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Any Way You Slice It: The Healthy Way To Get Your Piece Of The Pizza Pie

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Believe it or not, one of the most “complete” foods around is pie, pizza pie that is. Offering everything from carbs to lycopene (in the sauce), dairy (cheese), protein (anchovies or meats) and plenty of other nutrients (replete with veggie toppings), it gives us all our food groups in one. Still, this “doughy” delicacy is also often laden with fat and calories and depending on the slice you choose calorie content can range from 150 to 320 to 530 per slice.

Put, according to experts, even those who are counting calories can have their pie and eat it too. They note that just “one” small ordering adjustment can mean “big” savings. For example, ordering a thin-crust pizza trim about 30 to 120 calories per slice when compared to thicker hand-crafted crusts. Also, looking at more than mere calories, you can up you fiber intake by opting for whole-wheat alternatives to your favourite foods/pie curst.

Cheese is yet another ingredient that you need to keep track of. Sure, in moderation it offers ample amounts of essential protein, but it’s important, say experts, to note that not all cheeses were created equal. With that said, they suggest steering clear of adding on a little extra since it can mean up to 30 extra calories per slide. Instead, experts suggest ordering “half cheese”, meaning requesting only half the normal amount of cheese and not cheese on only half the pie. But, with that said, it’s important to know where you’re ordering from, since, say experts some companies (such as Domino’s), already use less cheese and offer up to 70 less calories than even other commercial thin-crust pies. They go on to suggest comparing nutrition information of your favourite chains and restaurants simply by visiting their Web sites or by asking for nutrition information at the counter.

Proceed with caution when it comes to toppings such s high fat meats including sausage, hamburger, and pepperoni, all of which contain high calorie content and cholesterol-raising saturated fat. Also, since they fall in the red meat category, studies have linked them to increased risk of colon cancer. Not to mention that compared to pizza topped with healthy veggies, each slice of meat-packed pie contains about 100 to 150 more calories per slice.

Veggie toppings, while your best bet won’t however give you your daily serving of essential greens. Even with lycopene packed saucy slices you’ll need a few to equal one serving of veggies. So, experts suggest pairing your piece of the pie with a little salad on the side.

Last but not least experts suggest keeping track of your portions. Even healthier options can add up if you “overindulge”. Take note of not only how many slices you grab but the size of each. One slice from a 14-inch (“large”) pizza means about 80 to 120 calories more than a similar slice from a “medium” 12-inch pie. Experts also suggest taking what you want and putting away the rest. They note that having just enough on your plate, and the rest “out of sight and out of mind”, more than likely means overall you’ll eat less.

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