How can something that is made of white flour, topped with mounds of cheese, has processed meat covering its surface, and is loaded with a variety of other ingredients that are usually on the banned list, be healthy?
Well, there’s bad news and there’s good news. First the bad news: in truth? It can’t. That’s right, your typical pizza is a no-no in your eating plan if you’re trying to watch your weight.
But there is some good news. There is a way to enjoy a pizza without it causing too much trauma to your diet, and it doesn’t always mean you have to make it at home.
Six secrets for a healthier pizza
1. Limit the amount of crust you eat
A thick, loaded crust is not an option here. The more of the white crust you eat, the higher your insulin will spike, the worse your craving will be, and the more fat you’ll store because of it. You can minimise or even eliminate the effect the sugar in traditional pizza crusts has on your blood sugar and insulin levels: order a thin base or go wholegrain or flourless.
A thin crust pizza is just as tasty, while a flourless option can mean your base is made out of cauliflower or other veggies. Either way, you probably won’t miss the thick, doughy crust too much as you’ll still be satisfying your craving.
2. Share your pizza
Selecting a pizza or two between a group of friends can be a great way to eat less. It also gives you an opportunity to try different types of pizza, which can further satisfy cravings.
You don’t have to go hungry if you only eat two or three slices. Order a healthy side dish like a salad or plate of roast vegetables as well. The more fibre there is in your side dish, the fuller you’ll become in between slices of pizza. You can even add extra toppings from your side to your pizza, so it’s not only more nutritious, but delicious too.
Choosing a vegetable-based pizza is also a great option here as vegetables not only have some unique flavours, they’re far lower in calories than meat. If you order a chicken side salad, there’s your protein!
3. Change your meat
Meat on a pizza is a good idea as it helps to fill you up, but it’s the choice of meat that makes all the difference. Fatty and processed cuts of meat like bacon, ham, sausage, and mince can add unnecessary calories to each slice. Instead, opt for lean protein like chicken or turkey to complement your pizza. Seafood is also a good way to lower your intake of calories, so give that prawn, crab, and mussel pizza a try.
4. Lay off the cheese
A number of pizza takeaways ask if you want extra or double cheese and it’s best to politely decline if you’re watching your weight. If you want to take it a step further, ask for half the cheese — restaurants use so much cheese that you probably won’t even notice the difference!
If you’re ordering normal cheese, beware of adding feta to your pizza on top of that. Not only is commercially prepared feta full of salt, it’ll boost the calories of your meal. Stick to smaller amounts of cheese and add flavour with other, healthier toppings.
5. Get rid of the box
Eating straight from the box can be the reason you eat more. It’s like a huge plate and, if your brain is used to eating everything you dish up, you could finish the entire pizza without even realising.
Instead, remove a couple of slices from the box at a time and put them on a small plate. Leave the box in the kitchen so that you have to get up before eating more. This could help you to realise you’re full sooner and you’ll eat less.
6. Home-made pizza will always win
Making your pizza at home will be the healthiest of all. You can choose the type of flour you want in the base like swapping white flour for wholewheat flour or even stone-ground rye or spelt. Vegetables also make great bases; try our low-carb cauliflower pizza base.
Homemade tomato sauce will contain less sugar than commercial types and you can choose precisely the ingredients you want to add when you’re at home. It may be a little more time consuming, but your waistline will thank you for it. Besides, if you make a large quantity, freeze it in smaller portion sizes ready for the next time you feel like having pizza or add it to pasta dishes.
Pizza doesn’t have to leave you bloated and feeling like you’ve overeaten every time, use these tips to keep the calories to a minimum, which allows you to enjoy your pizza without the worry of packing on the pounds!
Republished from e|Care, an online portal for health and wellness by Health|Insite. Website: www.healthinsite.net. Tel: 0861 066 666