Eating Pizza Might Have Health Benefits, According to Science
A lot of people will agree that pizza is one of the greatest foods on Earth. Still it’s rarely regarded for being particularly healthy. Now, according to at least one award-winning scientist, that’s all about to change.
Dr. Silvano Gallus was recently honored at Harvard University during its 29th annual Ig Nobel prize Ceremony for his groundbreaking research, studying the consumption of pizza.
The Research Is Real
Despite the cheesy name of the awards ceremony, one sponsored by the appropriately named Annals of Improbable Research magazine, the research involved is very real. And Dr. Gallus’ very real research earned him the Medicine Ig Nobel Prize “for collecting evidence that pizza might protect against illness and death, if the pizza is made and eaten in Italy.”
You probably already know that Italian pizza is a whole different beast from American ‘za. Not only is Italian pizza usually devoid of the mountains of heavily processed meats that weigh down a U.S. pizza pie, but the Italian version of pizza also features more prominently as a part of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet, for those unfamiliar, is often cited by nutritionists and food experts as one of the most heart-healthy diets to pursue.
Pass on the Pepperoni
And yes, this does mean that Dr. Gallus is asking you to give up the pepperoni – in most cases – if you’re eating pizza for the health benefits. Wearing a stylish blazer over a pizza T-shirt while taking to the stage to claim his Ig Nobel, Gallus said, “Our interpretation is that, in Italy, pizza may represent a general indicator, a marker, of the Italian diet that, as other Mediterranean diets, has been shown to have major health benefits… In conclusion, we recommend eating Italian pizza, but it should be Italian [and] please hold the pepperoni for health reasons.”
The very notion of a pepperoni or bacon-less pizza may be absolute sacrilege to the host of carnivorous pizza lovers out there, but the statistics seem to agree with the doctor’s research. It may be worth skipping the chain pizza outlets out there in favor of a local pizzeria next time. Thin crust, some extra vegetables and quality mozzarella cheese (in moderation) can lead not only to a new appreciation for gourmet ‘za, but also to a healthier gut and heart.
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