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Pizza vs Hamburger - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Pizza
vs
Hamburger

Summary

Burgers and pizzas have high amounts of sodium, burgers relatively less. Burgers are richer in protein, iron, and zinc and contain more cholesterol. Pizzas are richer in vitamin A, B complex, C, and calcium. They are both high in saturated fats.

Introduction

The origin of pizza is traced back to Italy. It is a combination of thin dough, homemade tomato sauce, fresh cheese, meat products like salami, and other garnishes. However, nowadays, pizzas are also made in the fast-food industry and are consumed during gatherings and on the go. These pizzas are different from the original homemade pizza. They have a thicker dough, more cheese, usually processed, and fatty toppings.

Burgers can be classified as the cornerstone of healthy food; however, they can also be very unhealthy fast food. We can make the healthier option with a chicken breast or low-fat lean ground meat with vegetables and low fat and low carbohydrates sauces. However, We can also make it with fried chicken, high-fat ground meat, bacon, processed cheese, and the unhealthy option of sauces.

In this article, the selected pizza and burger categories are the average type of pizzas and burgers. To give perspective, the pizza that is taken into consideration has some vegetable toppings and average thickness dough. The burger that is taken into consideration is an average homemade cheeseburger. Any additional topping that might affect a particular nutritional category will be discussed.

This article will compare the nutritional content, vitamin and mineral contents, health impacts, and general aspects of pizzas and burgers.

Nutritional content comparison

What makes the burger richer in protein compared to pizzas is the burger patty. However, that does not mean that pizzas are low in protein. The cheese is a protein source in pizzas, and additional toppings like chicken or beef increase the protein content of pizzas as well.

Concerning fats, burgers and pizzas have similar amounts of fats, as they have high amounts of saturated fats. There is a slight difference between them, as burgers contain a slightly higher amount, 11g of fats per 100g, while pizzas contain 10g of fats. Nevertheless, this difference could be considered negligible. However, suppose toppings like bacon and cheese on burgers, pepperoni, and ham on pizzas. In that case, these numbers vary according to the added topping.

Another aspect of burgers is that they have higher amounts of cholesterol than pizzas, with 47 mg per 100g with the cholesterol for burgers and 17mg per 100g for pizzas.

Pizzas have higher amounts of carbohydrates because of the dough and the cheese. The dough is the source of carbohydrates from the pizzas, and the cheese contains some amounts of lactose which is a carbohydrate. The main source of carbohydrates from burgers is the bun and the sauces, which might contain sugars.

Vitamin content comparison

Pizzas contain a good amount of vitamin A from the cheese and B complex (B1, B3, B9) from its different components. It also contains vitamin C if the toppings include green bell peppers.

On the other hand, Burgers contain vitamin B complex family, like B1, B2, B3, B12. However, the common vitamins B1, B3 are far less than the ones that are in pizzas.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Pizza
7
:
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +79.7%
Contains more Folate +66.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +28.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +40.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +153.8%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +242.9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 22% 17% 0% 5% 98% 45% 72% 0% 19% 70% 53% 17%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 55% 58% 101% 19% 47% 43% 180% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +79.7%
Contains more Folate +66.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +28.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +40.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +153.8%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +242.9%

Mineral content comparison

Given that pizzas contain cheese, it has a good amount of calcium. Other minerals in pizza are phosphorus, manganese, and iron. However, the amount of sodium should be considered while consuming pizzas, as it contains 600mg of sodium per 100g which is an amount to be taken into consideration if someone's sodium levels have to be controlled.

Burgers containing beef as a patty have a considerable amount of iron, 22 mg per 100 grams. Another aspect of a cheeseburger is the amount of calcium that comes from the cheese itself. Burgers also contain a considerable amount of zinc. Like pizzas, burgers contain a high amount of sodium that cannot be neglected, 414mg per 100 grams.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +84.3%
Contains more Magnesium +20%
Contains more Phosphorus +58.8%
Contains more Copper +15.4%
Contains more Iron +16.1%
Contains more Potassium +31.4%
Contains less Sodium -30.8%
Contains more Zinc +114.2%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 57% 93% 18% 93% 16% 78% 37% 35%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 31% 108% 15% 59% 20% 54% 79% 31%
Contains more Calcium +84.3%
Contains more Magnesium +20%
Contains more Phosphorus +58.8%
Contains more Copper +15.4%
Contains more Iron +16.1%
Contains more Potassium +31.4%
Contains less Sodium -30.8%
Contains more Zinc +114.2%

Health impact

The sodium content of fast-food chain pizzas and burgers is not usually controlled. It has a higher chance of becoming above the recommended values. This increases health issues related to hypertension and other diseases related to high sodium consumptions. (1)

Fast-food chain pizzas and burgers are usually products of highly processed ingredients and big-sized portions. This leads to high caloric intake and results in obesity in adolescents and adults alike. (2)

Pizzas made with non-processed and not refined sugars have shown protection against colorectal and upper digestive tract cancers. This results from the lycopene in the tomato sauce and the healthy fatty acids in olive oils. (3)

It was observed that the consumption of healthy and nutritionally balanced pizzas that are prepared according to healthy nutritional guidelines decreased the risks of obesity in most adults. (4)

If the pizza is prepared with baker's yeast, it has an additional nutritional value. The baker's yeast has many benefits as it acts as an immune booster, metabolic booster, and digestion/absorption enhancer. (5)

Homemade burgers prepared according to healthy nutritional guidelines are highly nutritious and healthy. It provides a good source of proteins, fibers, iron, and vitamin B complex.

General aspects

Pizzas are prepared in various ways, and the recommended method is to prepare them to fulfill healthy cravings. We must use white, unprocessed cheeses such as mozzarella and vegetables. Toppings are always recommended to make the pizza healthier and satisfy your hunger quickly due to all the fibers. If the dough contains yeast, it makes the pizza healthier because of all the yeast's additional nutritional benefits.

Burgers can be the cornerstone of a good meal, or they can turn into a bad meal full of saturated and trans fats. When the burger is prepared for healthy food purposes, it can be a very balanced, healthy meal given its different components. However, one must be careful of the additional ingredients added, such as bacon and sauces, to avoid turning the burger into unhealthy.

Highly processed burger patties of unknown sources cause health issues in the long run because of the unknown components added during its "manufacturing" process. It is always preferable to order the ground meat of the burger from a trusted supplier or butcher. (6)

Pizzas and burgers have numerous ingredients and components that have a lot of variables. For example, the dough of the pizza or the burger's bun can be made with whole-grain wheat or gluten-free, which affects the carbohydrate and sugar content of both. These changes can provide different nutritional values.

Another aspect is the cheese of the pizza. It can be made as non-dairy cheese, which affects its vitamin A content and sugar content.

For burgers, plant-based or chicken sources can be options for the patty. These affect the protein, iron, and vitamin content of the burger.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780690/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3095143/
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ijc.11382
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24160252/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18335702/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18995204/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Pizza vs Hamburger infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Pizza Hamburger
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pizza Hamburger Opinion
Net carbs 31.03g 23.2g Pizza
Protein 11.39g 17.08g Hamburger
Fats 9.69g 14.36g Hamburger
Carbs 33.33g 24.1g Pizza
Calories 266kcal 295kcal Hamburger
Starch 26.95g g Pizza
Fructose 1g 2.03g Hamburger
Sugar 3.58g 4.15g Pizza
Fiber 2.3g 0.9g Pizza
Calcium 188mg 102mg Pizza
Iron 2.48mg 2.88mg Hamburger
Magnesium 24mg 20mg Pizza
Phosphorus 216mg 136mg Pizza
Potassium 172mg 226mg Hamburger
Sodium 598mg 414mg Hamburger
Zinc 1.34mg 2.87mg Hamburger
Copper 0.105mg 0.091mg Pizza
Vitamin A 358IU 0IU Pizza
Vitamin E 0.83mg mg Pizza
Vitamin D 0IU IU Pizza
Vitamin D 0µg µg Pizza
Vitamin C 1.4mg 0mg Pizza
Vitamin B1 0.39mg 0.217mg Pizza
Vitamin B2 0.195mg 0.25mg Hamburger
Vitamin B3 3.825mg 5.365mg Hamburger
Vitamin B5 mg 0.31mg Hamburger
Vitamin B6 0.08mg 0.203mg Hamburger
Folate 93µg 56µg Pizza
Vitamin B12 0.42µg 1.44µg Hamburger
Vitamin K 6.7µg µg Pizza
Tryptophan mg 0.206mg Hamburger
Threonine 0.41mg 0.666mg Hamburger
Isoleucine 0.564mg 0.716mg Hamburger
Leucine 1.139mg 1.319mg Hamburger
Lysine 0.77mg 1.226mg Hamburger
Methionine 0.264mg 0.37mg Hamburger
Phenylalanine 0.664mg 0.677mg Hamburger
Valine 0.72mg 0.823mg Hamburger
Histidine 0.355mg 0.505mg Hamburger
Cholesterol 17mg 47mg Pizza
Trans Fat 0.241g 0.814g Pizza
Saturated Fat 4.465g 5.096g Pizza
Monounsaturated Fat 2.608g 5.495g Hamburger
Polyunsaturated fat 1.681g 0.38g Pizza

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pizza Hamburger
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
35
Pizza
42
Hamburger
Mineral Summary Score
53
Pizza
49
Hamburger

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
68%
Pizza
102%
Hamburger
Carbohydrates
33%
Pizza
24%
Hamburger
Fats
45%
Pizza
66%
Hamburger

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Pizza
Pizza is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.57g)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Pizza
Pizza is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 30mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Pizza
Pizza is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.631g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Pizza
Pizza is lower in glycemic index (difference - 6)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Hamburger
Hamburger contains less Sodium (difference - 184mg)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Pizza - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173292/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.