Pizza Cheat Sheet
Use this interactive tool to build the ultimate skinny pizza.
What's round and cheesy and never misses a party? A certain friend may come to mind, but let's talk about pizza. It's quick. It's tasty. It's been one of your greatest pleasures since you were three.
Use the information below, and your relationship will be a long and satisfying one.
What's in yours?
| One slice of…
|| PointsPlus™ values
|"Regular" cheese and medium crust: your typical pizza-parlor slice
| Thin crust cheese pizza: crisper and thinner than regular slices
| Thick crust cheese pizza: doughy and chewier than regular slices, but not as thick as deep-dish pizza
| Sicilian: thick-crust cheese pizza cut into squares
| Deep dish: served in hot pans, with the thickest crust of all, with one meat topping, 1 small slice
| What 6-7 PointsPlus values will get you at some major pizza chains:
|Domino's: 1 slice of classic cheese pizza (1/8 of a12-inch pie)
|Little Caesars: 1 slice of thin crust pepperoni pizza (1/8 of a 12-inch pie)
|Papa John's: 1 slice of thin-crust white pizza (1/8 of a large pie)
| Pizza Hut: 1 slice of Veggie Lover's Pizza Thin 'n' Crispy (1/8 of a medium pie)
| Mazzio's Italian Eatery: 1 slice of chicken-club thin-crust pizza (1/8 of a medium pie)
Pass on the white pizza
White all-cheese pizza slices aren't healthier; you're giving up the tomato sauce, which packs the antioxidant lycopene which may lower risk of certain types of cancers, and often adding more cheese, which packs on more calories. The garlic oil, which many pizza chains brush on, ups the calories. A typical 8-inch white slice at a chain like Sbarros packs 570 calories, 23 grams of fat and 15 PointsPlus values.
Practice piling on
Go for colorful toppings of fresh vegetables such as green, red or yellow peppers, broccoli, tomato slices — even if you're already putting pepperoni or sausage on the pie. "They'll improve the nutritional profile of the pizza and add volume to fill you up," says Andrea Giancoli, RD, a dietician in Los Angeles. But remember, some pizza restaurants sauté their vegetable toppings in oil. Make sure to ask and add any extra PointsPlus values for the oil, if necessary.
Toss the crust
The crust-leavers of the world have the right idea. "Most regular pizza crusts are made of enriched white flour," says Bethany Thayer, RD, a dietician in Detroit and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. That's just basic white bread. If your local pizzeria offers a whole-grain crust, it's a better choice.
About the writer
Brian Hickey is the managing editor of the Philadelphia City Paper
and has written for Details, Men's Health
and Philadelphia Magazine.