Economical, tasty, fast. The ever-popular pizza is a hard food to say goodbye to forever when starting your diet. But don't despair--you have lots of chances to keep enjoying it without adding calories to your routine.
The nutritional value of pizza obviously varies according to its ingredients. From a diet perspective, homemade ones are the most highly recommended, since you can control the amount and quality of the ingredients you use.
The same products found in a traditional pizza can become even healthier if low-fat varieties are used. For example, instead of a high-calorie piece of mozzarella you can choose a low-calorie kind. You could also use lean ham, or cooked chicken or turkey, which are lower in fat and salt than pepperoni. Other condiment alternatives for your homemade pizza could include natural tuna packed in water, diced tomatoes and various vegetables and fresh produce such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms or artichokes.
Homemade pizza dough contains basically complex carbohydrates (just like bread, rice, pastas or beans/peas). If you add animal-based ingredients you'll get your protein quota, and vegetables will give you fiber and minerals.
Another essential piece of advice is to grill your pizza instead of baking it in the oven, producing what the big pizzerias call "thin crust," which is of course less fattening.
Now, if you don't have time to make homemade pizza and you have to fall back on a fast-food chain restaurant, remember the golden rule--1 ingredient. The following steps will help you not regret your one "pizza impulse" night for the whole week:
Choose the kind with the thinnest crust and only 1 topping.
Don't be tempted by offers like "two for one" or "buy one large, get one medium free." Always get a medium pizza. Unfortunately, there aren't thin-crust doughs for individual pizzas.
Take your 2 slices and give away the rest. Whatever it takes, don't have leftover pieces in your refrigerator.
Don't fall into the trap of overdoing it in some other way to make up for the fact that you're eating pizza. Drink diet sodas, and for dessert--forget about ice cream or cakes. Remember the fruit you bought the day before.
Truth be told, if you follow the advice above, you'll be eating pizza that more closely resembles the way it was eaten in ancient Italy and Greece--baked bread covered only with tomato. The Spanish introduced Italy to the the tomato, now an Italian cooking staple, after returning from Mexico and Peru in the 16th century.
The word "pizza" comes from the Latin "picea," which the Romans used to describe the consistency of flat bread when baked. Modern pizza originated in Naples, Italy, where it became a popular food. In 1895 a Neopolitan immigrant named Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizzeria in the United States, in New York City.
With this historical background and the very best advice, you'll see how you can make progress with your diet. Go for it! And if you feel you need that little push, don't hesitate to contact our experts, who are here to help.
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