[Vegan Sour-dough recipe video below]
Do you like pizza? I know you do! And do you blame it for your unsuccessful weight-loss result?
Don’t! It can be a part of a healthy diet and let’s answer how.
Can you eat it daily? Once a week? Once a month? After training or before?
These are all excellent question as what we need to understand is food in context.
What I want to focus on in thsi post is to stress out the differences in quality that make this food either a bad choice or a great choice!
Pizza has been shown to be the most addictive food in one study. Good news is that it applies to the junk food pizza, not traditional pizza.
- Pizza is one of the fast foods that is commonly associated with ‘unhealthy’
- Depending on where you get it, how it is prepared, what it is made of, has an impact on it’s nutritional composition.
- Pizza can be part of a healthy diet.
No Two Pizzas Are Created Equal
As stated before, no two pizzas are created equal. When you compare a pizza from a chain to the traditional style pizza and to a pizza from a small bistro in a dark alley… they all will be different.
Typically, restaurant pizzas contain a number of unnecessary ingredients that are added to enhance the flavour (food science in action) making them hyper-palatable.
Store-bough doughs as all processed foods contain additives and preservatives to make them shelf-stable. They also contain highly processed oils and sugars and flavorings that enhance their flavor .
There is a big difference between a traditional Italian pizza and what you can buy at Domino’s, although you might like the latter more. Hence, focus on taste and hyper-palatability is where the problem with obesity lies. It is hard to keep away from such foods.
Below is the Neapolitan style pizza. Dough is fermented for up to seven days, toppings are simple and used sparingly.
Fast food pizza on the other hand typically contains a lot of low-quality and highly processed ingredients to make them more palatable.
What Makes The Difference?
So what makes the most difference? Can you guess?
It is the dough.
Let me explain.
The traditional pizza dough (and also bread dough) consists of flour, water, yeas and salt.
When I checked the nutrition content and ingredients in said Domino’s pizza, there is also a LOT of oil. Besides that, when I was searching for pizza dough recipes, most of the time I found recipes including milk, egg, oil, baking powder and who knows what else. Nothing that goes into a traditional flour, water, yeast and salt dough!
Call me a purist if you wish but I love it that way.
The traditional pizza dough is fermented. Fermentation process allows bacteria to pre-digest some of the gluten and carbohydrates in the dough making it easy on your stomach, lowering it’s glyacemic index and therefore making it considerably healthier compared to dough prepared in an hour with baker’s yeast (wild yeast and baker’s yeast are not the same).
Fermentation does is that it allows certain sugars to be broken down by yeast and bacteria into lactic acid. This gives fermented dough its distinctive sour taste and hence it is called sour-dough.
In the video below you can see the traditional way of making pizza dough. If you pay attention, you might notice that the old lady doesn’t use modern appliances like kitchen robots etc. It is one of the ways how to stay more active during the day. Hand-kneading dough is also very relaxing. which is another bonus besides learning a new skill 😉
To sum it up:
Traditional pizza dough can be a healthy choice because of it’s lower calorie content, being easier on the stomach, lower in gluten and even a higher fiber content.
Nowadays, you can also find recipes of alternative pizza bases such as this cauliflower crust pesto pizza, which can be a great substitution if weight loss is your goal 😉