eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resourceMr.
Bad Food takes a look at your favorite pizzas and serves up a few tasty recipes
you can roll out at home.
No matter how you slice it, most of our
"usuals" are topping-heavy artery cloggers. While one piece here or there won't
derail your diet, having Pizza Hut or Domino's on your speed dial is a sure
sign you'll soon be singing bye-bye miss (or mister) American thighs!
A survey by the Center for Science in the
Public Interest found that a typical serving of plain cheese pizza (two to
three slices, depending on the size of the pie) has 600 calories and 25 grams
of fat (10 of which are saturated).
Like toppings? The numbers grow a lot
worse. A two-slice serving of Pizza Huts Stuffed Crust Meat Lovers
pizza has 840 calories and 42 grams of fat, including 20 grams of saturated
fat. Two slices of Dominos hand-tossed pepperoni can tally 429 calories
and 20 grams of fat.
NOTE I am not including carb
counts because any Atkins (or other low-carb plan follower) knows pizza crust
is a high-carb killer.
Now, back to our dough... um, I mean
And its not just the delivered pizzas
that are loaded with the fattening stuff. A Celeste sausage pizza for one packs
530 calories, 27 grams of fat -- six saturated -- and a whopping 1,400
milligrams of sodium!
Now come with me, papa John (couldn't
resist), as I deliver the news about your home-delivered pies.
Let's start with America's red-roofed
favorite, Pizza Hut. A word of warning -- sidestep the Stuffed Crust. A medium
slice of the stuffed stuff will sock you with a minimum of 405 calories (ham)
and 17 grams of fat (Chicken Supreme and Veggie Lovers in a tie). And have you
seen how small a "medium" is these days?
A better choice: the Thin 'n' Crispy
selections. From ham to meat lovers, the choices will have you chowing on a
range of 210 calories and 7 grams of fat to 340 calories and 19 grams of
Like any food, a little here and there
ain't gonna kill you or your diet. So if you go to the local pizza palace once
a month and enjoy TWO slices of your favorite style, don't sweat it. Just stick
to your diet for the majority of the time and you'll do just fine.
For more Pizza Hut info, go to their
Much of the same awaits you just down the
road at Domino's. Mr. Bad Food did a double take when gazing at the nutrition
numbers provided by the delivery specialists. It seems Domino's knows most
people aren't gonna stop at one slice. Thus their numbers are for two.
Eat two slices of a 14" hand-tossed cheese
pizza and you'll wolf down 515 calories and 15 grams of fat. Choose the thin
crust style and those numbers plummet to 385 calories and 17 grams of fat. Yes
friends, when it comes to pizzas that won't leave you stuffed, thin is
And by the way, don't even consider a 6"
deep dish style. Not unless you don't want less than 600 calories and 27 grams
Because Little Caesar's offers little
pizzas (they have a 12" size), you can enjoy pizza, pizza without feeling like
a decadent Roman emperor. Single slices range from 120 to 180 calories and 6 to
8 grams of fat.
The square cuts are decent choices too. In
fact, to my untrained eye it appears Little Caesar's serves the leanest slices
around. However, keep in mind that this supremacy is probably due to the slices
being the smallest among the major makers.
The bottom line: you should always go for
the thinner, smaller cuts and limit toppings to veggies and cheese. If you need
meat to make it right, opt for ham or chicken.
Ready for a few recipes that'll save you
money, fat and calories?
Let's start with this goodie from frequent
eDiets contributor Katherine Tallmadge, a spokesperson for the American
In a previous Eat This column,
A more gourmet -- and FUN -- alternative
is to make a pizza from scratch. Its easier than you realize and fun for
friends and family to participate!
My client, Pete, hosted other couples for a
pizza party one Sunday evening. At the party, Pete allowed folks to build their
own pizzas. All the guests shared each others creations and had fun
building a pizza to suit their tastes.
Some of the toppings:
1) thin layer of
pesto and sliced plum tomatoes
2) sauteed or roasted veggies with pizza
sauce and reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Start with pizza dough you can buy at the
store or make your own. Heres a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks,
Three Hour Pizza Dough
For the sponge:
1/4 cup lukewarm
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
For the dough:
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole-wheat
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
Mix ingredients for the sponge and let sit
covered in a warm place for 30 minutes. Add the lukewarm water and olive oil.
Mix well. Add the salt. Then, stir in the whole-wheat pastry flour, then the
Scrape out of the bowl and knead on a
lightly floured surface for 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but
keep flouring your hands and add only enough flour to prevent the dough from
sticking to the kneading surface.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in an
oiled bowl. Turn so the greased side is up. Cover and let rise for two
Punch the dough down, and let it rise again
for 40 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured
surface and roll out thin or press out and stretch with your hands. Line an
oiled pizza pan (a round pan with holes in it) and shape an attractive ridge
around the edge with the overhanging dough.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees for 30
minutes. Use a baking stone if you have one. Spread the topping of your choice
over the pizza and bake 20 to 30 minutes.
Makes a 12-15 inch crust, or 6 servings.
Nutritional values preserving: 167 calories for 1/6th of the pie (or 1,002 for
the whole pie). Toppings are additional, but if they're mainly vegetables, the
added calories are minimal. Mr. Bad Food is running a special today. Eye one
pizza recipe, get 3 more. Dig in...
Mushroom Pizza in Minutes
Top both halves of a whole wheat English
muffin with 1/4-cup fat-free tomato sauce, 1/2-cup chopped mushrooms and 2
tablespoons shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with chopped basil,
then broil in the toaster oven until cheese is melted and bubbling (about 3
Per serving: 109 calories, 4g fat, 32g
carbohydrates, 11g protein, 5g fiber, 830mg sodium
Thin-Crust Pepper Pizza for One
In a 350°F oven, heat a 6" low-fat
flour tortilla on a baking sheet until crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove from the
oven, piercing any air bubbles with a knife, then top with 1/4-cup fat-free
tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, and a
half-cup thinly sliced green and red pepper. Return to the oven and bake until
cheese is melted and bubbling (about 10 minutes).
Per serving: 200 calories, 5g fat, 30g
carbohydrates, 10g protein, 3g fiber, 720mg sodium
Defrost 4 frozen mini phyllo dough shells
and arrange on toaster oven baking tray. Fill each shell with 1 tablespoon
fat-free tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon minced mushrooms, shredded carrots or
chopped spinach and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese. Broil until
cheese is melted (about 2 minutes).
Per serving: 150 calories, 7g fat, 15g
carbohydrates, 6g protein, 1g fiber, 570mg sodium
It may come as no surprise that the pizza
industry has evolved into a $30-billion-dollar-a-year business.
Sink your teeth into these pizza
-- Field of Screams: Americans eat 100
ACRES of pizza each day. That's about 50 slices per second.
-- There are more than 61,000 pizzerias in
the U.S. alone. And pizzerias represent 17% of all restaurants.
-- 93% of Americans eat at least one pizza
-- Every man, woman and child in America
eats and average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza per year.
-- According to a Gallup Poll, children
between the ages of 3 and 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch
-- 62% of Americans prefer meat toppings on
their pizza, while 38% prefer vegetarian toppings. Pepperoni is America's
favorite topping -- it's on 36% of all pizzas ordered. Other popular toppings:
mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onions.
When we don't take-out, we carry out from
our local supermarket. You may be surprised at the wide selection of relatively
healthy pizzas available at your grocer's freezer.
Like most topics that matter to you, the
health-conscious consumer, eDiets tracked down a few of the better
For more on store-bought pizzas, click
here and take a roll in the frozen dough.
Mr. Bad Food recommends the oven-baked over
the microwavable varieties. You get a much crispier crust and it only takes a
few minutes longer to bake than nuke. But always check the calories and serving
size on the box. Most of us dont stop after just one slice. So be
prepared to multiply the numbers by two, three and (dare we say?) four!
If you are feeling down on pizza, chin
up... and chew on this:
Tomato sauce is rich in cancer-fighting
lycopene and vitamin C. The cheese offers some protein and a dose of
bone-building calcium. The key is to get that one-of-a-kind taste with built-in
portion control, so you wont be tempted to return to the scene of the
crime again and again.
Since pizza is the second most commonly
craved food in the U.S. (right behind chocolate, but well save that for
another week), theres a good chance youll experience a yearning in
the future. When you do, savor a single slice of your favorite pie alongside a
bowl of mixed greens. Youll get plenty of satisfaction and much less fat
Week 3: Mr. Bad Food's Excellent Atkins
Look, up in the sky... it's a much slimmed
down version of your favorite culinary crimefighter, Supperman! I've been on
eDiets-powered Atkins program for three weeks now. And guess what? I have
dropped another 4 pounds this past week to balloon my 3-week total to 15
Let me tell you, this plan is great. My clothes fit better... my old energy is
returning... and I am not finding myself starving between meals.
I must admit that every so often I find
myself lusting over a thick piece of pizza or a baked potato with my grilled
steak, but then I think of the weight I am losing and the imagined (yes, it's
all in my head) yearning goes away.
If you've been considering the Atkins plan,
why not give it a go now? If it can work for Mr. Bad Food, it can -- and will
-- work for you!
So come on and
here for more info and your free diet profile.
Well, until next week, the fridge door is
closed. But if you have any questions and/or comments -- or even a tasteful
joke or Hall of Shame nominee to share -- feel free to write me, eDiets
editor-in-chief John McGran, at firstname.lastname@example.org.