Order This, Not That: Pizza

Make better choices at your favorite pizza chains.
Related To:

Pizza is one of the most-popular foods in the country. Eating a slice can help you get your recommended daily amount of at least three food groups: grains, dairy and vegetables. But some pizza-joint options can also be unfriendly to your waistline. A standard plain slice can start at 400 calories — and that’s without any toppings. Here are menu options from popular chains that can sabotage your healthy eating plan, and the better-for-you choices on those same menus.

Order This:

At Papa John’s the smaller pies have smaller-sized slices, which means fewer calories. Plus, you’ll get a healthy dose of low-calorie veggies. Each of the eight slices in a medium Garden Fresh pie weighs in at 200 calories.

Nutrition information per serving (1/8 of a medium pie, or 106 g): 200 calories; 7 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 8 g protein; 27 g carbohydrates; 690 mg sodium

Not This:

Order the Garden Fresh extra-large pie and each of the 10 slices has 290 calories — that’s 90 extra calories per slice! Eat two or three slices and the calories can quickly add up. Unless you did some research, you would never know that the larger-sized pie has larger slices.

Nutrition information per serving (1/10 of an extra-large pie, or 160 grams): 290 calories; 9 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 11 g protein; 41 g carbohydrates; 730 mg sodium

Order This:

A slice of the 12-inch thin-crust ham and pineapple pizza will get you some extra fruit and lean meat for reasonable calories.

Nutrition Info (1/4 of a 12-inch thin-crust pie): 290 calories; 13 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 11 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 610 mg sodium

Not This:

Handmade pan pizza may sound healthier, but it just means a thicker crust (and more calories). Using the Domino’s online nutrition calculator, it appears as if the thin-crust ham-and-pineapple pizza and handmade pan ham-and-pineapple pizza have around the same calories. Take a closer look and you’ll see that the site displays a smaller portion for the handmade pie compared with the thin-crust one. Just a reminder to always double-check the serving size when comparing slices or pies.

Nutrition information per serving (1/4 of a 12-inch handmade pan pizza): 590 calories; 26 g fat; 15 g saturated fat; 22 g protein; 60 g carbohydrates; 1,040 mg sodium

Order This:

No matter which type of pizza you order, the type of crust can make all the difference. A 12-inch medium thin-crust BBQ Lover’s pizza has 240 calories per each of its eight slices. This pizza is made with barbecue sauce topped with hardwood-smoked bacon, slow-roasted ham and seasoned pork.

Nutrition information per serving (1/8 of an medium thin-crust BBQ Lover’s pizza): 240 calories; 10 g fat; 4.5 g saturated fat; 10 g protein; 25 g carbohydrates; 650 mg sodium

Not This:

Think you’re eating fewer calories by ordering an individual pizza? The BBQ Lover’s 6-inch personal pan pizza will bust your waistline with 740 calories — and that’s without appetizers, beverages or dessert.

Nutrition information per serving (6-inch personal pan pizza): 740 calories; 36 g fat; 14 g saturated fat; 30 g protein; 74 g carbohydrates; 1,590 mg sodium

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

Next Up

This Pizza Was Made with 101 Cheeses

A Portland, Oregon, pizza joint took it upon itself to make a 101-cheese pizza, aiming for a new cheese-on-pizza world record.

Order This, Not That: Papa John's

I frequently see commercials for this pizza chain but often wonder if there really is anything I can order that won’t bust my waistline? We’ll give you the cheesy facts so you’ll be prepared on your next visit.

Broccoli Pesto Pizza — Meatless Monday

Homemade pizza in 30 minutes — yes, it's possible, and it's shockingly easy to pull off.

The Easiest Way to Make Pizza at Home Without a Pizza Oven

Jeff Mauro walks us through his secrets to the perfect deep-dish pizza — and it involves a duvet cover of cheese.

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: The rise of vegan Thanksgiving, food banks that grow kale and the problem with pizza joints and calorie counts.

Guy Gets Pizza Delivered to His Stalled Train

When we’re stuck somewhere in transit and getting increasingly hungry, most of are probably apt to just sit there feeling sorry for ourselves. Not this guy though.

How to Make and Form Pizza Dough: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pizza is a lot easier to make from scratch than you might think. Read these step-by-step instructions, then watch our how-to video.

7 Healthy Pizzas You'll Want to Make on Repeat

With a few simple swaps, you can enjoy pizza night more often.

Guess What America's Favorite Comfort Food Is

The food Americans go to most when they need a little pick-me-up is …

Related Pages