Pizza is an American meal staple, whether homemade or ordered from a restaurant. With an endless variety of toppings to put on pizza, pepperoni is the basis of one classic variation of pizza. All four food groups are represented in pepperoni pizza--cheese for dairy, crust for the grain group, sauce for the fruits and vegetables and pepperoni for the meat. The ingredients in pepperoni pizza combine to create a meal high in fat and calories, but creative alterations to each ingredient can increase its health aspects.
Flour is a staple ingredient for all breads. This is because gluten, a protein found in wheat, traps carbon dioxide, thereby making the bread rise. White flour is commonly used in pizza crust, but you can also go with wheat flour for a more healthful option. Wheat flour contains more protein and fiber than white flour because the husk of the wheat is not removed during its milling.
When you make pizza crust, use yeast to create a fluffy, airy texture. Your local grocery store might even carry a yeast that is specifically tailored for pizza making, but it is not necessary. Any sort of baking yeast will suffice for your needs. Yeast has no nutritional value.
Traditional pepperoni is not considered a healthy food due to a high fat content. It is basically an amalgamation of meats processed into a tube shape and then sliced into thin circular wafers. Turkey pepperoni is available as a healthful alternative. According to the Hormel website, a serving size of its turkey pepperoni contains 1/2 the fat and 1/4 the saturated fat, 1/2 the calories, and twice the protein of its regular pepperoni. It should be noted that there is a slightly higher cholesterol and sodium content.
Cheese can add a lot of fat, sodium, and cholesterol to pepperoni pizza, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Certain cheeses have a higher fat content and caloric value than others. For example, Kraft's low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese has less fat and calories than its cheddar cheese. Avoid fat free cheeses because they do not melt as well.
The sauce will have little to no fat in it, depending on the recipe you use. Some call for olive oil, which has fat content, while others leave it out. The tomatoes that form the base of the sauce are naturally fat free, and so are the spices. Spices can include onion powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, and various forms of pepper.