You might be wondering if you’ve read the title wrong. Pizza, healthy? Maybe you think that sounds absurd. After all, it does seem to go against common wisdom. However, when eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet, pizza can be a healthy way to indulge your tastebuds. Here are four simple things you can do to make your pizza healthier:
1. Add more tomato sauce.
- Tomatoes, which are the main ingredient in pizza sauce, are high in Vitamin A and C, which are good for your eyes and immune system, respectively. The potassium found in tomatoes is also good for keeping your heart healthy. Tomatoes are also high in antioxidants such as lycopene. According to Medical News Today, antioxidants, such as those found in tomatoes, can help to prevent cancer.
- In order to cut calories while still keeping all the flavor, when you order a pizza, ask if you can substitute some of the cheese for extra sauce.
2. Substitute low- or non-fat cheese.
- Cheese, like all dairy, is a good source of calcium. Calcium helps to keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong, and eating enough calcium can help to prevent osteoporosis. According to the USDA, eating dairy can lower your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- When you order a pizza, ask to substitute low fat mozzarella for the full fat version. This will allow you to reap all the health benefits of cheese while lowering the amount of saturated fat that you eat.
3. Ask for vegetable toppings.
- The USDA recommends that people have five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Loading your pizza up with veggies is a good way to work towards your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Try new combinations for flavor fun– the possibilities are endless.
- Skip the pepperoni and sausage toppings and opt for vegetables instead. Your pizza will still be flavorful, but much healthier and lower in calories.
4. Consider gluten-free options.
- If you’ve made the choice to be gluten-free, you need not give up pizza. Many pizza restaurants have begun offering gluten-free pizza options. Gluten-free pizza makes it easy to stick to your gluten-free diet by offering an easy, delicious version of an old favorite that you can eat guilt-free.
- If you’re part of the population who has a sensitivity to gluten, then you know you can’t eat wheat products without uncomfortable physical side effects. Gluten-free pizza is an indulgence that you can have while still remaining healthy and symptom-free.
If you’ve made the commitment to live a healthy lifestyle, you can still eat pizza without guilt. Pizza is delicious and indulgent, but it has many redeeming, healthy properties. If you exercise and try to make good choices in your daily eating habits, you can certainly enjoy pizza, guilt-free, as a wonderful treat. These four tips will help you modify your pizza orders to suit your healthy lifestyle.