It's the eternal quandary: you want to eat healthy but eating well takes so much time! Sometimes, frozen pizza is what's on the menu-- is it really that bad? Take a look and judge for yourself.
• Multigrain crust (wheat flour, water, vegetable oil [[corn oil, extra virgin oil], flaxseed yeast, sugar, salt, whole oat flour]
These are all pretty straightforward, common ingredients for a pizza crust. Notice that they use flaxseed, a great idea for adding Omega-3 fatty acids and lowering cholesterol. Notice, however that "wheat flour" is not the same as "whole wheat flour." Those looking for a true whole grain crust can keep looking. The whole oat flour and flax though again, is promising. In addition, the lack of mention that anything is organic means that many or all of these ingredients are not organic and also could be genetically modified, or else the manufacturer would likely be boasting organic and non-GMO.
• Low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes)
These are straight forward, simple ingredients of mozzarella cheese. The enzymes from microbial, plant or animal sources, are used for coagulation of the milk into cheese.
• Sauce (tomatoes [diced tomatoes, tomato juice], water, tomato paste, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar, spices, garlic*, onion)
The term "spices" can be used to cover what is not being mentioned in this list of ingredients, so those food-sensitive, and get headaches from "autolyzed yeast extract" and other flavor enhancers, beware! It is always best for the food manufacturer to just lay out all the ingredients plain and simple and not use catchall words or terms like this.
• Cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), parmesan cheese (part-skim pasteurized cow's milk, cheese cultures, salt, rennet)
Rennet is a powerful enzyme for coagulating that takes cheese from liquid to solid, and is found in milk-fed calves' stomachs. Today, rennet can also be derived from fungi, bacteria and other sources.
• Asiago cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes)
- Serv. Size 1/3 pizza (126g)
- Servings Per Container 3
- Calories 300
- Fat Cal. 120
- Total Fat 13g (20% DV)
- Sat. Fat 6g (31% DV)
- Trans Fat 0g
- Cholest. 30mg (10% DV)
- Sodium 610mg (25% DV)
- Total Carb. 31g (10% DV)
- Dietary Fiber 2g (7% DV)
- Sugars 3g
- Protein 16g
- Vitamin A (10% DV)
- Vitamin C (4% DV)
- Calcium (30% DV)
- Iron (10% DV)
This Dietitian's Low-Down:
- A thinner crust means fewer calories, but be sure to stick to a serving size (about two slices) to not exceed the 300 calories it has!
- Not necessarily whole grain all the way, as the primary ingredient would say "whole wheat" if it were so, not "wheat flour."
- This pizza has saturated fat from all the cheeses, not a good idea to eat too often.
- Overall, this pizza's use of whole oat flour and flax shows it's heading in the right direction.
- This pizza has no vegetables, which we need five + servings of per day. Get creative and top it with colorful bell pepper strips, spinach, mushrooms and whatever other veggies you like, or add a large salad alongside your pizza.
- Scores better than some other store-bought pizzas in my book, but this doesn't mean it can be eaten without discretion.
Catherine S. Hains, MS RD has been interested in health and nutrition since she was a young child. Growing up in Fort Worth, TX, she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Texas Christian University and wrote for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 12 years. Her life-long interest in nutrition and disease prevention never waned, and she went on to earn her Master's Degree in Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University. Cathy, now a Registered Dietitian, owns Lighthouse Nutrition and Wellness in Gig Harbor, WA where she enjoys inspiring people of all ages to make losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle easy, fun and permanent. She enjoys good food, cooking and food preparation, and showing others how healthy this can be. Her other pastimes include traveling, art, music and family life. She also likes staying fit with tennis, bicycling walking and jogging, researching nutrition and helping clients be at their best. For more information on Cathy, visit www.lighthouse-nutrition.com or write to Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.