Pizza is one of the most popular food items in the United States. Although often associated with fast foods and junk food, the passion for pizza lives on. According to published statistics, 93 to 94% of Americans consume at least one pizza per month. In addition, each man, woman and child in the U.S. eats, on average, 46 slices or 23 pounds of pizza per year. Unfortunately, meat toppings are the most popular of all toppings available, particularly pepperoni. As a nation, we consume over 251,000,000 pounds of this thinly sliced deli meat annually. Other popular pizza toppings include sausage, as well as some vegetables, mainly mushrooms, green peppers and onions. There are nearly as many versions and types of pizza as restaurants that offer it. While it can derail your diet, it doesn’t have to. Even on a weight loss diet, you can and should enjoy your favorite foods once in a while, as long as you monitor your caloric intake and stay within a range that allows you to meet your body weight goals.
How many calories are in a slice of pizza?
Unfortunately, there is not one simple and straightforward answer to this question. So many factors affect your pizza’s calorie count. Some of these factors include: size of the pie and your slice, crust thickness, selection and number of toppings, amount of cheese (and the fat content of the cheese) and even the recipe. You can always look up your favorite pizza chain’s nutrition information online for exact numbers. One slice can literally range from 120 (for a thin-crust with skinny toppings) to over 1,000 calories (thick crust with meat toppings).
As far as ballpark figures go…a slice of your typical 14” thin-crust fast food pizza, weighing about 63 g, topped only with sauce and cheese, provides about 192 calories, 10 g fat, 17 g carbohydrates and 9 g protein. Make the same 14” cheese pizza a thick crust slice, weighing 106 g, and the extra dough pushes the calorie count up to about 288 per slice plus 12 g fat, 33 g carbohydrates and 13 g protein. A slice of 14” regular crust or hand-tossed cheese pizza (103 g) provides about 270 calories, 10 g fat, 34 g carbohydrates and 12 g protein. Not all 14” thin-crust pizzas are equal. One slice of a Papa John’s thin-crust cheese pizza (87 g) provides 257 calories, 14 g fat, 23 g carbohydrates and 11 g protein. Keep in mind that these average stats are for a cheese pizza, no meat toppings. Choose a slice of thin-crust pepperoni-loaded pizza (1/8 of the pie) and you’ll average 280 calories, 13 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates and 13 g protein. Meat and veggie topped pizzas range in the 180 to 300 calorie range for one slice of thin-crust.
What is healthy pizza?
A healthy pizza is one that is modified (homemade, store or restaurant variety) to be healthy. What is healthy? By definition, the term ‘healthy’ is reserved for food items that are low in total and saturated fat, meet no more than 20% of the Recommended Daily Value (DV) for cholesterol and sodium and 10% or more of the DV for vitamins A or C, protein, calcium, iron or dietary fiber. Sodium is typically the hardest factor to control. Start by preparing or choosing a thin-crust pizza on a whole-wheat crust, if possible. Use or request less cheese (part-skim mozzarella) and, if you are preparing the pizza at home, use less sauce or choose reduced-sodium canned tomato sauce. Add your own herbs and seasonings to the sauce and go for vegetable toppings. Another option is going with a Lean Cuisine® or Healthy Choice® French bread style pizza. While you may not be able to stop at one slice, avoid consuming the whole pizza! I listed just a few of the many pizzas out there that fit the criteria for being ‘moderately healthy’.
- Pizza Hut Thin Crust Veggie Lovers (one slice from a medium pie): 180 calories, 6 g fat, 3g saturated fat, 23 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 7 g protein, 520 mg sodium and 15 mg cholesterol
- Domino’s Crunchy Thin Crust (cheese only, 2 slices of a 12” pie): 160 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein, 839 mg sodium and 23 mg cholesterol
- Papa John’s Original Crust Garden Fresh (2 slices of a 12” pie): 326 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 46 g carbohydrates, dietary fiber: N/A, 12 g protein, 790 mg sodium and 18 mg cholesterol
Bring home (frozen)
- Amy’s Spinach OR Amy’s cheese pizza (1/3 of whole pie): 310 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 38 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein, 590 mg sodium and 15 mg cholesterol
- DiGiorno Harvest Wheat Rising Crust Roasted Vegetable pizza (1/5 of whole pie): 275 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 14 g protein, 575 mg sodium and 12 mg cholesterol
- Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Pepperoni French Bread pizza (1 each): 310 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 46 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 16 g protein, 690 mg sodium and 15 mg cholesterol
- Tombstone Light Veggie Pizza (1/5 of whole pie): 230 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 13 g protein, 510 mg sodium and 0 mg cholesterol
- Cleveland Clinic: Heart & Vascular Health and Prevention: Redefining Pizza: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/pizza.aspx
Related search terms
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