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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Pizzas


Fooducate


Four Cheese Pizza – DiGiorno's vs. Newman's Own

Posted: 24 Aug 2010 05:34 AM PDT

Everyone loves pizza. It's the #1 looked up entry in yellow pages and very popular in google searches as well. While dining at a pizzeria or getting delivered to your home are the most popular consumption modes, people are going to want this goodness on call in their freezer as well. There's an entire section of a supermarket aisle to support this claim.

While we enjoy pizza outside the home about once a month, and every couple of months make our own, many families keep some frozen pizzas in the freezer for those evenings when you barely have the energy left to turn on the microwave/oven.

We decided to take a look at two brands of pizza and see where they were similar, and what set them apart from each other. Here's the nutrition comparison between Newman's Own and DiGiorno's Four Cheese thin crust pizzas.

What you need to know:

Calorically both pizza's are similar – a 2 slice serving is about 300 calories. Both are fatty, including 6-7 grams of saturated fat (1/3 of the daily value). DiGiorno's includes 1 gram of trans-fat, a nutrient that we should consume ZERO grams of daily. Both are high in sodium (over 600mg per serving, about a quarter of the daily max).

Nutritionally, pizza is not your best friend, as you can see from the above.But if you're going to enjoy pizza, at least have a pizza with real ingredients. This is where DiGiorno and Newman's Own's philosophy vastly differ. DiGiorno uses cheap oils, artificial flavors, and other food manufacturing tricks to put together its pizza. Newman's ingredient is actually understandable by a layperson. See below:

DiGiorno's ingredients:

Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Water, Wheat Flour, Tomato Paste, Contains Less than 2% of Modified Food Starch, Grated Cheese Blend (Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano Cheese Made from Cow's Milk [Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Cellulose Powder to Prevent Caking), Yellow Corn Meal, Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil and/or Corn Oil), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, White Corn Meal, Salt, Sugar, Yeast, Spice, Garlic, Artificial Flavor, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color).

Newman's ingredients:

Ingredients: MULTIGRAIN CRUST (WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, VEGETABLE OIL [CORN OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL], FLAXSEED, YEAST, SUGAR, SALT, WHOLE OAT FLOUR), LOW MOISTURE PART-SKIM MOZZARELLA CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), SAUCE (TOMATOES [DICED TOMATOES, TOMATO JUICE], WATER, TOMATO PASTE, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, RED WINE VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, SPICES, GARLIC*, ONION*), CHEDDAR CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), PARMESAN CHEESE (PART-SKIM PASTEURIZED COW'S MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, RENNET), ASIAGO CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES). *DRIED. CONTAINS: MILK, WHEAT.

Obviously Newman's is the winner here. Too bad it's more expensive. But hey, you get what you pay for, both good and bad.

What to do at the supermarket:

When buying a frozen pizza look for products that use as many natural sounding ingredients as possible. Avoid products with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – that's the source of trans-fat. Look out for sodium bombs reaching 1000 or more mg per serving.

Choose products low in saturated fat (less than 3 grams per slice if possible). Opt for pizzas without added cheese or meats, rather added veggies.

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