Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nutritional tip

The Best and Worst Pizzas in America
The Eat This Not That! authors ID the 7 fattiest pies around, as well as the 4 best.
By Dave Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, Men's Health

7. Worst seafood pizza

Red Lobster Lobster Pizza (one slice)

720 calories
30 g fat (13 g saturated)
1,390 mg sodium
69 g carbs

It’s a cool concept (certainly more appetizing than your grandfather’s old anchovies habit), but it makes for a heavy meal that’s stuffed with more sodium than you should eat in one sitting. Fare from the sea is typically a healthy way to go, but sprinkled over a bed of starchy dough and fatty cheese and you’ve got a different story altogether. Billed as a starter, this Lobster Pizza is the only pizza on Red Lobster’s menu—luckily it shares space with one of the world’s greatest appetizers: shrimp cocktail.

Eat This Instead:

Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (one order)

120 calories
1 g fat (0 g saturated)
590 mg sodium
9 g carbs

6. Worst veggie pizza

Papa John’s Pan Crust Garden Fresh Pizza (two slices)

740 calories
38 g fat (12 g saturated)
1,320 mg sodium
78 g carbs

Just because it’s topped with veggies doesn’t make it healthy (check out our list of the worst “healthy” vegetarian foods for more deceptive dishes). The real problem here isn’t the toppings, though; it’s the excessively thick, greasy pan crust that sinks this veggie-strewn ship. Two slices of this garden fresh pie will set you back the caloric equivalent of 7 ½ Rice Krispies Treats, and it’ll stuff your belly with as much salt as you’ll find in nearly four large orders of McDonald’s French Fries. Save over 300 calories by switching to a larger pie (14-inch) with a thinner crust. Just another example of why crust is king when trying to find a healthy pie.

Eat This Instead:

Thin Crust Garden Fresh Pizza (two slices)

420 calories
22 g fat (5 g saturated)
940 mg sodium
46 g carbs
5. Worst stuffed pizza

5. Sbarro Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza (one slice)

960 calories (Sbarro doesn’t offer other nutritional information)
Sbarro’s individual pizza slices are oversized to begin with, but throw in the stuffed factor and you’re looking at this single worst slice of pizza in America—the equivalent of almost four pepperoni slices from Pizza Hut. A rule of thumb for ordering pizza in general (and it’s especially applicable at Sbarro) is to always choose the thinnest crust possible, and to always avoid any “stuffed” options, which indicate at least double the toppings. Downsize this massive wedge for a Fresh Tomato Pizza—and be sure to limit yourself to just one.

Eat This Instead:

Fresh Tomato Pizza

450 calories

4. Worst pizza lunch combo

Romano’s Macaroni Grill Sicilian Mio Pizza and Insalata Blu

1,080 calories
88 g fat (25 g saturated)
2,660 mg sodium
72 g carbs

Consuming over half your daily calories at lunch is asking for energy trouble in the afternoon (not to mention difficulties with your belt buckle). Macaroni Grill boasts about their perfect sized lunch combos as if super-sized individual pizzas and high-calorie “side” salads are a good thing. Even more disturbing is the fact that recent research found that people tend to underestimate portion sizes when their meals have more variety in them—so you’re bound to eat more when you have more pieces to your meal. All the more reason to skip the Mac Grill combo meals and choose a simpler lunch, instead. (But beware: Healthy doesn’t come easy at this restaurant, especially with pasta. Canneloni or Pasta Pomodoro are the only two bowls with less than 1,000 calories.)

Eat This Instead:

Chicken Cannelloni Lunch

590 calories
29 g fat (17 g saturated)
1,710 mg sodium
41 g carbs

3. Worst calzone

Pizza Hut Meaty P’Zone Pizza

1,480 calories
66 g fat (30 g saturated, 2 g trans)
3,680 mg sodium
152 g carbs
The word “calzone” alone should spell trouble, but this Pizza Hut Meaty P’Zone takes bad pizza pockets to a completely different level. The worst part is that Pizza Hut brags about their massive P’Zone like it’s something to be proud of: the website reads “Over 1 LB of pizza goodness.” Why is it over a pound? Because it’s a regular-sized 12-inch pizza folded over onto itself and stuffed with meat and cheese. There’s nothing impressive about eating an entire pizza by yourself.

Eat This Instead:

Meat Lover’s 12-Inch Pan Pizza (one slice)

330 calories
18 g fat (7 g saturated, 0 g trans)
820 mg sodium
27 g carbs

2. Worst pizza appetizer

Uno Chicago Grill Pizza Skins (one order)

2,400 calories
155 g fat (45 g saturated)
3,600 mg sodium
195 g carbs

How are pizza skins different from an actual pizza? Well, they’re not—they just come topped with crumbly processed bacon bits and a big fat dollop of sour cream. The only reason this monstrous dish didn’t make it to our number one worst pizza spot is because it’s supposed to be an appetizer, which means that some of the damage is mitigated by the fact that multiple people are digging in (or should be, at least). But even if you’re traveling with a party of five, it makes no sense to order what’s essentially a family-sized pizza before your meal. To put it in perspective, a medium 12-inch pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut only racks up 1,840 calories. That’s nearly 600 fewer calories than you’ll find in this one appetizer! Disgusting. (See equally atrocious starting dishes on our list of the worst appetizers in America.)

Eat This Instead:

Crispy Cheese Dippers (one order)

840 calories
48 g fat (18 g saturated)
2,490 mg sodium

1. Worst Pizza in America

Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza

2,310 calories
165 g fat (54 g saturated)
4,920 mg sodium
120 g carbs

This individual pizza has been named Worst Pizza in America three years in a row now, but Uno Chicago Grill doesn’t seem to care—all they’ve done to minimize the epic impact of this monstrous meal is to change the nutrition labels on their website to reflect the calories “per serving,” instead of the total calories per dish as a whole. What’s revealing about that sleight of hand is that it shows that Uno knowingly sells an individual pizza that actually has three servings’ worth of calories, fat, sodium, and carbs. This one individual pizza has more calories than you should eat in a day and more than two days’ worth of sodium (that’s as much salt as you’ll find in 27 small bags of Frito Lays Potato Chips!). The only way to go at Uno is to steer away from the infamous deep dish Chicago-style pizzas and opt for a flatbread pie instead.

Eat This Instead:

Cheese and Tomato Flatbread Pizza (1/2 pizza)

405 calories
16.5 g fat (7.5 g saturated)
1,065 mg sodium
46 g carbs

Hall of Fame: The Best Pizzas in America

Next time you’re hankering for a pie, grab a slice (or two) of one of these premium pizzas.

Best veggie pizza

Pizza Hut 12-Inch Fit and Delicious Diced Red Tomato, Mushroom and Jalapeno (two slices)

300 calories
16 g fat (7 g saturated)
1,220 mg sodium
46 g carbs
Best Hawaiian pizza

Domino’s Thin Crust Ham and Pineapple Pizza (two slices)

294 calories
14 g fat (5 g saturated)
790 mg sodium
30 g carbs
Best individual pizza

Chuck E. Cheese Individual Cheese

540 calories
19 g fat (8 g saturated)
1,255 mg sodium
69 g carbs
Best meat-lover's pizza

Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s 12-Inch Pan Pizza (one slice)

330 calories
18 g fat (7 g saturated, 0 g trans)
820 mg sodium
27 g carbs