What to order in pizza restaurants if you’re watching your weight.

What to order in pizza restaurants if you’re watching your weight.

Although pizza isn’t included in most diets, it is a food that many dieters crave.  Ordering a large sausage and pepperoni with extra cheese is a great way to sabotage your diet.  But you don’t have to forgo pizza completely if you want to lose a little weight.

You just need to know what to order if you do go out to pizza restaurants.  As a rule, the crust has more calories than anything else, so going to pizzerias that offer thin crust pizza is a good start.  The pizza dough that they use in Naples, the home of the original thin-crust pizza, contains nothing but flour, water, and yeast, so it doesn’t have any fat.  And it’s rolled out, pulled, or tossed until it’s very thin.

Some pizzerias now offer whole wheat crust, which is a better choice nutritionally.

A thin-crust should be crisp, almost like a saltine, so you can’t pile on a lot of pizza toppings or it gets soggy.  In Naples pizza restaurants, cheese is also used sparingly, which further reduces the calories.  A little thinly sliced, fresh mozzarella tastes great and goes a long way.

Cheeses that are grated, like Parmigiano Regianno and Grana Padano have a lot of flavor.  And feta and goat cheese are also cheeses you only need to use a little of.   Staying away from greasy, salty cheeses like processed mozzarella will make your pizza healthier.

Marinara or tomato pizza sauce is usually low in calories and fat, but pesto sauce, which is made with olive oil, is high in fat, and al fredo sauce is even worse.  Or you can bypass sauce altogether and just get crushed tomatoes.

If you like meat on your pizza, choose a lean one like ham, prosciutto, or grilled chicken instead of sausage or pepperoni.  Then add lots of vegetables.  The fiber in the veggies will help you feel full without adding too much fat or too many calories.  Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and artichokes are all good choices.  Sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts than are packed in oil add fat, so avoid them.

Although white pizzas usually have healthy veggies like spinach or broccoli, the sauce and cheese on these pizzas often makes them a bad choice.

These tip should help you eat healthy the next time you go out for pizza.

Find more diet tips at http://bestpizzatoppings.com/2010/01/good-pizza-toppings-for-dieters.  And find the top pizza restaurants in Chicago at http://bestpizzatoppings.com/2010/03/chicago’s-best-pizza-restaurants.

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