Are you thinking about eating pizza this weekend? You’re not alone. A USDA report (1) found that 1 in 8 Americans consumed pizza on any given day, with the most consumed by children and adolescents. Males were found to consume pizza more frequently than females. (Believe it or not; they study this stuff!)
The report found that pizza contributed to ¼ of daily calorie intake, but also 1/3 of the daily intake of sodium. How can you make pizza healthier? Here are some tips.
1) Choose lean meats, or go veggie! Meats like pepperoni, sausage, ham, and bacon add lots of fat, sodium, and calories to pizza. Choose diced grilled chicken instead. If you can go without meat, try loading up your pizza with veggies (or fruits!); lots of flavors and almost calorie and sodium free!
2) Go Whole (Grain): If whole grain crust is an option, try it out. Whole grains provide more fiber and are easier on blood sugar than traditional white (or stuffed) crusts.
3) Think Thin (Crust): Thin crust means lower calorie and lower carbohydrate; most of the carbs in a pizza come in the crust. It’s not necessary to go no crust, but you could experiment with cauliflower crusts or even making your pizza on whole grain tortillas.
Get a recipe for flatbread pizza here. Lavash Flatbread Pizza from Skinnytaste.com
4) Hold the (Extra) Cheese Please: Pizza cheese is a good source of calcium, but too much adds lots of calories, fat, and sodium. Ask for “light on the cheese” when you order from a restaurant, or add just enough to make yourself happy when you make it at home.
5) Portion Control: Pizza is an easy food to overeat, it seems. Pair your pizza with a large salad or a crudité plate. You’ll fill up on the healthy stuff, and have less room for another slice!