Pizza. It’s one of America’s most beloved foods. However, with obesity, diabetes and heart disease on the rise, a lot of folks are looking for ways to cut back on the fat and cholesterol. Pizza doesn’t exactly have the reputation of being the healthiest option on the menu.
The great news is, if you’re trying to eat healthier, you don’t have to cut pizza out of your diet. Of course, if you would rather greasy pizza loaded with cheese and sausage, then well, you will have to make a few sacrifices. But do not fear, you can still get a great tasting pizza by making a couple of simple changes to your cheesy, greasy pie.
Every great pizza starts with a great crust. But a great crust doesn’t need to be thick, greasy and gooey.
The best way to guarantee a healthy crust is to make your dough at home rather than ordering take-out. Making homemade pizza crust provides you the control over the components. Here are a few tips for making healthy pizza crust in home:
Use whole wheat flour rather than white.
If you’re not ready for full wheat, consider using 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour.
Use 1/2 of your ready dough, and set the 1/2 half in the freezer or fridge for another day.
Roll the dough out to get a thin crust, rather than thick.
Limit using melted butter on the crust, or use a low-fat alternative or olive oil.
Of course, it’s not always possible to make a home made pizza, so if you find yourself buying a pizza at the frozen food department or a restaurant, look for these choices:
This will almost always save you on fat and calories.
Wheat crust, or other low-fat crust alternative.
Opt for a smaller pizza as it’s way too easy to have too much of a fantastic thing.
Pizza sauce can be fairy easy to make at home by taking some fresh berries, including some herbs and olive oil in a blender and mixing well. You could also use store-bought sauce, but careful to look at the label. Pizza sauce is notoriously high in sugar, so look for a low-sugar alternative or stick to creating a simple sauce at home.
Try and stay away from Alfredo and cream sauces. Stick with mixed fresh berries or use a light drizzle of olive oil in lieu of standard pizza sauce.
Here is where you can easily convert a gut-busting pizza into a more figure-friendly pizza.
The majority of us love cheese, and plenty of it. But by cutting back on the amount of cheese on your pizza, you are shaving off plenty of calories and fat. This is hard to do with delivery and restaurant pizza as most places love to pack on the cheese for extra flavor, so again, try creating your pizza at home using thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is one of the more lower fat cheeses and goes great with pizza (and a drizzle of olive oil instead of pizza sauce).
Unless you’re vegetarian, then you probably like meat in your pizza. If you have to have it, use only lean meats like ground sirloin or lean beef. For an even healthier option, use chicken or turkey in your pizza.
Needless to say, loading up your pizza with veggies is your very best alternative for a healthier, lower fat option. Piling on the green peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach leaves and olives will fill you up quickly without the fatty meats and cheeses.
You can be very creative with your veggie toppings. Try using asparagus, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, hot peppers and roasted corn to load on flavor. Use your imagination!
Yes, healthy pizza is possible!
There is no reason altogether to give up pizza if you’re making healthier food choices. Simply make some wise decisions when ordering pizza, or try to only eat homemade pizza… where you control the ingredients.
A few more simple tips…
Dab your pizza slice with a napkin to soak up extra grease.
Practice portion control! Limit yourself to two slices of any pizza. Difficult to do, but a must! If you are craving that meat lover’s pizza, indulge yourself now and then, just don’t overdo it and remember portion control.
Enjoy that pizza!