Start off the new year with some mouth-watering pizza. The hefty Meat Feast and the healthy Tuna Sweetcorn.
Naughty – Meat Feast
Most pizza restaurants offer a meat feast pizza, and they’re usually generous with minced beef, meatballs, pepperoni and sometimes ham. The meat takes centre stage in this carnivorous extravaganza, often drizzled with barbecue or chilli sauce, with rarely enough veg to make up a portion.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little red meat – it’s a good source of protein, iron and zinc, and fine as part of a balanced diet. But red meat (like the beef on your pizza) is also relatively high in saturated fat, so we’re advised to eat it no more than twice a week.
Depending on how many slices of pizza you eat, you could be getting more than one normal portion. Also, the pepperoni, meatballs and ham are the processed meats that we should be keeping to the bare minimum, because not only are they high in saturated fat, they also contain a hefty amount of salt, which can raise your blood pressure.
If you do go for this option, go easy on the cheese – think of it as a little damage-limitation.
Nice – Tuna Pizza
This much more virtuous meal is based around tuna, which go so well with sweetcorn you’re almost certain to get a generous portion of that as well.
Tuna is an oily fish, and normally these are a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are good for your heart and blood vessels.
But unfortunately, although fresh tuna steaks is amazing for omega-3s, they’re not so good when the tuna is tinned, so the tinned tuna on your pizza isn’t that impressive in terms of those essential omegas. (Tinned salmon, sardines and mackerel ARE good for omega-3s, it’s only tuna that loses them during the canning process). That said, tuna is still an excellent source of protein, and low in the saturated fats found in meat, so I certainly wouldn’t knock it in terms of a healthy pizza topping.
Plus the sweetcorn has its own nutritional selling points, too – it’s high in fibre (so helps keep your digestive system working, and fills you up), plus beta-carotene, an antioxidant which also helps support the immune system, as well as plant pigments called lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for keeping your eyes healthy.
Go easy on the cheese (high in fat and salt), ask for extra veg, and this one of the healthiest pizzas you could choose.
Happy New Year!