If you lead a busy life and don’t frequently have time to cook, you may rely on easy-to-make or pre-prepared meals—including frozen varieties. And while we certainly don’t blame you for choosing options that can save you a bit of time, it’s important to remember that highly processed foods can be detrimental to your health, including that of your heart. In fact, there’s one frozen meal that experts say you should avoid as much as possible if you want to keep your heart health in good shape: frozen pizza.
To learn more about the health risks of frozen foods like pizza, we spoke to Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist Krutika Nanavati from Clinicspots. She told us that the processed ingredients in this convenient meal can put you at risk of heart disease and other health issues. Read on for all of her insight and advice!
There's no denying that frozen pizzas are delicious and convenient. At the end of the long day, sometimes nothing sounds better than a few slices of cheesy goodness from a pizza that takes you practically no effort to prepare. Unfortunately, though, all that convenience comes at a cost; as it turns out, consuming this processed food could put your health at risk over time.
As Nanavati notes, "most frozen pizzas are loaded with unhealthy ingredients, including processed meats, high-fat cheeses, and sugary sauces." All of these processed ingredients are bad enough on their own due to the fact that they pack in high amounts of fat and calories while offering practically no nutritional value. And when you throw them all together, you've frankly got a recipe for disaster when it comes to your heart health. "While a occasional slice of pizza won't kill you, eating frozen pizzas on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing heart disease or other cardiovascular problems," Nanavati warns.
Some frozen pizzas may be even worse than others. Nanavati tells us that "topping it off with processed meats and full-fat cheese can make it even worse." Processed meats like sausage and pepperoni, in particular, can take a serious toll on your heart health. Nanavati explains that these ingredients "are often high in saturated fat and sodium, both of which can be detrimental to your health if you consume too much," noting that "eating processed meats can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems, so it's best to avoid them as much as possible." And that includes avoiding them on your pizza!
Overall, no processed frozen food is going to be a good idea for your health, so it's generally best to skip the freezer section at the grocery store (unless, of course, you're buying frozen fruits and vegetables, which Nanavati says "can be just as nutritious as fresh). If you're really craving pizza, it's likely worth the effort to make it yourself with fresh ingredients and lots of nutritious veggies rather than throwing a frozen one in the oven. While it may take a bit longer than the alternative, your body (and likely your taste buds) will thank you in the end!