Pizza. It is one of America’s most beloved foods. But with obesity, diabetes and heart disease on the rise, a lot of folks are searching for ways to cut back on the fat and cholesterol. Pizza does not exactly have the reputation of being the healthiest option on the menu.
The great news is, if you’re trying to eat healthier, you do not need to cut pizza out of your diet. Of course, if you would rather greasy pizza loaded with cheese and sausage, then well, you’ll need to make a few sacrifices. But don’t fear, you can still get a terrific tasting pizza by making a couple of simple adjustments 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 healthier crust is to make your dough at home rather than ordering take-out. Making homemade pizza crust gives you the control over the components. Here are a few tips for making healthier pizza crust in home:
Use whole wheat flour instead of white.
If you are not ready for full wheat, try using 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour.
Use 1/2 of your prepared 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 the use of melted butter on the crust, or use a low-fat alternative or olive oil.
Naturally, it is not always possible to make a home made pizza, so if you find yourself buying a pizza at the frozen food section 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 since it is way too easy to have too much of a good 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 can also use store-bought sauce, but careful to check at the label. Pizza sauce is notoriously high in sugar, so try to find a low-sugar alternative or stick to making a simple sauce at home.
Stick with mixed fresh berries or use a light drizzle of olive oil instead of standard pizza sauce.
First off, the cheese. The majority of us love cheese, and plenty of it. But by cutting back on the quantity of cheese on your pizza, you are shaving off plenty of fat and calories. This is hard to do with restaurant and delivery pizza since most places love to pack on the cheese for extra flavor, so again, consider creating your pizza at home using thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is among the more lower fat cheeses and goes good with pizza (and a drizzle of olive oil rather than pizza sauce).
Unless you’re vegetarian, then you probably like meat on your pizza. If you have to have it, then use only lean meats such as ground sirloin or lean beef. For an even healthier option, utilize chicken or turkey on your pizza.
Of course, loading up your pizza with veggies is your very best option for a healthier, lower fat choice. Piling on the green peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach leaves and olives will fill you up quickly with no fatty meats and cheeses.
You can be quite creative with your veggie toppings. Consider 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 are making healthier food choices. Simply make some wise choices when ordering pizza, or try to only eat homemade pizza… where you control the ingredients.
A couple more simple tips…
Dab your pizza slice using a napkin to soak up extra grease.
Practice portion control! Limit yourself to two slices of any pizza. Hard 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!