Pizza vs Hamburger - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
The origin of pizza is traced back to Italy. It is a combination of thin dough, home-made tomato sauce, fresh cheese, meat products like salami, and other types of 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 than the homemade original pizza, as they have a thicker dough, more cheese, usually processed, and fatty toppings.
Burgers can be classified as the cornerstone of healthy food, however, it can also be very unhealthy fast food. The healthier option can be made with a chicken breast or low-fat lean ground meat with vegetable and low fat and low carbohydrates sauces. However, it can also be made 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 certain nutritional category, will be discussed.
This article will include a comparison of 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 both of them, as burgers have a slightly higher amount, 11g of fats per 100g while pizzas contain 10g of fats. Nevertheless, this difference could be considered negligible. However, if toppings are added like bacon and cheese on burgers, pepperoni, and ham on pizzas, these numbers vary according to the added topping.
Another aspect of burgers is that they have higher amounts of cholesterol compared to 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 mostly the source of carbohydrate from the pizzas, and the cheese contains some amounts of lactose which is a carbohydrate. The main source of carbohydrate that comes from burgers is the bun and the sauces which might contain sugars in them.
Vitamin content comparison
Pizzas contain a good amount of vitamin A which comes 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.
Burgers, on the other hand, contain vitamin B complex family, like B1, B2, B3, B12. However, the common vitamins B1, B3 is far less than the ones that are in pizzas.
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 taken into consideration 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 that contain beef as a patty, have a considerable amount of iron in them, 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. Similarly to pizzas, burgers contain a high amount of sodium that cannot be neglected, 414mg per 100 grams.
The sodium content of fast-food chain pizzas and burgers are not usually controlled and have 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 that are made with non-processed and not refined sugars have shown protection against colorectal and upper digestive tract cancers. This is the result of 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.
Pizzas are prepared in various ways, and the recommended method is to prepare it to fulfill healthy cravings. White, unprocessed cheeses such as mozzarella must be used, 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 in it, it makes the pizza healthier because of all the additional nutritional benefits that the yeast offers.
Burgers can be the cornerstone of a good meal, or it 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 in order to avoid turning the burger into an unhealthy one.
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. These changes can provide different nutritional values. For example, the dough of the pizza or the bun of the burger can be made with whole-grain wheat or gluten-free, which affect the carbohydrate and sugar content of both.
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.
In summary, 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 mostly saturated fats. Burgers and pizzas have remarkable amounts of sodium, burgers relatively less.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in price||Equal|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values