Pizza problems

We show you how to select pizza toppings that won't pile pounds onto your figure.

Healthy eating & diets

We’re not cruel, so we won’t suggest you give up pizza. But there are ways to make your slice healthier.

We all love pizza, but we don’t love packing on pounds. Because so many urban legends have developed over the years to ease/exaggerate our fears about the fatty dish, we separate fact from fiction – so we can dig in without loosening our belt buckles.

Blotting off the oil makes it healthier.
Yes, placing a napkin atop your slice to soak up the grease isn’t the most polite way to start a meal, but nutritionist and author Deborah Arneson says it’s definitely worth it. In fact, she recommends that everyone blot his or her pizza before eating it to remove all of the excess oil. You’d get rid of 40 calories and 4.5 grams of fat by soaking up just one teaspoon. The more grease you eliminate, the less you clog your arteries, Arneson says. If you can wring out your napkin afterward, choose a different place to eat.

Organic pizza is worth the extra cash.
Get your wallets out, folks. We can only really think of the Organic Foods & Cafe (Greens, 04 361 7974, Satwa, 04 398 9410) that uses solely organic ingredients, but if you eat pizza on a regular basis, we suggest you start seeking out these healthier alternatives. Organic pizza cuts out thousands of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemicals, Arneson says. In other words, organic is superhealthy.

All cheeses are created equal.
Nope, not true. Goat and sheep cheeses are not only less oily (and fatty) than mozzarella, but some people think they also taste just as good (in fact, we like them better). If your pizza shop doesn’t offer a fancy cheese selection, order your slice with ‘light cheese’ or ‘half the cheese.’ Going that route reduces the cheese content on a ten-inch pizza from about ten ounces to around three, cutting your fat intake from about 70 grams to 21.

Whole-wheat crust is healthier than white.
Big time. White crust has been so processed that it’s missing essential fatty acids, minerals and B vitamins. Get the good stuff back into your dough by requesting 100 per cent unbleached whole-wheat crust. While we’re on the subject of crust – we’re sorry to break the news – order thin crust instead of deep-dish to cut the fat in half.

Come on – it’s pizza. Meat-lovers versions aren’t that unhealthy.
Nutrient-rich veggies are not only better for you, but they also have about 80 fewer calories per slice than meaty toppers like pepperoni and sausage. If you think adding mushrooms and peppers ruins a perfectly good ’za, order them on the side, Arneson recommends. Or order a small salad-sans the thick, creamy dressing – to get some healthy (and filling) greens in your meal.

Forgo all the pizzeria table toppings in the name of a hot bod.
While you should lay off the Parmesan cheese, you’d do your health a favour by shaking some garlic on your slice, Arneson says. Studies show it lowers the risk of heart disease – so pack some gum on that date and pile on the garlic.

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