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Meet the Man Who Only Eats Pizzas


"Cheat days" often include over-indulgence of fatty foods that are loaded with greasy goodness, like steak burritos, cheeseburgers, French fries and pizza. After countless sessions of gut-busting workouts at the gym, it's healthy to periodically treat yourself to something you wouldn't otherwise eat on a frequent basis. For self-proclaimed vegetarian Dan Janssen, the past 25 years have been lumped into a cheese-encrusted cheat marathon. Meet the man who only eats pizza.

Introducing Dan Janssen

Vice Media introduced the world to Janssen in February, unleashing a short documentary about the man who consumes thousands of slices of pizza each year. Janssen, a diabetic, is reportedly in good health despite his bizarre eating habit. That hasn't prevented his fiancé from encouraging him to eat other foods, like the green ones that promote good health. Even though Janssen calls himself a "vegetarian," what he means is that he doesn't eat meat. Janssen finds vegetables -- and seemingly every other type of food that doesn't include cheese and marinara sauce atop gooey dough -- unappealing.

Popping the Question

Whether it happened at a local dive bar, a casual restaurant or the dinner table, chances are you've probably answered this question at some point in your life: "If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?" Janssen is living proof that some people do in fact eat their favorite foods as part of abnormal trends rather than as once-a-week indulgences. The health ramifications of consuming ungodly amounts of pizza over prolonged periods of time can be costly, though, regardless of Janssen's seeming healthy level of cholesterol.

Pizza Facts

A 14-inch cheese pizza contains approximately 2,269 calories and a whopping 38 grams of saturated fat. It also contains an insurmountable total of 5,101 milligrams of sodium, or 212 percent of your daily value. That's the bad news about Janssen's somewhat envied eating trend. The good news? Cheese pizza is loaded with protein and vitamins. An entire pie contains an incredible 97 grams of protein. It also satisfies your daily need for calcium and iron, among other vital nutrients. Who needs protein powder and multivitamins when guys like Janssen ingest copious nutrients while gorging themselves on pizza? The answer to that riddle is most people, because eating pizza for a living is not a smart life choice, even if science can't completely back it up.

Heart Health

According to the American Heart Association, saturated fat should account for just 7 percent of your daily calorie intake. Assuming Janssen were to consume a single 14-inch pizza as his entire daily diet, saturated fat would account for 15 percent of his total calorie intake. While it might seem bizarre, Janssen's fat intake isn't totally outlandish. A 2006 NBC News report suggests that average American adults consume 12 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat, which equates to roughly 7.5 fewer grams of fat in relation to Janssen's calorie count. The gap isn't all that mind-boggling.

Unproven Health Risks

Janssen's risqué life choice is intriguing on various levels, especially considering his good standing health. Even though your physician is highly unlikely to recommend a pizza-only diet anytime soon, a recent study conducted by the University of Cambridge and Medical Research Council concluded that no link yet exists between saturated fat consumption and heart disease. Still, researchers recommend consuming at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day to enhance longevity. For Janssen, that simply isn't an option.

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John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.

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