A crispy, chewy, carb-filled crust, sweet tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella, and spicy pepperoni…you know that pizza, though irresistible, isn’t exactly a health food. But even dieters indulge periodically in this classic American comfort food. There are, of course, tried-and-true ways to cut some fat from this favorite. Topping a piece with veggies, not meat; dabbing the surface with a paper napkin to soak up excess oil; and using part-skim mozzarella help make the occasional slice part of a healthy lifestyle. But recently, the trend has been toward making pizza more fattening than ever. Here are some especially scary versions, plus ways to enjoy pizza in good health. (Search: The worst pizza in America)
How Healthy Are Your Eating Habits?
1) Deep-Fried Pizza
Scotland is the home of the deep-fried candy bar, so it’s no wonder it invented this diet disaster as well. Pizza is dunked in doughy batter and then deep fried for a crunchy exterior. Now, deep-fried pizza has leaped across the Atlantic and has been embraced here in the States. Served with french fries, this greasy duo can easily deliver more than a whole day’s worth of fat and calories.
Ridiculously healthy: Our version of grilled pizza is so perfectly crunchy that we think you’ll prefer it to anything fried. Bonus: You don’t have to heat up your kitchen. (Video: Choose the healthiest tomato sauce)
2) Chocolate Pizza
This crazy matchup of dinner and dessert appears in restaurants and on food blogs and cooking shows with disturbing regularity. Toppings often include calorie bombs like marshmallows, peanut butter, and candy. A single serving can contain over 500 calories, an amount more appropriate for dinner than dessert.
Ridiculously healthy: If your heart is set on a sweet pizza, we suggest our lighter option, which uses plenty of healthy fruits instead of all that added sugar and fat.
3) Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Once upon a time, someone dipped a pizza in ranch dressing. And though clearly a sad day for arteries, a food trend was born. Now the big pizza chains have created pies with a ranch flavor—plus toppings like bacon and chicken—and sky-high calorie counts to match. Domino’s version has almost 900 calories per the usual 2-slice serving.
Ridiculously healthy: Lose the ranch and bacon, but keep the lean protein in our chicken and vegetable pizza.