Pizza Cheat Sheet

There's no need to write off this favourite food just because you're trying to slim down. Here are the facts about how to incorporate the almighty slice into your plan.
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*Given that ingredients, cooking methods and portion sizes vary among restaurants, the photos and PointsPlus values for all foods are only approximate.

What's round and cheesy and never misses a party? A certain friend may come to mind, but let's talk about pizza. It's quick. It's tasty. It's been one of your greatest pleasures since you were three.

Use the information below, and your relationship will be a long and satisfying one.
What's in Yours?

One slice of: PointsPlus ® values
"Regular" cheese and medium crust from a 12"-14" (30-35 cm) diameter pizza: your typical pizza-parlour slice 7
Thin crust cheese pizza from a 12"-14" (30-35 cm) diameter pizza: crispier and much thinner than regular slices 5
Thick crust cheese pizza: doughy and chewier than regular slices, but not as thick as deep-dish pizza 8
Sicilian: thick-crust cheese pizza cut into squares 8
Deep dish: served in hot pans, with the thickest crust of all, with one meat topping, 1 small slice 7 - 10
What 5 PointsPlus values will get you at some major pizza chains:
Pizza Pizza: 1 slice of classic cheese pizza (1/8 of a 12-inch (30-cm) pie)
Pizza Nova: 1 slice of bruschetta pizza (slice from medium pie)
Pizza Hut: 1 slice of Veggie Lover's Pizza Thin 'n' Crispy (1/8 of a medium pie)

Pass on the white pizza.
White all-cheese pizza slices aren't healthier; you're giving up the tomato sauce, which packs the antioxidant lycopene which may lower risk of prostate and other types of cancers, and often adding more cheese, which packs on more calories. The garlic oil, which many pizza chains brush on, ups the calories. An individual order of Spicy Perogy pizza from Boston Pizza packs 800 calories, 45 grams of fat and 22 PointsPlus values.

Practice piling on.
Go for colourful toppings of fresh vegetables such as green, red or yellow peppers, broccoli, tomato slices—even if you're already putting pepperoni or sausage on the pie. "They'll improve the nutritional profile of the pizza and add volume to fill you up," says Andrea Giancoli, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles. But remember, some pizza restaurants sauté their vegetable toppings in oil. Make sure to ask and add any extra PointsPlus values for the oil, if necessary.

Toss the crust.
The crust-leavers of the world have the right idea. "Most regular pizza crusts are made of enriched white flour," says dietitian Bethany Thayer, RD. That's just basic white bread. If your local pizzeria offers a whole-grain crust, it's a better choice.

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