Is pizza healthy?
With loads of tasty ground meat and mushrooms, thick parmesan and skimmed mozzarella cheese, plump seasoned dough and three succulent ounces of sliced turkey pepperoni, who says it is? While this mouth-watering Italian meal is becoming America’s favorite comfort food, we can find ways on how to get rid of such a caloric nightmare and re-invent your pizza experience from what is considered junk, to less fat and more flavor.
So how a healthy pizza should look like?
From what was first limited to garlic, sauce, little cheese and herbs, there have been countless varieties of pizza nowadays depending on sizes and flavors – count in Hawaiian, Pepperoni, Seafood, and Philly Cheese Steak and in humungous and monstrous sizes we just love. But as soon as we imagine the countless calories and the saturated fat behind those thick slices with cheese and savory meat, chances we immediately think that it will screw up our diet – then that love for pizza can slowly turn into hate.
But please do not feel that you have to make yourself hate pizza for being unhealthy because there are hundreds of ways to tweak it and make it healthier. Here are some simple steps.
Crust? Go Whole Grain. The regular white crust is high in saturated fat and thus, very unhealthy. For a healthier substitute, look for a whole wheat crust in your local grocery store, or replace white flour with wheat flour. Whole grains contain fibers which leave you feeling full for a long period of time, making you less likely to eat as many slices of pizza at one sitting. Now it is available to buy Boboli already made pizza style bread made from 100% whole wheat. Also, note that Trader Joe’s sells whole wheat pizza dough in a ball that all you have to do is roll it out with a rolling pin.
Top it Off Healthy! Don’t start off with ordering a pie with greasy red meat because there are loads of other options out there with rich flavor and less calories. Take onions, light on the black olives, pepper, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and chicken if you want to have some meat in it with less calories than beef, ham, pepperoni, salami and sausage. This doesn’t look like your typical pizza joint, but believe me, your taste buds won’t notice.
Low Fat Cheese, Please. Although cheese is a rich source of calcium, there still are loads of calories in it. To cut these calories and some saturated fat, choose low-fat varieties, or sprinkle just a little if you want to use your favorite brand. When you buy your own pie crust of course you can purchase low fat mozzarella cheese. Notice when you buy pizza at your favorite place there is always a lot of oil floating on top. That oil comes mostly from the cheese as well as the oil in the pizza sauce. I tell my clients to either mop it with several napkins or hold it upside down so that the oil will drop off.
Interestingly, the pizza sauce will contain the anti-oxidant, Lycopene, which is present in cooked tomatoes. In studies it has been proven to be indicated for helping in the prevention of prostrate cancer and chronic diseases.
Healthy Pizza Tips When Dining Out
When dining out, it is easy to binge on pizza without noticing you’ve already consumed half the pan. That is a no-no. So whenever you go out into a pizza parlor with friends, eat mindfully at least and heed these simple steps.
Pizza can be included as a part of your healthy family meal. Be creative and transcend your ordinary pizza pie into a healthy, tasty delight. Have a guilt-free indulgence with America’s favorite comfort food. Try out a healthy pizza recipe tonight.