So we have 6 main ingredients. Each of those are made up a handful of things. Two of those sub-ingredients have their own ingredient list. Let’s map it out.
- Wheat flour– (the basis for just about all dough)
- Dough Conditioner– (many people try to avoid this ingredient. It is a fuzzy title that encompasses many chemicals. Something can be called a dough conditioner if it improves the dough or its texture in any way. That leaves the door wide open)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil– (two thumbs up)
- Corn Oil– (not terrible for you, not great for you. So-so)
- Vine Ripened Fresh Peeled Ground Tomatoes– (message received. Tomatoes)
- Tomato Puree
- Calcium Chloride– (absorbs and retains liquids, AKA what makes a sauce less runny)
- Spices– (vague, but can be assumed healthy)
- Pasteurized Part Skim Milk– (note “skim.” They used a low-fat cheese)
- Cheese Cultures– (bacteria necessary to make all cheeses)
- Enzymes– (again, found in all cheeses)
- Corn Syrup Solids– (yikes. This is made from very highly concentrated corn syrup. It takes a solid form)
- Garlic Powder
- Lemon Juice Powder
- Corn Syrup Solids– (back for more)
- Lemon Juice Solids– (highly concentrated lemon juice)
- Lemon Oil
- Natural Flavors– (as mentioned in the previous episode this could mean anything. Could be better or worse for you than artificial flavors, we really don’t know)
- Salt– (yet again)
- Salt– (one last encore)
- Cane Sugar– (also known as sugarcane, also known as plain-old sugar)
- This term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Flavorings
- "Lactic acid, the chemical 2-hydroxypropanoic acid, occurs n... More Starter This refers to a culture of cells- keeping things like yeast... More– (technically not a preservative, but rather a bacteria whose purpose is to ferment. The “No Preservatives” claim we found in part one holds up)
- May or May Not Contain Beef– (k)
- Spice Topping
- Romano Cheese
- Pasteurized Milk– (basically the same as the previous cheese, but no fat was removed)
- Cheese Cultures
- Romano Cheese
Whew. Like I said, if you can break apart what goes into a pizza, ingredient by ingredient, you can tackle any list.
4. Read the Label
If you approve of the ingredients, there’s only one thing left to analyze in order to deem this “healthy” or “unhealthy:” the Nutrition Facts.
See also: What’s on the Nutrition Label?
- The serving is 151g, or about 1/6 of the pizza. In each serving there is 350 calories.
- There are 20g of fat, 7 of which are saturated.
Not all fat is bad, but this is a little high on the saturated side.
- A little cholesterol, and a solid bit of sodium.
The cholesterol isn’t bad, but the sodium is. It’s 20% of the daily maximum, which doesn’t sound too bad. But keep in ming the word maximum. As discussed here, in a healthy diet, that’s more like 1/3 of your DV.
- 15 grams of protein, along with 27g of carbs: 1g of fiber, 2g of sugar, and the rest is starch.
See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients
- 20% of your daily Calcium (remember the calcium chloride used to thicken the sauce?), 2% of your Vitamin C (the tomato), and 10% of the "Reference Daily Intake:" see post. for Iron (a typical sight for meat and bread products).
And that’s that. Our guess from the beginning was pretty spot on too: 52% fat, 31% carbohydrates, and 17% protein.
5. The Verdict?
I’m not one of those “if you can’t list the ingredients on 10 fingers, don”t eat it” kind of guys. I don’t believe in the “if you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be good for you” dogma either. I do not believe in an overarching rule of thumb. Each food has to be looked at through a different lens.
But in this case, we are dealing with 40 ingredients. 5 of them are salt, 3 are sweeteners, and 3 more are very open to interpretation. Personally, this food is a no-no; however, as far as pizza goes, this very well may be a healthier choice when among its peers.
Thanks for reading!