Pizza and parties go together. And, there is no party pooper here, because there are many ways to enjoy pizza that are nutritious, healthy, and can be good for your diet planning as well.
There are just a few things to keep in mind for making a happy and healthy pizza meal!
- Choose whole grain crust if possible or make your own. If you use readymade pizza dough, add some wheat germ to the dough. Whole grains add fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer and helps keep a healthy digestive system.
- Cut back on cheese or use low-fat cheese, including Parmesan and low-fat feta, instead of full-fat mozzarella.
- Avoid greasy processed meats such as pepperoni and sausage, which are high in fat and associated with certain cancers. Substitute turkey bacon, or choose lean chicken, shrimp, tuna, soy crumbles instead of hamburger. There is also a soy substitute pepperoni available that is quite tasty, and almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Tomato sauces can be healthy, but when buying pizza sauce to make your own, check labels for oil content and avoid those with corn syrups which add unhealthy carbohydrates.
Going Out for Pizza
If you are going “out for a slice” or pie with the family, you can still make some better pizza choices.
It may not look so delicate, but do try to “blot” some of the excess oil from the top with an extra napkin or two.
Again, instead of the sausage or pepperoni, stick with the veggies. Veggies are great on pizza, so go for 3 or more. Any veggie or combination is a go: fresh or sun-dried tomato, broccoli, olives, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and spinach.
Healthy Pizza With an International Flair
Weight loss research shows that diet compliance drops when an eating plan becomes boring, so pizza is a great rescue plan with its myriad of possibilities.
Just take a look at what some countries more traditionally put on their pizza:
- India– tandoori chicken
- Brazil – green peas,
- Russia – mockba (a mixture of sardines, mackerel, salmon and onions)
- Greece – veggies and no cheese
- Japan – squid, and tofu!!!
Pizza does not always have to be a traditional large pie. Simple, nutritious, healthy pizza is perfect on whole wheat or multi-grain pita or whole grain English Muffins.
For healthy nutrition and low carb diets, you can make a unique pizza crust. You may not flip your pizza, but you may flip for these pizza crust ideas—great nutrition, low carbohydrate.
Unique Lo Carb Vegetable Pizza Crust
300g. grated zucchini or cooked spaghetti squash—pressed out and well drained
2 beaten eggs (or equivalent egg beaters)
150g. shredded low-fat mozzarella
Combine zucchini, eggs, water, and add flour, salt and cheese. Spread onto pie pan or pizza pan coated with spray or lined with parchment. Bake 230C about 8 –10 minutes until almost done. Top with your ingredients and bake 200C until done.
Note-this crust will be a soft frittata-type crust.
There are other healthy grains besides whole wheat. When making pizza crust, you can use soy flour or flax meal.
Unique Lo Carb Flax Meal Crust
180g. flax meal
10g. baking powder
5g.salt, 5g. oregano (optional 5g garlic powder)
45ml. olive oil
Set oven 220C. Mix dry ingredients. Mix all wet ingredients with dry. Let sit 5 minutes to thicken. Spread in pan. Bake 15-18 minutes until cooked. Add your toppings and bake until done.
Low Carb High Protein Crust
120g soy flour (or whole wheat, soy, wheat germ mixtures to equal 120g.)
60g. protein powder
5g. garlic powder, 5g. oregano, 5g. sugar, 2 eggs, 45ml. olive oil, 60 ml. water. 5ml. xanthan gum
Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. (You may need to add a bit more water). Spread onto pan sprayed with oil or covered with parchment. Bake 10-14 minutes at 190C.