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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pizza's healthy?

 ~ The beautiful Sophia Loren knows how to enjoy her food and stay slim~
"Pizza's healthy?", someone once asked me and that got me thinking that pizza, and all Italian foods, have really gotten a bad rap lately. How can white bread, cheese, fat, pepperoni be healthy, well they aren't but authentic Mediterranean pizza is healthy, I promise! Did you know that Italians, who eat a lot of pizza, are the thinnest Europeans actually beating out the famously thin French?! But how? It's simple, they use fresh healthy ingredients and have much much smaller portions than there American counter-parts. An entire pizza from Italy may have 750 calories while an average slice of American pizza has can have as much as 500! Plus it usually takes 3-4 Italians to finish an entire one of these low calorie pizzas. I have added up the calories from My Pizza Recipe and it has 225 calories per slice. Plus the ingredients are actually good for you, I promise, just look at this list of Italian Pizza's common ingredients: All natural unbleached flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Italian Tomatoes, Organic Parmesan Cheese, fresh Organic Mozzarella Cheese, fresh basil, fresh parsley, garlic,  and onions. By the way all Italian cheeses and produce are naturally organic as they have very strict guidelines for these things. Add to this a fresh salad, which Italians always do, and you have a pretty healthy meal. How do you mimic this in your American kitchen: shop for fresh quality ingredients at whole sale clubs so you can cut the cost by buying in bulk, make your own sauce and dough, and keep it simple with less ingredients; this will cut calories and cost and it works because when you use higher quality ingredients you don't need as much. The Italian culinary trick is to keep it simple and balanced not over powering with too much of any one ingredient such as too much cheese, garlic, or meat.  So I promise that each and every pizza recipe I post next week for my Pizza Challenge will be healthy. If you would like to read more on this here is a good article: Italians Are Thinner.  And a great Book: Mediterranean Women Stay Slim Too. And to quote one of my favorite Italians who has stayed slim  while enjoying pizza and pasta for 75 years: 
 “Finally, some good news: eat more pasta! At last I have support from scientists as well as gourmets when I urge pasta upon you. How many times have people, while covertly gazing at my hips or waistline, asked how I keep my figure with all that pasta. Now the tag-along scientists have confirmed what Italian mamas have known for generations – pasta is good for you. Indeed, Italians are lucky to live with a culinary heritage that relies on pasta because it is a complex carbohydrate and a very efficient and healthy fuel for the body.
Complex carbohydrates are also to be found in beans, rice and vegetables. Eating carbohydrate will keep you from getting hungry by preventing your blood-sugar level dropping. Scientists have found that it is easiest to lose weight on a diet rich in complex carbohydrates for that reason: the carbohydrates will satisfy your hunger and give you energy because they are being burned efficiently by your body.
The best pasta for good nutrition is whole wheat pasta – we call it black pasta in Italy. Of course you can’t expect to add rich cream sauces and still enjoy its good effects. Serve it with a sauce made from tomatoes and unrefined olive oil, with perhaps some shredded carrots added for natural sweetness.


Cocina Savant said...

thanks for sharing! it's amazing how delicious pizza in italy was with it being so thin and with so little (but delicious nonetheless) cheese

Ann Minard said...

Isn't it though? I think it's the quality ingredients.

stefania.confidential said...

molto bene !! :) ciao

FeelCook said...

Pizza's very healthy!!!