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Here are five strategies to making any pizza healthier:

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1) De-greasing your pizza really does make a difference! If your slice is glistening with grease, take a paper towel and blot the oil to get rid of extra fat and calories.

2) Cutting back on the cheese is a sure way to reduce the amount of saturated fat your pizza contains by as much as one third. Most pizza parlors pile on extra cheese anyway, so don’t worry- asking for a reduced amount of cheese will still leave your pizza with plenty!

3) Piling on the veggies provides you with lots of nutrients and not the calories that cheese and different meats contain. Be creative with your vegetable toppings and add a full range of color to your pizza for a satisfying and filling meal.

4) Nixing meat toppings like pepperoni and sausage can help you avoid high amounts of saturated fat. One ounce of pepperoni has about 130 calories and 11 grams of fat. In turn, meaty pizzas such as Pizza Hut’s Meat Lovers Pan Pizza (2 slices) have about 680 calories, 20 grams of fat, and almost 1,700 milligrams of sodium! If you can’t skip the meat, try limiting your meat toppings to one, and choose a lean meat like grilled chicken.

5) Asking for whole wheat crust isn’t uncommon anymore! Order whole wheat and skip crusts made with refined flour to reap the nutritious benefits of whole grains. Whole grains are known to help reduce cholesterol, provide loads of fiber, and keep you satisfied and fuller longer.

Dare to go beyond traditional pizza and be adventurous with your toppings, adding unusual vegetables and even fruit. Remember that no matter what you add or don’t add to your pizza, be conscious of portion size and limit yourself to one or two slices. Order a side salad before your pizza comes to fill up on low-calorie nutrient-rich greens. Making just a few simple choices the next time you order pizza can transform your slice from diet-bust to diet-friendly!

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