Scottish duo cooks up first 'nutritionally balanced' pizza
In this undated file photo, a pan pizza with cheddar cheese curds and parmesan is shown. (Courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Canada)
Published Tuesday, July 3, 2012 11:19AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 3, 2012 11:26AM EDT
From its thick, doughy crust to an oily bed of mozzarella cheese, the modern-day pizza is king when hunger calls and the desire for savoury food drowns out health concerns.
But can the ravenous masses eat pizza as part of a balanced diet? According to one Scottish nutritionist, the answer is “yes” and he has just the pie to prove it.
Nutritionist Mike Lean says he and an entrepreneur have created the world’s first “nutritionally balanced” pizza, with ingredients that have been meticulously added for optimal health.
The pizzas purportedly contain 30 per cent of the vitamins and minerals an adult should be consuming in a day, making the pie an ideal meal for lunch or dinner, he told BBC News.
Ingredients have also been scrupulously measured to contain the recommended amount of calories, protein and carbohydrates for adults, the BBC reports.
The end result is a pizza that one can chow down on without guilt.
Lean, who works in Glasgow University’s nutrition department, notes his pies stay true to the hallmarks of traditional, mouthwatering pizza.
Red peppers are added to the tomato sauce to amp up the vitamin C content. Full-fat mozzarella is still in this recipe, but it appears in much more modest amounts.
The piece de resistance, seaweed in the base, was the brainchild of Lean’s business partner.
While researching, entrepreneur Donnie Maclean noticed seaweed being used as an ingredient in several artisan breads. He soon found it could be used to reduce the sodium content in pizza.
Finding a healthy variation on pizza is quest that many have taken on before.
U.S.First Lady Michelle Obama once encouraged comedian Jay Leno to eat a pizza made with eggplant, green peppers and zucchini on the “Tonight Show.” Her appearance was a promotion for “Let’s Move,” her fitness and healthy eating campaign for kids.
The “Biggest Loser” brand, named after the extreme weight-loss television show, has touted a version of pizza created with a whole-grain pita and low-fat mozzarella.
While the above options cut calories, Lean maintains his pizza is still the first to thoroughly consider an adult’s nutritional needs.
“Nobody’s thought about it. Nobody’s designed a nutritionally balanced meal,” he told BBC News.
So, what’s next on the menu? Lean and Maclean say they’re in the process of cooking up a nutritionally balanced version of fish and chips.