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BeFIT Resources

Health & Wellness Tip of the Week 8/20-8/26/2012

- Posted in Health & Wellness Tips

Homemade Pizza BeFITting Any Occasion!


Forget the bad reputation that pizza has.  If prepared right, pizza can be a healthy choice.  A pizza made with a little effort can be filled with complex carbohydrates, calcium, protein, vitamin A, B-vitamins, and vitamin C.  When you are creating your own pizza at home use these tips to stay on the healthy side.

1. The Crust Is Your Foundation

A healthy pizza starts with the crust.  There are endless possibilities when you are choosing the crust for your pizza.  You can try homemade or store-bought crusts; you can use pita pockets, English muffins, flat breads, or tortillas.  We suggest using whole-grain breads or crusts because they will add fiber, vitamins, and nutrients to your pizza.

2. Spread It Around

The tomatoes in the pizza sauce are an excellent source lycopene.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant thought to protect against several cancers, heart disease, and possibly bone loss.  And research has shown that cooking the tomatoes boosts its nutritional value by increasing the amount of lycopene the body can absorb.  There are a variety of flavorful; low-sodium jarred versions of pizza sauce available at your local grocery store.

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Being Cheesy

When it comes to cheese, you can use part-skim mozzarella, part-skim ricotta, or you can try the reduced-fat varieties.  Cheese is full of protein, fat, calcium, and vitamins and minerals that keep muscles and bones strong and healthy.   We always suggest blotting off some of the extra grease with a napkin to save even more calories and still retain the traditional taste and texture that you are used to.

4. Pile It On

As you know many health benefits of fruits and vegetables exist, and that is why you should eat as many as you can every day.  So, don’t be afraid to load up on the vegetables and fruit toppings for less fat, fewer calories, more fiber and more vitamins A and C.

5. For The Meat Lover

When you are choosing meats for your pizza, always opt for leaner cuts of meat such as ground turkey breast, extra lean ground beef, grilled chicken breast, or lean ham.   Make sure you always drain the excess fat out of the pan; this will reduce the amount of fat and calories.  Try to stay away from the fatty meat toppings like pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and prosciutto; they are a waste of calories. (One serving of pepperoni is about 140 calories and 12g of fat)