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Pizza that Packs a HEART-Healthy Punch

It’s National Pizza Day! While you might think of pizza as a greasy, heavy food that doesn’t fit into your nutrition goals, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can turn pizza into a nutritional powerhouse with some simple swaps.

Leave the pepperoni and sausage and try leaner grilled chicken for protein. Some pizzerias are even offering plant-based sausage (although this is not significantly lower in sodium than regular sausage). You can always skip the meat altogether; the cheese on the pizza provides all the protein you need!

Swap the thick crust for thin. Thick crust pizza contains many more calories and carbohydrates. By changing to a thin crust, you can cut calories in your pizza by almost half. Thinking about cauliflower crust? You may save carbs, but it is often similar to thin crust in terms of calories.

Steer clear of white sauce, and opt for red sauce or pesto. Red sauce contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and the antioxidant lycopene. Pesto is great too, as it’s often made with heart-healthy olive oil.

Instead of plain cheese pizza, use it as a vehicle to get more vegetables in your diet! Add peppers, mushrooms, spinach, fresh tomatoes, olives and onions. So much flavor with lots of nutrients and very few calories!

Round out the plate with a healthy side dish. Add a big salad (be mindful of the dressing) or a plate of crunchy carrots and celery with dip.