The 5 Best Frozen Pizzas, According to a Nutritionist
Yes, some frozen pizzas are way better for you than others.
Okay, let’s be real: Frozen pizzas aren’t “healthy.” But everything in moderation, right? And while frozen pizzas should probably be seen as more of an indulgence than a dietary staple, there are some options that are better than others. We asked a nutritionist for her frozen pizza recommendations, as well as what you need to keep in mind when you’re passing through the frozen foods isle of your grocery store.
“I would consider frozen pizza to be more of a splurge type of food,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, contributing nutrition editor for Health. “Frozen pizzas are highly processed. Because consumers value taste above nutrition, they’re designed to be as tasty as possible.” However, Sass continues, some brands are better than others, and a quick scan of the nutrition label can help you spot red flags and pick out the healthiest options.
One of the first things to check is the portion size. “Often the portion sizes recommended would not be in line with what most people would realistically eat,” points out Sass. When you read through the nutrition information, make sure you’re looking at the numbers for the whole pizza rather than, for example, a third of the pizza—if you plan on eating all of it.
Another thing to check out is the readability of the ingredient list. “Some pizzas have a really long ingredient list,” notes Sass. This isn’t ideal; it would be better if the back of the box looked more like a recipe you could make on your own than a long string of chemical terms. When you see those hard-to-pronounce words, you’re looking at an engineered pizza (rather than one made with more whole foods), which is “definitely a red flag,” explains Sass.
Lastly, be mindful of the toppings. This probably goes without saying, but veggie pizzas are preferable over those with processed meats on top, from a nutritional standpoint. A good way to keep an eye on your toppings ratio is to whip up a homemade pizza rather than purchasing a frozen one from the supermarket. This way, you can control exactly what goes into your pizza—from the dough to the sauce to the toppings. (You can even slim it down by opting for a cheese-less pizza or by sprinkling cheese on only half the pie.)
Ahead, five pizzas that Sass recommends if you find yourself stalling in the frozen pizza section.
Caulipower Veggie Pizza
Cauliflower crust can be a healthy alternative to regular dough, notes Sass. (That said, make sure you look at what the cauliflower is combined with. If cauliflower isn’t the primary ingredient, you might lose out on the health benefits.) What Sass likes about this Caulipower pizza is the nutritional label: “When you look at the ingredient list, it’s a lot more simple [and] kind of streamlined.”
Real Good Pizza Co. Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza
This one stands out because, while it's not a low-carb food, it doesn't have as many grams of carbohydrates as most comparable options, Sass says. Other benefits: It's topped with tomatoes and basil and is high in protein. If you want an even larger helping of veggies, opt for the brand's vegetable cauliflower pizza.
To buy: Real Good Pizza Co. Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza ($46 for 4; amazon.com)
Daiya’s Fire-Roasted Vegetable Pizza
You should definitely keep Diaya on your radar if you have dietary restrictions. “It makes some vegan and gluten-free pizzas,” says Sass. “Fire-roasted vegetable is a good option for someone who needs gluten-free,” she adds. Sass is a fan of this pizza, specifically, because the toppings are vegetables, and the crust is thin (which is another selling point for Sass).
Sweet Earth Natural Veggie Lovers Pizza
This one stands out because of its fiber content. “Fiber is another thing to look for if you’re trying to eat healthier,” says Sass. The reasoning? Fiber fills you up, meaning you might be satisfied after, say, half the pizza, and forgo the rest. Plus, fiber can help your body regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. Any way you spin it, “having some fiber is going to help,” she adds. Another plus: The Sweet Earth Natural Veggie Lovers Pizza has vegetables inside the crust as well as on top of the pizza.
American Flatbread Vegan Harvest
There are multiple benefits to this vegan option: The crust is thin, it comes with a fair amount of fiber, and it’s dairy free. Sass also likes that the ingredient list is simple, and that the ingredient quality is better than most.
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