When you start a new diet, one of the first obstacles you face is thinking about all the foods you love that you will have to give up. Maybe you enjoy a donut with your morning coffee and hate to give that up. Maybe trips to various fast food restaurants are what you look forward to when your lunch break finally comes at work.
Whether you love burgers and fried chicken or look forward to your cupcakes and candy, dieting typically involves giving up something you love to eat. One type comfort food that is particularly difficult for most of us to live without is pizza, but it does your diet absolutely no favours.
There are alternatives available such low calorie diet-friendly pizzas like the Keto pizza but how diet friendly are they? Read on to find out how many calories in a Keto pizza, specifically the Keto pizza crust and if it really is diet friendly. Please be sure to read till the end to get your Keto pizza recipe.
Calories In Your Average Pizza
Let's first look at your typical pizza, whether you like deep dish or thin crust, carryout or delivery, frozen or homemade, a typical slice of restaurant or carryout pizza contains between 400 and 470 calories, between 20 and 28 grams of fat, and 33-38 grams of carbohydrates. You may not realise but the pizza crust has the bulk of the calories!
Those types of nutritional facts are a true diet buster: that one slice of pizza contains somewhere around 20% of your daily recommended calories and more than 40% of your daily recommended fat intake and at least 15% of your daily recommended carbohydrates on a typical 2000 to 2,500 calorie diet.
Now those nutrition facts are for just one slice of pizza and how many of us stop at one (or even two) slices of pizza? However as more and more of us have taken the plunge in to dieting, creative chefs have been inspired to make new, healthier versions of our favourite foods to curb cravings and help us stick to our diets. For Keto diet followers, this news is especially encouraging.
The Basics Of A Keto Diet
The Keto diet is an eating plan designed to put your body in to a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a state where your body uses fat (and some protein) as a primary fuel source as opposed to carbohydrates. In order to reach this state, a dieter follows a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fat eating plan. A typical Keto diet will be in a ratio of just 5% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 70% fat.
Processed and sugary foods are discouraged on the Keto diet as are most products made with flour such as bread, pasta, and traditional pizza crusts. Unlike most traditional diets, foods like bacon and ingredients like butter are not to be avoided as their fat content is welcomed on the Keto diet.
Many followers of the Keto diet find that they have more energy when their body converts to running on fat as opposed to carbohydrates. The Keto diet has also shown to help those suffering from type II diabetes or prediabetes as it reduces the body's reliance on insulin and helps to keep an individuals blood sugar low. Of course, the Keto diet is also known to be extremely effective for weight loss with many followers of the diet noticing quick results.
What Can You Eat On A Keto Diet?
A typical keto diet consists of wisely selected foods from each food group. Since fat is a key component of the keto diet, we will start there. Just be sure to avoid margarine and any oils or sprays that contain artificial trans fats. Good fat sources for cooking and flavoring dishes on the Keto diet include:
As for proteins on the Keto diet, look to incorporate plenty of beef, especially grass fed beef, fatty fish like salmon, and dark meat chicken. If you are like me and prefer chicken breasts or lighter fish, it is recommended that you add a sauce that contains fat to your meal. Bacon is a fine choice on the Keto diet as well, but should be eaten in moderation.
One thing to avoid is any sugary sauces that can accompany protein such as ketchup, barbecue, or honey mustard.
For fruits and vegetables, avocado, spinach and other leafy greens, and asparagus are some of your best choices while you should avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn and sugary fruits like raisins.
For beverages it is best to stick with water, almond milk and plain tea. An occasional zero calorie drink or coffee is fine but avoid sodas, fruit juice, and lemonade.
A Typical Day On Keto:
Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs, 2 slices of bacon , water or tea
Lunch - Keto Chicken Caesar Salad (Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, Parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing) Almond milk
Dinner - Lettuce wrapped Cheeseburger, asparagus, water or tea
Snack - Greek Yogurt and almonds
Keto Pizza Nutritional Facts
Ok we come to information you've been waiting for, there are 36 grams approx. of carbs, 58 grams of protein and and 120 grams of fat in one Keto pizza crust.
Due to the presence of 16 grams of fiber, your net carbohydrates for the entire cheese crust would be approximately 20.
A half cup of Keto friendly pizza sauce would add approximately 6 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat. A cup and a half of cheese would add approximately 2 grams of carbohydrates, 50 grams of protein, and 60 grams of fat.
Let's say you top that pizza with 30 pepperonis for an additional 0 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of protein and 27 grams of fat. Your pepperoni Keto cheese crust pizza will have a total of 44 grams of carbohydrates (28 net carbohydrates), 125 grams of protein, and 212 grams of fat.
The total calories in this pepperoni Keto cheese crust pizza will be approximately 2,600. A serving size is said to be 1/6th of this pizza, so you are looking about 433 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of protein, and 35 grams of fat per serving.
These macro-nutrients easily fit in to a Keto diet enabling Keto followers to enjoy their pizza without breaking their diet.
How To Make A Pizza That Fits Into Your Keto Diet
With all the carbohydrates in a slice of pizza, it is hard to imagine pizza fitting in to the low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat directives of the Keto diet.
The Keto diet typically recommends that a follower consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. In a typical slice of pizza, there are 33-38 grams of carbohydrates.
That means that anywhere from 2/3 to 3/4 of your carbohydrates for the day would be consumed in that one slice of pizza.
Good luck sticking to your diet for the day if you have just one slice, and if you cave in and grab a second slice you are already over your daily allowance of carbohydrates.
What you need is a low carb pizza crust.
It's All In The Keto Pizza Crust
The vast majority of the carbohydrates in pizza come from the crust. The first thing everyone can do to lower their carbohydrate intake when eating pizza is to choose a thinner crust. In general, the thinner the crust, the fewer the carbohydrates, so look for thin crust options when ordering pizza.
Unfortunately, even the thinnest crust regular pizza is not a great fit for Keto diet followers. Due to pizza crust typically being made with white flour and being high in gluten, it by nature is going to have too many carbs to be a regular part of a Keto diet. The secret to a healthier crust for Keto diet followers is still in the crust, but it is not in the size of the crust.
Keto Pizza Ingredients
Instead, a keto friendly pizza changes the ingredients in the crust to vastly lower the carbohydrate count. A keto pizza crust replaces the typical white flour, sugar, and yeast with ingredients like Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, almond flour, coconut flour and butter.
There is even a cauliflower crust version of keto pizza which uses cauliflower as the base to make a surprisingly satisfying pizza. The end result with any keto pizza recipe will be higher fat and protein than your typical pizza with far fewer carbohydrates.
A typical slice of keto pizza will contain 5-6 grams of carbohydrates while a slice of the cauliflower crust version can contain as few as 3 net carbohydrates after accounting for the fiber in the cauliflower.
The changes to the crust of the pizza result in a reduction of carbohydrates by 80-90% ! Whether you choose the keto cheese crust or the low carb cauliflower crust, you can follow your keto diet and enjoy pizza without the guilt!
Endless Variety Of Keto Pizzas
While I recommend the Keto cheese crust pizza, you can also choose to make a Keto friendly crust out of a cauliflower base. The cauliflower based crust will have fewer calories and slightly fewer carbohydrates than the Keto cheese crust, but also less protein and fat.
Another option to consider is swapping out your traditional pizza or tomato sauce for an Alfredo sauce. An Alfredo sauce can be made with Keto friendly ingredients like heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Serve the Chicken Alfredo pizza with a healthy vegetable like asparagus. Try a chicken Alfredo pizza if you are a Keto dieter who is a pasta lover and missing their chicken Alfredo pasta.
If you like things spicy, a Buffalo chicken pizza is another fun alternative. Simply mix Frank's Red Hot and butter over a medium skillet to make a Buffalo sauce to replace the traditional pizza sauce. Next, top the pizza with both mozzarella and blue cheese as well as some almond flour "fried" chicken. Consider serving the Buffalo chicken pizza with carrots and celery to complete the traditional Buffalo wings style meal. The Buffalo chicken pizza would make for a great game day treat for any Keto dieter!
Finally, if you are fan of cheese, I'd suggest a cheese lover's pizza! Simply make your traditional Keto cheese crust, add your sauce, and top with all your favourite cheeses. Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, Feta, Cheddar, and/or Monterrey Jack, you can't go wrong no matter what you combination you choose. Pair your cheese lover's pizza with a spinach salad topped with walnuts for some extra crunch.
Keto Cheese Crust Pizza Recipe
So we come to a full Keto pizza recipe you can create, even if like me you are a novice in the kitchen.
6 oz shredded Mozzarella
5 table spoons of butter
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup of keto friendly pizza sauce
1 and 1/2 cups of Mozzarella
30 Pepperoni slices
Keto Pizza Crust
- In a large saucepan melt the cheese and butter together over low heat. Stir them together.
- Remove from heat and add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the egg and stir all the ingredients together. Use a rubber spatula to really knead the dough.
- Sprinkle a counter with coconut flour and place the dough on the counter and knead the dough.
- If dough remains sticky add 2 tbs of almond flour.
- Place the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll to about 12 inches.
- Remove top piece of parchment paper and transfer dough to pizza stone or cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes look for the dough to start to brown.
Once you have removed your dough from the oven, you can top your pizza starting with the sauce. You will need about 1/2 cup of keto friendly pizza sauce, or 1/2 cup of Alfredo Sauce or about 1/3 cup of Buffalo sauce.
Next consider your cheese. You will need about 1 and 1/2 cups cheese for your pizza. This can be all one cheese or a mixture of cheeses. Consider Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, and/or Cheddar.
Finally, add your toppings. About 30 pepperoni is a good number for a pizza of this size. If you would like to make a sausage pizza, about 3/4 of a pound would work well. If using chicken it would be similar to the sausage about 3/4 of a pound. For most vegetables, 3/4 of a cup is a good guideline.
Now that the keto cheese crust pizza is sauced and topped, it goes back in the over at 350 until the cheese is melted and caramelized to your liking. The next step is the best one: enjoy your keto cheese crust pizza knowing that you are sticking to your low carbohydrate lifestyle by making a healthy (and delicious) choice!