Pizza has a reputation for being nutritionally unsavory: between its thick layer of dough, pounds of mozzarella cheese and a pile of greasy sausage or pepperoni, pizza is high in taste, but also delivers a whopping amount of calories and artery-clogging saturated fat.
While one slice of Pizzeria Uno’s Chicago Classic Pizza will cost you 770 calories and 55 grams of fat, pizza doesn’t necessarily have to derail your diet. Whether you make pizza at home or you have the local take-out joint on speed dial, you can slim down your deep dish with a few tips that will help health-ify your order.
Dough your research. Whether your pie is being delivered from a local joint or you’re making one fresh in your home oven, make an informed decision. Look up the nutrition information for pizzas at popular chains online and if you’re making homemade pizza, use CalorieKing.com or Sparkpeople.com to see where your favorite pizza toppings weigh in.
Think thin. When you can, choose thin crust over deep dish options to cut calories and carbohydrates from your menu. Less crust means less food which ultimately means fewer calories – and a thin, crispy crust can be just as satisfying as a pizza you can sink your teeth into.
Be a veggie-head. Skip toppings like pepperoni, sausage and meatballs. They tend to have lot of saturated fat (read: the not-so-good-for-you fat). Instead, opt for nutrient-rich bell peppers, eggplant, spinach and mushrooms.
Go with the grain. Even though enriched grains have some nutritional value, whole grains offer extra fiber which helps regulate body functions and prevent certain diseases.
Say no to cheese, please. Believe it or not, pizza without cheese can be hugely satisfying. Hot, stringy mozzarella cheese might sound like bliss, but the miles you’ll have to run on a treadmill the next day to compensate may not. Pizza with marinara sauce and plenty of veggies will taste great – without the guilt.
Try these healthy pizza recipes!