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Really, Eating Pizza Can Make You Healthy?

pizza sliceWhat! Pizza good for you? Apparently, this may just be the case. Not only pizza, but other high calorie foods that we love to eat such as hot dogs, and even hot dogs. A recent study that shows that high calorie foods may not the cause for certain health concerns.

The reason for the demonization of pizza and other foods is the high fat, calories, and of course, carbohydrates. But mostly the calories. These have been linked to chronic metabolic diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Though the study is centered on children, the findings may be applied to adults as well.

Sugar vs. Calorie Intake

Caloric intake has been linked to weight gain and obesity. As a result many fad diets as well as some respected weight loss programs have pushed calorie counting and restriction. Yet weight loss based on calorie deficit does not seem to work. Many who follow diet and exercise regimens still complain of how difficult it is to lose weight.

It is important to mention that the study by researchers at UC San Francisco and Touro University California was not about weight loss per se, but rather the health risks associated with excessive weight gain and obesity. However, the two are related in that the reason for maintaining a healthy weight is to avoid these health risks.

Of particular interest is a condition referred to metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of conditions including high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, high triglycerides, and cholesterol.[1] It is associated with increased risk of heart disease. The condition has been linked to high calorie diets. This notion, according to the findings of recent study, may not be accurate.

In the study, 43 children between the ages of 9 and 18 who were obese and had one metabolic disorder were given food for 9 days. This included snacks and drinks. The diet they received matched their own dietary nutrient constituents except for one thing, sugar. Calorie intake too was kept the same.

The food choices were designed to be “kid food” and included pizza, hot dogs, and potato chips, and all were bought at local supermarkets. High sugar foods were excluded.

After 9 days on the sugar-restricted diet, virtually every aspect of the participant’s metabolic health had improved, including blood pressure and sugar. This indicates that sugar, not calories, is the real enemy when it comes to metabolic health conditions.

We wouldn’t recommend gorging on pizza and hot dogs, all the same. You can read a detailed report on the study at NewsWise website.


[1] Mayo Clinic: Metabolic Syndrome

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