Tips to make that frozen pizza choice a healthier meal option

Usually the biggest concern with pre-packed or heavily processed foods is the sodium content.

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When it comes to frozen pizza, opt for thin crust and veggie toppings to help curb the amount of salt and fat content.

When it comes to frozen pizza, opt for thin crust and veggie toppings to help curb the amount of salt and fat content. And add your own vegetables to make the pizza more filling.

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Pizza, the number one go-to on a busy night and often considered “junk food” by many.

Considering it is created with a basic dough, simple tomato sauce and calcium-filled cheese, it doesn’t necessarily have to be off limits, especially if you make it yourself.

But where do all of those flat boxes of pizza that fill almost an entire aisle of the grocery store fit in, nutrition-wise?

Usually the biggest concern with pre-packed or heavily processed foods is the sodium content. Considering you’re eating pizza as the main part of your meal, you can afford a bit higher sodium content than you might look for in a side dish or snack.

High sodium content is largely a product of the processing because sodium-containing ingredients are often added as flavor enhancers. However, it is also, in part, due to the fatty, salty meats and cheese. Therefore, forgoing the meat toppings and extra cheese can help keep this a bit lower. Fortunately, this adjustment can also help reduce the calories and saturated fat. As an alternative, look for lean meats like chicken if you can’t skip it altogether.

Keep these tips in mind when grabbing your next frozen pizza or popping one into the oven:

Let’s talk toppings. Stick with veggie toppings to provide a little nutrient boost while not spiking the calories or saturated fat content.

Do some math. To lower the calories, fat and sodium, try eating less than a serving size. Add a salad or some fruit to round out the meal and help fill you up.

Crusts. Stick with the thinner and unstuffed crusts to help keep the calories, saturated fat and sodium in check.

Environmental Nutrition is the award-winning independent newsletter written by nutrition experts dedicated to providing readers up-to-date, accurate information about health and nutrition.

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