We don't typically think of pizza as being a part of a healthy diet because it's usually high in total fats, saturated fat, sodium and calories. But people love pizza and it's possible to enjoy healthier pizza at home because you control the types and amounts of toppings.
One slice of pizza usually has at least 300 calories, so it doesn't take long to eat most of your day's calorie needs in one sitting. If you do order a pizza at a restaurant, be sure to eat a healthy green salad first so that you feel fuller before indulging -- and don't end up eating half of the pizza. You may find that one slice really does fill you up without adding lots of unwanted calories and fat.
You can make your own pizza at home quite easily. Cut back on high-fat ingredients and add lots of low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables. Try these tips:
- Use a whole grain crust. You can purchase a pre-made whole wheat pizza crust, or make your own by substituting whole wheat flour for part or all of the white flour in your bread-maker pizza crust recipe. Whole grains add fiber which will keep you feeling full longer and is crucial for a healthy digestive system.
- Use lots of sauce. Tomato sauce is an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help to prevent some chronic disease.
- Cut back on the cheese. Although cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a lot of the calories of a pizza come from the cheese. Use just a light sprinkling of cheese, choose a lower-fat type of cheese to cut calories and saturated fat, or switch to a vegetarian cheese alternative.
- Don't use greasy processed meats. Pepperoni and sausage are high in fats, and processed meats are associated with stomach and colorectal cancer. Choose lean topping options, such as chicken or shrimp, or skip the meat altogether and make a vegetarian pizza.
- Load the pizza with vegetables. They're nutritious and low in calories, so use generous amounts of vegetables as toppings. Some delicious choices include sun-dried tomatoes, onions, broccoli, spinach, olives, spinach, peppers and mushrooms.
- Try these healthier pizza recipes:
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