But I Just Want Some Pizza!?!

by in Dining Out, Healthy Tips, October 23, 2009

Pizza is a popular on-the-go lunch or dinner choice and a staple at kids’ birthday parties. I’m not one to resist a tempting slice (it’s my favorite food, second to chocolate), but I can enjoy one without overindulging — here’s how.

Nutrition Lowdown
Every restaurant has their special recipe to create that slice of heaven. Some places use more dough per slice while others pile on the cheese or oil. Because of this, you’ll find a slice of plain cheese pizza ranges from 250 to 700 calories. Check out the restaurant’s nutrition information, if it’s available, before you order. If there’s no nutrition breakdown provided, one basic calorie-saving choice is to opt for thinner crusts and go light on the stuff piled on top (unless it’s veggies).

Avoid Topping Overload
Pile on loads of pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese and you also add an additional 200 to 400 calories per slice. Skip those super high-calorie ziti-topped pizzas or cheese-stuffed crusts. Instead, go for veggies such as broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, onions or tomatoes. With about 25 calories per half-cup, you’ll get some extra vitamins without much additional fat and calories. If you can’t imagine your pizza without pepperoni, ask the restaurant to half the amount.

Some places offer specialty veggie pies, but those aren’t always a safe bet. Before you order, ask what’s on it — many pizza shops load them with dressings or lots of cheese. White pizzas (made without tomato sauce) are another variety that can go either way — they’re a good choice when they have just a touch of olive oil and basil, but aren’t the best when topped with tons of cheese and oil.

Need more than a slice? Rather than downing a personal pie, order a side salad, a side of veggies or a small piece of grilled chicken.

Making Your Own
You can also make your pie — that way you control the toppings and the calories. When I need to satisfy an urge, I make a quick and delicious English muffin pizza with some shredded mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, olives and a touch of hot sauce. Dana’s smaller-sized Vegetable Snack Pizza is another portion-savvy choice.

Don’t have time to prep one at home? Try shopping for these smarter frozen varieties.

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Comments (5)

  1. magnesium says:

    Pizza is my favorite food and I like to eat different types of pizzas very much.Thank you very much for sharing this health tips with us.I will consider it for my health.You have done a good job.

  2. Becky says:

    Personally, too much cheese can cause migraines, so I started making my own pizzas several years ago. Martha white and Betty crocker both make a mix for pizza dough that requires a half a cup of water and 5 minutes to make, which is a great pantry staple! One package makes enough dough for two personal thin crust pizzas. When split, we can personalize each pizza, less cheese and more mushrooms for me, a little more prociutto for him. Not to mention, pizza is refridgerator velcro. Toss on that little bit of leftover chicken, the last of the peppers or whatever you have that needs using up. Throw them on the grill for 5-7 minutes and voila! Great meal, in less time than delivery and heck of a lot better for you!

    We've also used this method for parties where dietary needs are varied. Again, everyone makes their own, just have a topping 'bar' and someone to man the grill for a little bit. Works like a charm, and takes a lot of the pressure of the host, since everyone is involved in the prep work.

  3. Cari says:

    I like to use the high fiber pita bread or low carb tortillas as a crust too…they work great and you are able to customize your pizza. Also, when dining out for pizza, using the napkin to dab of the excess oil and grease really does help.

  4. grossesse says:

    Hi Toby,
    Great post !!! I love this idea. This is very nice information. IExcellent post, and pictures. I like this post and I love pizza !!!!

  5. Jen says:

    I enjoy making my own whole wheat crust pizza and throwing in basil, parsley, garlic, and a splash of olive oil in the mix. My favorite toppings include skim milk mozz, chicken, and pineapple. Or I'll just stick to chicken and spinach, too.

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