We all know we’ll never stick to healthy eating if we deprive ourselves of the things we love. And I love pizza, so I decided to find out if there were any teeny, tiny ways I might be able to make it that little bit healthier.
And it turns out, there is! There’s a few ways, actually, as nutritional scientist and chef Toral Shah explains. And most importantly, none of them are likely to ruin the deliciously doughy, cheesey taste we all know and love.
Changes to make if you’re ordering pizza in/out:
1 Order thin crust instead of deep pan
Avoiding deep pan pizzas saves both calories and carbs. Plus, deep dish pizzas often have a lot more toppings and cheese.
2 Blot away some of the oil
Many pizza chains use a hard cheese which releases quite a lot of oil when the pizza is baked. Each teaspoon of oil has about 40kcal and 4.5g of fat i it, so taking a second to blot some of it away reduces the calories and fat content.
3 Eat it from a plate not a takeaway box
Eating food from a smaller plate tricks the brain into thinking it has eaten more, so you’ll be full sooner.
4 Cut your slices smaller
It works similarly to eating from a smaller plate.
5 Avoid certain toppings
Steer clear of fatty sausages and pepperoni, extra cheese, creamy sauces and stuffed crusts to save on the amount of fat and calories you’re consuming.
6 Add certain toppings
This is the perfect opportunity to load up on vegetables and make up to your 7 – 9 a day, and to increase your nutrients intake. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives, courgettes, aubergines are all great for this. Parma ham and other lean meats are also good sources of protein and flavour.
7 Don’t order a stuffed crust
Yes, it looks and tastes delicious, but a stuffed crust is often filled with cheese or butter which will only increase the calories and the fat content.
8 Order with less cheese than normal
If you can request to double up the serving of cheese on your pizza, it’s likely you’ll be able to opt for a half-portion. This would save extra saturated fat and calories.
Changes to make if you’re preparing pizza yourself at home:
9 Use whole wheat flour if you’re making your own dough
White flour is refined, which means the wheat has had its fibrous shell removed, leaving just the starch inside. Our bodies quickly turn this into sugar. But if you use whole wheat flour – a complex carb – you get all the nutrients and it’ll leave you feeling fuller for longer.
10 Make your own tomato sauce
Home-make it using tinned tomatoes, as ready made sauces often have a lot of sugar. Add in onions, carrots and other vegetables for a vegetable loaded sauce.
11 Add greens as a pizza topping
Spinach, kale, chard, rocket will all give you an extra nutrient hit.
12 Use fresh buffalo mozzarella
Not only does it taste 372649 times nicer (an estimate), but it’s only about 22% fat and is packed with protein, unlike cheddar cheese, for example, which is 45% fat. Feta, ricotta or goat’s cheese are also good lower fat cheese options.
This article originally appeared in Cosmopolitan.co.uk
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