
So, if you’re looking to keep your pizza low in fiber or want it to be healthier all around, you should make the pie at home. You can use whole-grain wheat flour, like semolina, for the crust. Alternatively, you could make it out of cauliflower, since this is a nice and healthy high-fiber food.
Mix your crust with pure extra virgin olive oil and avoid using yeast. This is because yeast requires sugar to activate and sugar always kills any nutrients to a debilitating degree. Therefore, you can use baking powder or baking soda to get a light and fluffy crust instead.
Additionally, keeping your crust thin is going to be your key for success. The thicker and doughier the crust, the less likely the pizza will be low in fiber. It won’t require nearly as much flour, eggs, salt, and other things that usually go into it.
Cheese, Toppings, Sauce
Also, don’t use regular cheese. Top your pizza with things like low-fat mozzarella or farmer’s cheese. Avoid fatty meats such as bacon, pepperoni or sausage and go with ones that are lean like chicken. Or, leave the protein out altogether. Use other healthier toppings like onions, garlic, green peppers, olives and artichokes.
In regards to the sauce, consider using chopped tomatoes seasoned with olive oil, some oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Canned and processed versions you can buy at the store often have preservatives and other unhealthy additives that will make the pizza less nutritious.
Pizza Consumption Frequency
While you do want to be careful how much fiber you consume in a day, you don’t have to forego pizza altogether. After all, it’s delicious and it does offer some nutrition in its way. Most doctors recommend eating pizza no more than three times per month with two slices per instance.
But this recommendation is for the average person. If you’re a highly active individual who engages in constant physical exercise, as is the case with professional athletes, then you can consume a lot more pizza. Of course, this will rely on your dietary goals combined with regular workouts.
Exceptions to the Rule
For instance, if you’re a pro football player, you can consume a whole pizza or two a few times per month. This is because, even in a resting position, you’re still burning fat, calories, and other nutrients due to the sheer amount of activity to which you subject yourself.
Yet, if you go to a yoga class once or twice per week with a bike ride here and there, then you shouldn’t eat more than six slices of pizza in one setting. Having said all that, those with serious diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure shouldn’t eat pizza more than three times per year.
This is because pizza contains carbohydrates and sugar, which is terrible for these health conditions. In terms of high cholesterol, pizza has all kinds of saturated fats and other artery-clogging ingredients that will create complications.
So, to put a final answer for, “Is pizza low fiber?” Understand emphatically that it’s not. It’s quite high because of the crust combined with other ingredients and toppings. So, if you want a foolproof low fiber pizza, chances are, you’ll have to make it yourself at home.
As mentioned above, this will entirely depend on the kind of physical activity you engage in. But, if you have a diagnosis requiring low fiber, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, then you should restrict pizza intake greatly and stick to healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains.