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Pizza-Is It Good For You? & How To Make Pizza at Home

Updated on August 7, 2017

Pizza, We all Love It!

Square Pizza like I make
Square Pizza like I make | Source

We All Love Pizza

Everyone I know loves pizza. Maybe the traditional cheese and pepperoni pie is not what they want. Maybe it's white sauce and vegetables. Pizza comes in so many variations almost everyone can find a style they love. But, I had always heard how unhealthy pizza is. So how healthy or unhealthy is pizza?

How Healthy is Pizza?

When you look up nutritional information it depends on what type of pizza and who made it. I looked up Papa John's nutritional information because it was easy to find. These amounts are for a large regular cheese pizza.

Nutritional Data Large Cheese Pizza

Per Slice
Per 2 Slices
Per 6 Slices
300 calories
600 calories
1800 calories
39 grams of carbs
78 grams of carbs
234 grams of carbs
3.5 grams saturated fat
7 grams saturated fat
21 grams saturated fat
960 mg sodium
1920 mg sodium
5760 mg sodium
Nutritional Data for Papa John's Pizza

That is all fine and good, but what does it mean? Is pizza healthy or not? I looked up the FDA's dietary guidelines and found these key points:

FDA Dietary Guidelines

Females per Day (Moderately Active 25-50 years)
Males per Day (Moderately Active 25-50 years)
2000 calories
2600 calories
130 grams carbs
130 grams carbs
<20 grams saturated fat
<26 grams saturated fat
<2300 mg sodium
<2300 mg sodium
FDA Recommended Daily Allowances

Can I be Healthy and Still Eat Pizza?

It seems that one or two slices may be OK, but 6 slices are definitely too much. The carb count is very high. Sodium is a concern, especially if you are middle aged or older, have high blood pressure or are of African American descent.

But I Don't Want to Give Up My Pizza!

How can we have our pie and eat it too? Pizza is too delicious to give up entirely. One way to increase the healthfulness of pizza is to make it at home. At home you have much more control about which ingredients are used. You control sodium content, added sugar and fats.

You may think, "I can't make pizza at home. It is too complicated!". In all actuality, making pizza at home is very simple. And you will always get it with the correct toppings, correct amount of cheese and correct amount of sauce for your taste. Plus it is more economical.

Lower Sodium Content by Making Pizza at Home

When you begin to make pizza at home, the first thing to decide is are you going to make the crust from scratch or buy a premade shell. Pizza crust is easy and quick to make at home. You probably already have the ingredients in the pantry. However, if you are feeling a little lazy, your best bet is buying some wheat pitas. The pre-made pizza crusts have about 800 mg of sodium per serving. One wheat pita has about 300 mg of sodium.

The second decision is the sauce. Will you use your favorite spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, pizza sauce or just slice some tomato on it? Regular pre-made pizza, spaghetti and tomato sauces all have sodium content of about 300mg per 1/4 cup. Salt free tomato sauce usually has a sodium content of less than 20mg per 1/4 cup.

To keep the sodium content down even further it is best to stay away from processed meats, such as pepperoni and bacon. However, I realize that many people don't consider pizza to be pizza without the pepperoni.

How Should My Dough Look

This dough is too sticky and needs more kneading
This dough is too sticky and needs more kneading | Source
This dough is ready
This dough is ready | Source

How to Make a Pizza Crust

I have a recipe that I was given to me by a friend's Mom in New Jersey. I think New Jersey has the best pizza. My friend's Mom was a fabulous cook, especially with all things Italian. This dough recipe is quick and easy. You will probably have the ingredients on hand. When it becomes time to let the dough rest I prepare the other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 package Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 cup Warm Water, About 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Sauce, Your Choice
  • 2 cups Cheese, Your Choice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup each Toppings, Your Choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, the salt and the yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in the water and olive oil. I usually use a fork. Mix until the dough forms a sticky ball.
  4. Knead the remaining flour into the dough 1/2 cup at a time. Knead until you have a firm, smooth dough.
  5. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes at room temperature. (I usually make the dough first and rest it while I prepare the rest of the ingredients)
  6. After resting, stretch and pat dough into a 10 X 15 X 1" jelly roll pan. Pat the dough up the sides of the jelly roll pan. Alternately you can cut the dough in half and stretch it into two circles to make two 12" pizzas.
  7. Cut the toppings into bite sized pieces.
  8. Put the sauce, cheese and toppings on the dough in the pan. Sprinkle a little more cheese over the toppings
  9. Place the pan in the middle of the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the amount of toppings. Check after 20 minutes. Make sure the cheese has melted in the center.
  10. Let the pizza rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting it.

Mmmm, Making Pizza

Be Creative with Your Pizza
Be Creative with Your Pizza | Source

Make the Pizza

This is your pizza! Use what ever you like, be creative. Remember, if you use sauce, it does not just have to be tomato based. The sauce can be BBQ, Alfredo or salsa, to name a few...it all depends on what you want it to taste like.

Use your favorite cheese, or a combination of cheeses. The more cheese the better in my opinion. Just remember that cheese is high in saturated fats.

The topping are where you get to be the most creative. Play around, experiment a little. You can make half the pizza something tried and true and the other half something new.

Making Pizza Dough

Comments

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    • profile image

      thefen 5 years ago

      I think myself a good pizza once a year is the best thing for you, especially when the wife is gone for the weekend and you are working 12 and 16 hour shifts while she is gone

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 7 years ago from Ohio

      Rochelle, Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm! I'm going to have to try your idea, my mouth is watering! :D

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      I'm glad this came back. I missed it the first time.The best thing about making your own is you can put anything on. For instance, light alfredo sauce, cooked cubed chicken, tomato, red bell pepper, mushroom, olives, a little asagio cheese-- the best.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 7 years ago from Ohio

      s.aguilar, I soooo know how you feel! Thanks for stopping by. :D

    • s.aguilar1980 profile image

      s.aguilar1980 7 years ago from Aspen, Colorado

      I can eat pizza all day *sigh*

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Tamcor, It sounds like he really needs to open his own place. I will tell you that although pizza seems easy to make, pizza geniuses are very few and far between. Someone who can listen to what the customer wants will go far!

      Personally, I cannot forgo the cheese myself...I don't eat pizza often so why not. I think it is more important to eat in moderation...hold yourself to 2 pieces tops...and enjoy the HECK out of it! Thanks!

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      k@ri--As soon as I saw the pic of the pizza, I knew it was Papa John's! Our son works there, so needless to say--we order Papa John's whenever we want takeout pizza--of course, getting the 50% family discount DOES lean us towards it, too, lol...

      Usually, our son makes ours himself, so we can special order it anyway we want, and it is soooo good--we keep telling him he needs to open his own place up--he a regular pizza genius, ha!

      I'm afraid we couldn't do without the cheese, though...we have to have him pile it on...but we don't order it a lot, so we feel like we can indulge on occasion, lol...I do love veggie pizzas, though!!!

      Great hub! :0

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      apeksha, I love pizza too! You should go up to the link Constant Walker provides and join up for the magazine. It is free and very nice!

    • apeksha profile image

      apeksha 8 years ago from India.

      I love pizza...

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Lgali, Thanks, glad you liked it!

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      Nice hub and thanks for sharing the recipe

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks blondepoet! I couldn't agree more, I love it with the veggies, but very hard without the cheese.

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

      Hi great story, well all my favourite things in the world are meant to be bad for me grrr.Why cant cheesecake, pancakes,crepes etc be the healthiest foods in the world lol.I watch what I eat all the time in my pursuit to stay slim.I adore pizza.When I make it I pile on the vegetables and use very little cheese.It then in fact becomes quite a healthy meal.It's hard going without cheese though aghhh

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Angelo, Sorry to offend your Italian sensibilities...I'm not Italian, just American! Would you prefer "Flat Bread Pies"? Pizza has become a word for some crazy concoctions these days. The other day my daughter showed me a picture of a "corn dog pizza". Talk about bizarre!

    • profile image

      angelo 8 years ago

      Hi, I'm sorry....I'm sure the "pizza" you make for your kids it's delicius! but please don't call it PIZZA.

      I'm Italian and it's 30 year I make about 300 pizza a nights and I do not make pizza the way you do!

      You can call it the way you lake but not PIZZA.

      Thanks

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Anna Marie, I find the crust comes out well. Make sure the oven is heated up before you put it in. You can also rise this recipe for 1 hour in a warm, draft free area...keep it covered. Then punch it down, knead for 5 minutes, and use. It will be better, if you have time.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Multimastery--Just don't try to eat more than 2 pieces :-))) You'll end up with a double chin!

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida

      Yummm!!! I attempted to make homemade pizza the other day, and it turned out ok...I think I needed a better recipe for the crust. I will have to try yours!!! Thanks!

    • profile image

      multimastery 8 years ago

      Mmmm these Pizzas look Yummy!  I don't care how healthy or not they are I just Love 'Em! Thanks for the Hub:)

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      I found it! I can't wait to get the magazine.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      You're welcome.  Didn't want the magazine?  I framed one of the covers and hung it in my kitchen.  Looks great!  If you do sign up for the magazine, they'll ask for a business name (it's published for pizza restaurants), just make up something.  They won't check.  I've been getting mine for two years now.

      Here's a pizza recipe I got from the magazine.  It was so drool-worthy I had to publish it on HP:  https://hubpages.com/food/Saffron-Vodka-Seafood-Pi...

      If you change your mind, here's the free subscription page: https://macfadden-sub.halldata.com/site/MAC000004P...

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Constant Walker, Thanks for the link! I signed up for the newsletter. The stuffed mushrooms look to die for. I read some of the other recipes, and the antipasto salad really looks good. Can't wait to try them!

      Thanks for reading my hub. Pizza IS good for you as long as you don't eat too much. (or...eat too much, if it's going to be your only meal!)

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Aweome topic, K@ri, and to answer your question; YES, pizza is good for you. That is, non-frozen pizza is good for you. To prove this, simply look at the ingredients. Not a bad or junk food to be had. In fact, everything in a piiza is wholesome, healthy, and real food. Of course, just don't live on the stuff...

      Did you know there's a pizza magazine? It's true. And it's FREE! It has the best Italian food recipes you'll ever find... anywhere, from Italian chefs and cooks.

      Here's the link: http://www.pizzatoday.com/

      PS: The best pizza restaurant? Numero Uno's

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Whole Grains, Pasta with vegetables, and whole grain bread. I think it is mainly about getting rid of white flour and sugar products, eating more whole grain and vegetables, and yes-extra virgin olive oil!

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 8 years ago from USA

      So far I've gotten that it's a lot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of butter and most fats, feta cheese rather than cheddar and such, although I haven't figured out why yet, grains, pastas and breads, which throws me off. Still researching.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      A little...it sounds pretty appetising from what I have read. I like Italian, Spanish, Greek...to name a few.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 8 years ago from USA

      Hmm... I've missed out, then.

      My doctor has ordered me onto this Mediterranean diet. I haven't started it yet--still in the phase of trying it out. Do you know anything about it?

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Read my hub "Eat Raw-Lose Weight". It is some diet my daughter wanted to try.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 8 years ago from USA

      Okay, you're going to have to explain the 80% raw thing. I'm lost.

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Come on over! The kids always love pepperoni.

      It's funny you should mention that he used to work at Pizza Hut. That is what I thought also, until I researched it.

      If I'm ever in Hilton Head I will definitely check out Bravo!, just your description has me drooling! (Doesn't help that I still am eating about 80% raw)

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 8 years ago from USA

      What a wonderful hub!  I can't believe it has taken me this long to get here!

      300 cal per slice, huh?  If they only want us to have 2 slices, they shouldn't make it so deliciious!!

      I thought Papa Johns was the guy that used to work at Pizza Hut and took what he learned to build a better pizza.  I tend to get things mixed up.....

      I do have to say that while in Hilton Head, SC, we stumbled on a restraunt called "Bravo! Pizza".  It is absolutely the very best pizza I have ever eaten, bar none.  The owner makes every pizza completely from scratch--his own sauce, dough, toppings marinated for HOURS--everything!!!  It was beyond delicious.  There was no way I was eating only two slices.  Great!  Now I'm craving it, and it will be a whole 3 years before we return!!!!

      I'll be over for dinner later, k@ri.  Can I request pepperoni?  :-))

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      I agree, Pesto makes an excellent base! Much better than tomato if you ask me. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      mamakaren 8 years ago

      Good directions--especially the pictures! Ever try pesto as a base on the crust? YUM!

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      ripplemaker, after checking out the other hubs in the poll, I just want to thank the entire hubnugget team for selecting mine. I always knew Friday the 13th was actually a lucky day! (my son was born on the 13th)

      Good Luck to everyone!

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks ripplemaker! I'll go look.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Kari, this pizza hub is creating a stir. It's one of the freshly served hubnuggets for friday the 13th. :-) Way to go. For more details and information, click Shirley's hub and read all about it. https://hubpages.com/community/Hubber-Poll-Your-Fe...

      After reading your hub, I'm craving for a pizza LOL :-) Do vote and remember to ask your friends to vote for your hub too. :-)

    • k@ri profile image
      Author

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Now I see pizza with a different eye - and it's good thing! Nice hub and thanks for sharing the recipe :D