Slim Your Slice
The dish on pizza is that it's more fattening than most dessert pies. Learn how to slash the calorie count on your next piece
By: Karen Ansel, RD
Upgrade Your Pie
Photo Credit: Getty Images
If you auto-dial your local pizza joint once a week, you're not alone: Eighteen percent of Americans dive into a pie at least that often. The problem: Revised USDA guidelines single out pizza as the second highest source of saturated fat and third highest source of sodium in the U.S. diet. (Find out how to clean up your diet with this manual for inner and outer beauty!) But don't forgo this tasty and inexpensive meal option altogether. "The right toppings can transform a fattening grease bomb into a healthy meal," says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Top a store-bought whole-wheat crust or cheeseless takeout pie with one of these waist-cinching combos instead.
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Prosciutto and Goat Cheese PizzaHold the pepperoni and sausage. "Prosciutto is much leaner and provides the same meaty satisfaction without all the calories or grease," says Gans. Trade mozzarella for goat cheese and you'll get a mouthful of creamy goodness and 11 percent fewer calories. (Search: Simple ways to cut calories)
Make it: Layer 1 slice ready-made pizza crust with 1/2 cup diced tomato and 1/2 cup chopped arugula. Top with 1/2 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and bake in a 375ºF oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Per slice: 300 cal, 16g fat (5 g sat), 700 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 13 g protein
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Ricotta-Pear PizzaIf you like your slice on the sweet side, there's another option besides Hawaiian-style (that's pineapple and ham for the uninitiated). Try some nonfat ricotta sweetened with orange marmalade, a touch of honey, and slices of fiber-filled pears for a healthy meal that tastes like it could be dessert. (Video: Lose weight in seconds)
Make it: Spread 2 teaspoons orange marmalade over 1 slice ready-made pizza crust. Top with 1/4 cup nonfat ricotta and spread well to cover. Top with a third of a thinly sliced Bosc pear. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey and bake in a 375ºF oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until warmed through.
Per slice: 300 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat), 310 mg sodium, 54 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g protein
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Greek Pizza"Feta on pizza is a really smart choice," says Gans. "You only need a little to get a lot of flavor, which results in a huge calorie savings." Then there's a generous serving of veggies, including roasted red peppers and grape tomatoes, which dish up more than 40 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C. And that essential nutrient has been shown to assist with fat burning, according to research at Arizona State University.
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Make it: Top 1 slice ready-made pizza crust with 2 tablespoons drained roasted red peppers, 5 halved grape tomatoes, 5 halved pitted kalamata olives, and 1 tablespoon feta-cheese crumbles. bake in a 375ºF oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Per slice: 260 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 710 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein
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Barbecue Chicken PizzaYou don't have to weigh down your slice with meatballs or extra cheese to score a hearty serving of satiating protein. Reduced-fat cheddar and skinless white-meat chicken with a coating of tangy barbecue sauce keeps you satisfied—so you won't be tempted to polish off the rest of the pie by yourself.
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Make it: Toss 1/3 cup cubed grilled chicken breast and 2 tablespoons diced red onion with 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce. Spread evenly over 1 slice ready-made pizza crust. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in a 375ºF oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Per slice: 290 cal, 9 g fat (2g sat), 500 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 22 g protein
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Cheesy Fennel and Zucchini PizzaFennel is one of the ingredients that give Italian sausage its distinctive taste. Sprinkle it, fresh or dried, onto your pie and you'll get the flavor you crave minus all that unwanted fat and bloat-inducing sodium.
Make it: Sautee 1/2 cup diced fennel, 3/4 cup grated zucchini, and a pinch of hot pepper flakes in 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until fennel softens. Spread over 1 slice ready-made pizza crust. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 375ºF oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Per slice: 260 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 370 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 11 g protein
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Spinach Salad PizzaForget about ordering a side salad with your slice—you can just pile your greens right on top instead. This combo features blue-cheese crumbles, which add a big kick of robust flavor for a fraction of the fat you'd get from a standard mozzarella-loaded piece. And best of all, there's zero cooking required.
Make it: Toss 1 cup baby spinach with 1/2 cup sliced red grapes, 1 teaspoon pine nuts, 1 tablespoon blue-cheese crumbles, and 1 tablespoon light balsamic vinaigrette. Top 1 slice ready-made pizza crust with salad.
Per slice: 300 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 590 mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein
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