Cheese, sauces, and crusts... Oh My!
Guest blogger: Sandra Chavez, B.S. Dietetics student at sf State
- Avoid white sauce – these are creamy sauces made with cheese and heavy cream which can incorporate higher saturated fat
- Choose marinara instead!
- Go for thin crust – avoid stuffed crusts and even some regular crusts. Thin crusts add an extra crunch with plenty of room for toppings
- Bonus: choose a whole wheat crust and add fiber to your day!
- Choose a small pizza to keep portions in check.
- Larger pizzas have more calories, fat, and sodium per slice than small.
- Skip the personal pan! Although the custom pie is enticing, those individual treats can have more calories than just a couple of slices of pizza
- Opt for less cheese. Traditional pies have sauce as the main topping and cheese playing a smaller role: it is added as spots on the pizza rather than a whole layer.
- Frozen pizza? Choose a lightly topped one and add vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, or colorful peppers at home (these can even be purchased pre-cut at the grocery store)
- Love spice? Add red pepper flakes for a kick without adding too many calories
- Try DIY!
- Experiment with your family making your own pies at home. Pizza dough can be bought pre-made with just toppings to be added
These tips can help you make a better decision when choosing pizza for dinner. The best tip I can offer is to have pizza in moderation and avoid using it as a regular meal. The convenience of it can draw us to pick up a pie often, but keeping the healthy swaps in mind it is possible to include pizza as an occasional dinner.
Powell, L., Nguyen, B., Dietz, W. (2015) Energy and nutrient intakes from pizza in the United States. Pediatrics, (135)2. pp 322-330. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-1844