Keeping Pizza a Friend to Your Diet
By Donna Stark
I just read an article about eating better and one of the recommendations was to eat less pizza. Now, I don't typically eat pizza more than a couple times a month, but just the suggestion to eat even less than that made me a little anxious. I mean, come on, it's pizza. It's everyone's go-to for Friday nights, it's the ultimate birthday party food, it's Italian ... and don't we love all things Italian? So I thought, "Why deprive ourselves of what we love when we can instead just make it healthier?" So here I am, telling you that sure, you can eat less if that's really what you want to do, or you can choose to continue eating it in a healthier way!
Choose Healthy Over Greasy
The crust, that sweet tomato sauce, the gooey cheese, and the plethora of ingredients that can be tossed on top ... it's no wonder that pizza is one of the most popular meals around the world. Unfortunately though, it can also be one of the unhealthiest with all of the grease, carbs, and sodium that are hidden among those delicious flavor combinations. They can certainly put a damper on your diet, can't they? Here are some tips on how to make your pizza a lot healthier so that you don't have to completely eliminate it.
- Choose a healthy crust - Take some control of what you consume by making your very own homemade pizza. Choose whole-grain or gluten-free pizza crusts, or make a cauliflower pizza crust instead!
- Load it up with vegetables - Increase the nutritional and fiber content you consume by topping your crust with loads of vegetables. Choose fresh, organic produce such as broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach, and olives.
- Choose a healthier protein instead - Avoid eating processed meats like pepperoni and sausage and choose a healthier option like grilled chicken instead!
- Watch for hidden sugar - If making your own pizza, choose a tomato sauce that is either low in sugar or sugar-free. Or, you can skip the red sauce altogether and order a pesto or white sauce instead.
- Choose thin - Sure, that deep crust pizza is enticing, but by ordering thin crust instead, you are able to control your carbohydrate and caloric intake much better.
- Double-cut your slices - If ordering from a restaurant, it is always easy to request that your pizza be double-cut, and if making your own, go ahead and do it yourself. This is a great way to stay on top and in control of your portion sizes.
Pizza For Everyone
Thankfully, there are many ways to enjoy your pizza indulgence and to make it healthier without sabotaging your diet or its taste in the process. Just put a little thought into your choices. It's actually as easy to do as it is delicious!
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