Celebrate National Pizza Month from the Crust Up

October is an exciting time full of changing leaves, football and, of course, Halloween. Did you know Halloween is one of the five most popular days during the whole year to order pizza? It’s no wonder the month has been deemed National Pizza Month! With the holidays right around the corner, you don’t have to shy away from pizza to save on pounds. In fact, pizza can be a healthy part of any diet with the right ingredients.

Here are my best tips to build the healthiest pizza from the crust up: Crust Make a crust with whole-wheat flour or buy one of the many pre-made whole-wheat crusts in the grocery store. If you’re feeling creative, you can make a pizza crust with whole-wheat English muffins, pitas or even tortillas. The whole grains in the crust will help increase the fiber content and B-vitamins, which are important for energy.

Sauce There are great many store-bought pizza sauces available, which are packed with nutrients from vegetables. You can also make your own sauce.  If your family is adventurous, try using a milk-based white pizza sauce like this Roasted Garlic White Pizza Sauce recipe. The milk boosts the protein level, along with providing eight additional key nutrients.

Cheese Despite common myths, cheese can be part of a healthy diet with its flavorful package of protein, calcium and more. Natural cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss and mozzarella are naturally low in lactose and a great choice for those with lactose intolerance.

Toppings Most people’s favorite part of pizza is what’s on top. And as a registered dietitian, I love the opportunity to add toppings like lean meat, vegetables and even fruit to help round out the healthy dish. Try some of our delicious pizza recipes here:

What is your favorite way to enjoy pizza? Share with us at @TheDairyRD.

Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD

Lanier