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Nutrition Articles  ›  Meals and Food

Healthy Pizza with PIZZAZZ!

Your Taste Buds Won't Know the Difference

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
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Who doesn’t like pizza? Nearly every mouth waters at the thought of sweet tomato sauce, tangy toppers, and that rich golden-brown crust, baked to perfection. This combination food can be a healthy choice, filled with complex carbohydrates, B-vitamins, calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C. However it often ends up being an indulgent, high fat, calorie-packed nightmare. Whether you're starting from scratch, opening a convenient frozen creation, or placing an order at your favorite pizzeria, the following pizza pointers will surely come in handy.

Consider the Crust
Crust is the foundation of your pizza, so be creative and open your mind to new crust possibilities, such as lower calorie versions. Keep in mind that whole-grain breads or crusts add fiber and additional nutrients to your pizza as well. 

Type of Crust
Calories
Homemade, 1/4 of 12"
164
Plain bagel, 2 oz.
163
Pita Pocket Bread, 1
106
English Muffin, 2 oz.
135
French Bread, 1/4 of loaf (4 oz.)
318
Ready-Made Crust, 1/8 of 12"
150
Tortilla, 1
170
Spread It On
Pizza sauce is loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid thought to protect against several cancers, heart disease, and possibly bone loss. Many tasty, low-sodium versions are now available.
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • PAULCOHELLO
    I love pizza!!! Here in scottsdale there are a lot of options, and of course the homemade option is great. Sometimes you just want to get a good old fashioned chicago style though. Am I right?

    http://barrospi
    zza.com - 11/13/2012 3:49:23 PM
  • NINJA_SMOO
    We almost always make pizza from home (delivery perhaps once a year). For some reason people think from scratch is hard or time consuming but that's so not the case. Pizza crust is very easy to make, and if you mix the dough first, by the time you've finished chopping veggies, the dough has risen and is ready to be thrown. Occasionally we grill meat and chop it finely to put on top. We don't really eat sandwich meat anymore - and I don't miss it. A homemade pizza piled high with veggies and fresh herbs: Delicious! - 9/27/2012 10:33:39 AM
  • I make amazing pizza from scratch (whole-wheat dough & flavorful sauce without the added sugars). Yes, there's a bit of labor involved - but honestly, the flavor is unbeatable.

    While I'm fairly generous with the cheese and dough for the family's pizzas - I make a personal pizza for myself. I weigh out a 5 oz. portion of dough, 1.5 oz of mozzarella, and really max out on the veggies (red onions, red/green/yellow&
    orange bell peppers, black olives, tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, and artichoke hearts). The 1.5 oz of cheese is just enough to act as a cohesive for all the veggies without weighing down the pizza with added calories and fat.

    After I roll out the dough to where it's not too thin and not too thick - I get a very generous sized personal pizza. In fact, while I can eat the entire pizza if I wanted - I'm often too full after 1/2 of the pizza and a big plate of salad. I don't feel deprived or as though I cheated - it's a very well balanced, healthy meal! - 9/14/2012 1:12:00 AM
  • I love healthy pizza even more than the traditional! - 5/2/2012 8:54:14 AM
  • My favorite frozen pizza is Publix Greenwise Spinach and Feta. It's 210 calories for 1/3 pizza, or only 315 for half. - 3/5/2012 6:17:15 PM
  • I have discovered Flatout Whole Wheat Flatbread for 100 Calories. I use it for my crust. I put it in the toaster oven to crisp it ever so slightly so it is a little stiff to load up with my pizza sauce and veggies. I use 1 TBSP of grated Parmesan and Romano cheese. This is a wonderfully filling and flavorful treat for just about 200 calories. - 3/1/2012 11:26:50 AM
  • CINDYKC2000 I love your idea of wholewheat flour pizza crust with flax seed added. I've been making my own bread and pizza crusts for a while now. This would certainly give me another way to make this occasional treat a bit more healthy. For sauce I generally use a good quality, no salt added, tomato puree with a good helping of oregano, ground garlic, parsley and basil. Toppings usually include fresh sliced tomato, sauteed onion and a small quantity of cheese. - 3/9/2011 7:34:17 AM
  • I love homemade pizza!! There are so many different ways to make it. - 2/1/2011 8:49:20 AM
  • I love making healthy pizza using a low calorie (71), low carb, high fiber (12) tortilla by Ole. Sometimes I use those 100-calorie whole wheat sandwich thins by Arnold. - 12/8/2010 12:22:23 PM
  • CKAY22 asked for suggestions for healthier sauces on pizza - I use Italian tomato puree combined with some thoroughly drained tinned chopped tomato, mixed with dried oregano and olive oil.

    I have pizza once a fortnight - it's a real treat then. - 12/8/2010 5:04:54 AM
  • Thanks for the information. I just had pizza last night :) Now I know how to make a wiser choice. - 8/22/2010 9:50:55 AM
  • JHALBER1
    This article was great. I LOVE pizza so "thank you." I am going to try the spinach, feta pizza. - 8/19/2010 9:55:16 PM
  • For a delicious homemade sauce, I use 1(15 oz) can of tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp each of Parsley flakes, sweet basil, oregano, & garlic. For spicy pizza add 1/4 tsp pepper. Bring it to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.
    My family loves pepperoni, so I place it between paper towels and microwave it for 30 seconds/until crisp. It takes out most of the fat and the crispy pieces will soften up when baked in the pizza sauce. - 8/19/2010 12:24:55 PM
  • Trader joes has some wonderful pizza dough. I have to use more if it. :) - 8/19/2010 10:44:05 AM
  • Does anyone have any suggestions for healthier sauces to put on a homemade pizza?!!??!?!?! - 8/19/2010 9:11:55 AM