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Sharp Health News

Build the perfect pizza (infographic)

Oct. 8, 2015

With its versatile mix of sauce, cheese and toppings, pizza is a beloved staple of the American diet. If you're worried about the fat and calories in your favorite pie, follow these simple tips from Sharp registered dietitian Ursula Ridens to boost your pizza's health benefits.

Build the perfect pizza (infographic). Why fight your passion for pizza? Instead, build a better one with these healthy topping options from Ursula Ridens, a registered dietitian at Sharp. There’s nothing like hot, delicious pizza, Ridens says. Go beyond the traditional pepperoni pizza and get creative! Explore different combinations of ingredients that can boost your health and taste amazing. Start smart. Use a whole wheat crust. Thin or traditional style, a whole wheat crust is high in fiber. White pizza crust has less than 1 gram of fiber per serving, while whole wheat crust has 4 grams of fiber per serving. This will keep you satisfied longer. Get saucy. The tomatoes in marinara sauce are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Or you can use a pesto sauce, which is made with olive oil, a heart- healthy monounsaturated fat. More cheese, please. Mozzarella cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. If you’re worried about the saturated fat, choose part-skim cheese or sprinkle your pizza lightly. Let’s talk about toppings. Pair spinach with high-vitamin C ingredients – like tomatoes and bell pepper – which help improve the absorption of spinach’s iron. A Mediterranean favorite, artichoke hearts are high in potassium – great for managing blood pressure.	The prebiotics in onion, garlic and endive nourish your body’s good bacteria, improve digestion and boost your immune system. Bell peppers and tomatoes and both high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in the body. Olives are high in monounsaturated fat. This helps lower LDL, or bad cholesterol. Packed with protein and fiber, pine nuts contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats to help improve your cholesterol.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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