Perhaps surprisingly only six of 25 pizzas tested contained too much total fat (>35% total energy), with eight having too much saturated fat while only two boasting a desirable level (<11% total energy). Most of the fat in the pizzas came from the cheese.
The amount of sodium in most of the 25 pizzas was substantially over the recommended limit, with nine containing more than 1g per 600kcal serving.
Several pizzas had sodium levels well within the recommended limit but were not advertised as low-salt or low-sodium, indicating that recipes can be modified and remain commercially successful.
To constitute a healthy nutritionally-balanced meal, at least 45% of the energy intake should come from carbohydrates. Only five failed to meet this requirement, due to combined high fat and protein contents.
Vitamin and mineral content information was mostly absent from the packaging, with only five providing this information in detail, and three having basic information. None met the recommended value for iron, vitamin C and vitamin A. One met just the iron requirement and two the vitamin C requirement. Vitamin A requirement was met in four pizzas, and only one met calcium requirements.
Prof Lean said: "Some were really bad. While none of the pizzas tested satisfied all the nutritional requirements, many of the requirements were met in some pizzas, which told us it should be possible to modify the recipes to make them more nutritionally-balanced without impacting on flavour health by stealth, if you like."
To demonstrate how to do it, the researchers joined forces with an industrial food producer to modify a modern pizza recipe: reducing salt, adding whole-wheat flour, adding a s
|Contact: Stuart Forsyth|
University of Glasgow