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Chain Founder John Schnatter Says Eat Less Pizza

John Schnatter On Pizza

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's, one of America's largest pizza chains, has offered some good, but unexpected advice to his customers. He has suggested they need to limit themselves to only one or two slices.

During an interview on BBC's Radio Four program in the United Kingdom, John Schnatter, said, "No. Pizza's actually healthy for you if you don't eat too much of it. You can't eat five or six slices but if you eat one or two slices it's very nutritious."

John Schnatter opened his first shop in 1985, after selling his beloved Camaro to buy his first pizza oven. There are now more than 3000 restaurants worldwide.

Pizza is not normally known for its health benefits. Pizza with thick, cheesy toppings can push up the calorie count.

The Dietary Guidelines describe a healthy diet as one that

* Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;

* Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and

* Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

A few simply ways to follow those guidelines include:

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* Toss some mandarin orange, pear or peach slices into a salad.

* Add chickpeas, black beans or garbanzos to your lunch or dinner salad.

* Try something new for breakfast. Munch on leftover vegetable pizza or make a smoothie blended from exotic fruits, low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ.

* Stir-fry extra-firm or firm tofu rather than meat in oriental dishes.

* Grill fresh vegetables for a quick and healthy side dish.

* Vary your salad greens and enjoy the multitude of flavors and textures. Choices include arugula, chicory, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach or watercress.

* Take advantage of healthy side dishes offered at fast-food restaurants. Instead of french fries, choose a side salad with low-fat dressing or a baked potato. Or add a fruit bowl or a fruit and yogurt option to your meal.

* Decrease the meat portion on your plate and increase the serving size of vegetables. Use three times as many vegetables on pizzas or in casseroles, soups and stews.

* Expand your grain repertoire with whole-grain complements, such as kasha, brown rice, wild rice, barley or whole-wheat tortillas.

My Food Pyramid (United States Department of Agriculture)
Mayo Clinic
American Heart Association