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Pizza. Yes, Pizza.

Hey there my bariatric family, I can’t believe it has been three years since my gastric bypass surgery.  I am a changed woman, both inside and outside.  As many of you, it also means giving up some of the foods that put us on the road to obesity.  I love pizza, but since my weight loss surgery it doesn’t love me back.  However, I finally found a pizza that loves me just as much as I love it.  I will tell you why, but first let’s talk about pizza.

Some slices are nutritious and while others are nutritional nightmares.  You must know the different so that you can truly enjoy this loved food.  Let’s discuss some of the nutritional factoids.  Vitamin K plays a crucial role in helping your blood clot. The vitamin promotes bone health as well. A slice of most kinds of pizza doesn’t contribute a significant amount of vitamin K to your diet. Pizza made with a variety of fresh vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, have a bit more vitamin K but not a huge amount. Fresh pizza is a better choice if you want to retain the small amount of vitamin K the vegetables contain.  Pizza isn’t a sweet-tasting food, so you wouldn’t think it contains sugar, but it actually contains some.  Because women shouldn’t consume more than 24 grams of sugar a day, and men shouldn’t have more than 36 grams, it’s important to keep track of how much sugar you eat from all foods and not just from sweets such as soda and desserts. Too much sugar can cause weight gain, tooth decay and increased triglycerides, which raises your risk of heart disease. A slice of cheese pizza contains about 5 grams of sugar, and a slice of meat and vegetable pizza contains about 7 grams.

The nutritional value of your pizza depends on what you put on it. The sauce is made from tomatoes, which add vitamin C and vitamin A to your slice, but it can contain a lot of salt too. If you want extra sauce on your pizza, opt for a low-sodium version to get the nutrients without all of the sodium. Cheese pizza is lower in saturated fat than pizza with pepperoni or sausage, and it also supplies a good amount of calcium for strong bones and teeth. Vegetable pizza is even better because it contains vitamin C, vitamin A and more fiber than cheese or meat varieties. Pile on the peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and onions for a healthier pizza meal.

Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, rye and barley, as well as foods made with these ingredients. Traditional pizza crust is made with white or wheat flour, so these varieties do contain gluten. Though you don’t have many choices when it comes to gluten-free pizza, it does exist in certain supermarkets or at restaurants offering a gluten-free menu. If the crust is made with rice, soy, potato or bean flours, it doesn’t contain any gluten. Most toppings, including cheese, tomato sauce and vegetables, are naturally gluten-free.

Most people need between 46 and 56 grams of protein each day, and cheese is one way to boost your intake. However, as surgical weight loss patients, we need 60 grams of protein a day.  Protein helps your body repair itself, builds muscle and gives you energy. Cheese is a complete source of protein, which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids. The protein you eat is digested into amino acids to replace the protein you lose as your heart beats, your brain works and your muscles move you from place to place. A slice of cheese pizza supplies you with about 15 grams of protein.

We have to make smart and healthy, portion controlled choices for the rest of our life.  Well, thankfully, I have found a pizza that is bariatric friendly.  Hooray for pizza.  Dogtown St. Louis Style Frozen Pizza works for me.  It has no preservatives a thin crust and cheeses that are easy on my tummy and easy to digest.  My favorite is the sausage pizza.  As always, as bariatric patients, we must chew, chew, chew all of our food.  Doing so reminds us to slow down and therefore be conscious and therefor help with not overeating.  Enjoy and we will continue to look for food that will help satisfy and keep us on track.  We all know that pizza is truly a universal food that almost everyone enjoys, but not all pizza is created equal.  Dogtown Pizzas are gluten-free, no preservatives, and are all natural and nothing added, just a really good taste, even down to the sauce!

As a bariatric patient, we must focus on protein veggies and low carbs.  Dogtown Pizza has 19 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs and a total of 390 calories.  That’s the whole pizza so imagine sharing this with your family knowing that they’re eating something they love and NOT greasy, slimy, full of preservatives GMOs, and high calories.

Love the sausage!


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