Calories 101: Pizza
Chester J. Zelasko, Ph.D. | May 5, 2008

We love pizza in the U.S. to the tune of 23 to 35 pounds of it for every man, woman, and child every year. There are as many varieties as there are ideas in someone’s head. But we look at where the calories come from, it all starts with the crust.

The arena foods contest included a personal-size pizza about six inches in diameter. While the estimates vary by manufacturer, there are about ten ounces of crust in a six-inch pizza. At 50 calories per ounce, that’s 500 of the 640 calories in the pizza. The cheese is the next highest source of calories. Believe it or not, the sauce and pepperoni combined add no more than 20 calories on this size pizza.

What could you do if this was your only option? While many people including yours truly love the edges, eating up to the where the edge begins to puff up could reduce the calories by half on a personal-size pizza.

Skeptical? Buy a six-inch pizza with cheese and pepperoni. Take it home and weigh it. (You’ve been weighing your food, haven’t you?) Take a knife and cut around the inside of the pizza up to where the crust edge begins. Then weigh what you’ve cut away. Remember, the dough will be about 50 calories per ounce. You’ve just cut the calories in half.

If you have a choice, get your pizza with thin crust--that automatically cuts the calories from dough in half. Stick to mostly vegetable toppings such as mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes, and it’s better still.
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