Pizza. An oven-baked flat, round bread covered by a combination of tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings. Despite this rather clinical description, pizza is arguably the most scrumptious item in the ever-widening field of junk foods ... but must pizza be a junk food? Two people, appropriately named Maclean and Lean of Glasgow, Scotland had an idea for making it healthier.
Donnie Maclean, the founder of Eat Balanced, had a common enough experience with pizza - he ate a pizza, felt guilty afterward, and wished that pizza was not as unhealthy as it is. Unlike most of us, however, he didn't let the thought go, but set out to make and market such a pizza.
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One day, Donnie was introduced to Mike Lean, a professor of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow, and described his pizza dream. Just imagine if you could have a pizza, as tasty and satisfying as any other, but which gave you everything you needed in terms of nutrition for a complete meal - and nothing else. They decided to take on this challenge.
How did they approach this problem? Normal pizzas, regardless of details, are too high in salt, fat, and calories. It is not unusual for a single personal-sized pizza to have as much salt as you need in an entire day, two-thirds of your daily requirement of fats (and a whole day's limit of saturated fat), and over 1,000 calories. Pizzas also tend to be low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
In contrast, Eat Balanced has developed a line of frozen pizzas that contain one-third of a day's complete nutritional requirements with no excess salt, fat, or calories. Fortunately, Eat Balanced has reportedly kept the wonderful experience of eating pizza firmly in sight during the process of seeking nutritional balance. How did they accomplish this? Through choice of ingredients.
One surprising example is the reduction of salt. This was accomplished by removing half the salt, and replacing it with seaweed, which provides the salty taste required for a proper pizza experience while only containing 10 percent of the actual salt content. Seaweed also provides other important vitamins and minerals needed in the daily diet, but which are scarce in normal pizza ingredients, such as iron, iodine, and vitamin B12.
The U.K. dietary guidelines state that you should have 20 percent of your daily nutritional requirements at breakfast, 30 percent each from lunch and dinner, and 20 percent from snacks. Eat Balanced took this as the goal for their balanced pizzas, each of which provides 30 percent of all your required daily nutrients without exceeding the dietary limits on any of the bad actors, such as salt and saturated fats.
The Eat Balanced line of frozen pizzas will be in U.K. supermarkets before long, featuring combos such as cheese and cherry tomato, juicy pineapple and ham, and spicy chicken with red peppers and green jalapenos. Unfortunately, those in the U.S. and other parts of the world will have to wait for these dietary lifesavers to be available locally. Speaking as an overweight pizza fanatic - I can't wait to give them a try!
Source: Eat BalancedView gallery - 2 images