On Wednesday, October 16, it’s RVNA Day at Eddie’s Pizza & Pasta in Ridgefield, CT, with 10% of all sales going to RVNA. Here’s why you should partake!
By Meg Whitbeck MS RDN
Who doesn’t love pizza? The timeless combination of crust, sauce and cheese satisfies even the pickiest of eaters. Pizza is the perfect combinations of textures, flavors and has that precious intangible — the satisfaction factor. I could go for a slice right now! The thing is, pizza is also known for its ability to pack on the calories and fat with every amazing slice. If you are watching your weight, sodium intake or cholesterol – pizza can be a food that derails you.
Let’s start with some facts. The average slice of cheese pizza from a 14” pie (a pizzeria small pie) contains 240 calories, 10 grams of fat (15% RDA) and 640mg (26% RDA) of sodium. Along with that comes 24% of your daily saturated fat and a dash of cholesterol as well. Nutritionally, it brings some protein and calcium to the equation – but that is about it. When you add toppings like pepperoni, meatball, bacon, prosciutto, extra cheese, you can go ahead and start adding even more calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol. Two slices from a small cheese pie (or 1.5 slices from your classic large pie) will set you back 500+ calories and well over 1200mg of sodium.
That is not healthy.
But it is so good.
This is how I operate as a dietitian and human being who loves food: enjoy in moderation. Life is too short to skip a night out at Eddie’s Pizza & Pasta with the soccer team because of a little sodium.
Here are some tips to make sure you can still have your pizza and eat it, too.
- Start off with a garden salad with vinaigrette dressing. Making sure that you get in at least two cups of fresh veggies before your pizza will help to add fiber, vitamins, and nutrients to the meal. Plus, that salad might begin to fill you up, helping you to avoid overeating the pizza to come.
- Order an ultra-thin crust when available. Eddie’s* makes a fabulous thin crust. This decision can save you about 75-100 calories per slice, depending on what size pie you order.
- Go light on the toppings. Order your favorite pizza, but say “light on the toppings, please.” This way you get the flavors that you seek without the full dose of calories and fat. Cutting back on some of the cheese will slice off some sodium from that whopping 640mg/slice as well.
- Order a veggie pizza! Onion, pepper, eggplant, mushroom, broccoli, spinach, tomato… they are all healthy, low calorie and delicious atop a thin crust, sauce and cheese.
- Skip the deep dish, meat lovers, and super-decadent pizzas. Save the hamburger for the grill and the bacon for breakfast. Simple is delicious, too.
- Share. Eddie’s has some amazing menu items that aren’t pizza and that aren’t super-high in calories, fat and sodium. Order a garden salad, thin crust pie (light on the toppings!), and shrimp cognac to feed three adults happily and more healthfully. Want to step it up? Request that they use only a little bit of salt when seasoning the shrimp cognac and go light on the cognac sauce.
- For a completely guilt-free pizza experience, join us on Oct. 16th, when Eddie’s Pizza is graciously donating 10% of sales that day to RVNA. Let’s see how much we can earn together!
See? You are still headed out to a delicious dinner, eating pizza AND working towards achieving your health and wellness goals.
Want to learn more about how to tweak your nutrition decisions to better your health?
Call RVNA and book a session with one of our amazing dietitians for a personalized, one-on-one session. 203-438-5555!