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Make a Yummy Low Fat Pizza
There was this line in a movie (I can't quite recall which) that said "Fatless, salt-less, sugarless… and tasteless" or something to the same effect. This actually reflects a quite popular sentiment in this day and age of health consciousness. People who wish to be healthy or who want to lose a few pounds are of the belief that they have to sacrifice taste if they wish to achieve their desired weight or health goals. Naturally, tasteless yet healthy foods don't lend itself well as a substitute for tasty yet rich foods to which we have been accustomed. As a result, people who go on a low fat diet usually find themselves reverting to old habits sooner or later.
Nevertheless, while it is true that majority of health and low fat foods being sold in the market do tend to be bland, this is not applicable in all cases. If nothing else, there is such a thing as a yummy, low fat pizza. Yup, a delicious low fat pizza is definitely possible. In fact this article will instruct you on how to make one. All you need is a proper understanding of what constitutes healthy, low fat food and how to apply such principles into making your pizza.
The Principles of a Low Fat Diet
Understand one thing: low fat doesn't mean non-fat. These two are entirely different things. Low fat means you reduce the amount of fat in your diet. This means that less than thirty percent of your daily calorie intake should come from fat.
A low fat diet also means a reduction in the amount of unhealthy fats in your diet. By unhealthy fats, we are referring to saturated fats (which are unhealthy because they raise bad cholesterol levels) and polyunsaturated fats (which are unhealthy because they reduce the amount of ALL types of cholesterol and do not discriminate between good and bad cholesterol). Each of these two types of fat must consist less than ten percent of your daily calorie intake. Monounsaturated fats, on the other hand, are the "healthy fats" because they promote good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels. Such healthy fats, however, should still only comprise less than fifteen percent of your daily calorie intake.
Reduction in the amount of fat and reduction in the amount of unhealthy fats are the basic principles of a healthy, low fat diet. If you reduce the amount of fat intake but consumes only or mostly unhealthy fats, then you are, technically, on a low fat yet generally unhealthy diet.
A low carb diet is not the same as a low fat diet. A low fat diet can be one that has high carbohydrate content whereas a low carb diet can have a high fat content. With careful planning, however, it is possible to combine a low fat diet with a low carb diet.
There are debates as to which of these two types of diet is healthier. Definitely, a low fat diet that reduces the intake of unhealthy fats is healthy. However, if your goal is to reduce weight, a low carb diet is more effective in the short run. Nevertheless, a low carb diet can lead to more side effects and can be unhealthy in the long run whereas the low fat diet, although apparently not as effective as a weight reduction measure in the short term, is more effective as a weight maintenance measure in the long run.
Now that the definition of a low fat diet has been discussed, and the low carb and low fat diet have been sufficiently differentiated, it is time to apply such tenets. Get your pizza pan and wooden spoon ready. It's time to make our yummy, low fat pizza. Take note that we are going to make real, homemade pizza - not something that simply looks and tastes like pizza.
How to Make a Yummy Low Fat Pizza
The secret to making a low fat pizza is finding out the fat content of your usual pizza ingredients, finding a low fat substitute, reducing overall fat content, and adjusting the other ingredients and the cooking procedures to reflect the changes. You need not compute the calories in pizza to make a low fat pizza.
Low fat pizza dough
The change should start with the pizza crust. Whether you are making a thin crust or a thick crust, you should always focus on how much fat content your pizza crust recipe has. For instance, the basic pizza dough recipe has the following ingredients: flour, yeast, water, oil/shortening, milk, salt, and sugar. To make pizza crust relatively low in fat content, therefore, you must check each of the ingredients and find substitutes when applicable.
In the easy pizza crust recipe indicated above, it is easy enough to find low fat substitutes. First, you should use vegetable oil instead of animal fat or butter as your shortening in your pizza recipe. Of all vegetable oils, however, it is best to use olive oil which has the highest amount of monounsaturated fat content. Avoid palm and coconut oil as these have higher saturated fat content. Next, you should use dry, non-fat milk solids to replace regular milk.
Aside from replacing the ingredients that you can with their low or non-fat substitutes, you should also reduce the total amount of fat in your pizza dough recipes. Use as little oil as possible in your pizza dough. Moreover, do not use egg yolks even if your traditional homemade pizza recipe calls for it.
Substituting olive oil for butter or shortening should not result in any drastic changes. In fact, you can use extra virgin olive oil for a stronger olive flavor. If you prefer your crust to be creamy, you shouldn't worry since you are using milk on your dough anyway. The above ingredients should therefore give you great-tasting, low fat pizza.
Now, if you want to make an even healthier pizza dough, increase fiber content by using whole wheat flour instead of the usual white flour; reduce the amount of salt and sugar, too. Then, you can decrease carbohydrate content by opting for a thin crust pizza (less carb per slice) or reducing the amount of flour. To compensate for the less flour, you can use egg whites as binder (of course, amount of water must be reduced in proportion to the amount of egg white used).
Pizza Toppings and Pizza Sauce Low Fat Pizza
It is much easier to choose pizza toppings for a low fat pizza recipe. You should primarily choose vegetable toppings. Thus, a vegetable pizza is preferable. For variety, you can add fruit and make it a vegetable-and-fruit pizza. You can find a vegetable pizza recipe or a fruit vegetable recipe online; you can also create your own.
No-cheese pizza is best, but if you really must have cheese, then find low fat cheese or find a low fat cheese blend that you can live with. Moreover, less cheese is best. Use just enough cheese to give your pizza flavor; I'm afraid that cheese pizza is generally out then.
Tomato sauce is healthy, but you should choose one with a lower salt and sugar content. If you want, you can make your own. You can even dice up your own tomatoes and use them as toppings. Finally, substitute lean meat to your fat-laden sausages; use white meat (without the fat portions) instead of red meat. Add herbs and herbal pizza spices to add flavor and taste to your low fat pizza.
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