Who wouldn’t fall in love with pizza? Whether you’re ordering for a large group or craving a quick, tasty lunch, a saucy, cheesy pie serves you just right.
Yet, it seems like we’re into pizzas, but we still doubt whether they do our health any good regarding the number of calories.
How many calories are in a slice of pizza? It depends on the ingredients and toppings added in.
Some pizzas are more nutritious and healthier than others, ranging from 100 plus or more than 600 calories per slice. But on average, a standard slice counts about 250-350 calories.
Keep reading to learn how the amount of calories in pizza varies according to various complements and its impacts on our health and diet.
How Many Calories Are in A Slice of Pizza?
The average amount of calories in a slice of pizza ranges from 250 to 350. Though every kind of pie is different, you can have a clue of what your body is getting when you enjoy a tasty Papa John’s pie, for example, with this information.
Remember that a female adult generally needs 1600-2000 calories a day, and a male adult needs 2000-3000 calories for all-day activities. Of course, specific recommendations differ depending on activity level and metabolism.
According to Pizza Hut’s nutritional information, a piece of the medium-sized hand-tossed cheesy pie (the ultimate piece size of pie from this pizzeria chain) counts 220 calories.
Concerning nutritional value, customers can expect to consume carbohydrates of 26 grams, fat of eight grams, protein of 10 grams, cholesterol of 25 milligrams, and saturated fats of four grams.
Meanwhile, a triangle piece of medium-sized hand-tossed cheesy pie from Domino’s contains 200 calories – a relatively more minor amount of energy than Pizza Hut.
However, if you order a thin crust, the calorie content goes up to 290, whereas Pizza Hut’s thin crust provides 190 calories only.
Besides, you’ll get carbs of 25 grams, protein of nine grams, and fat of eight grams per Domino’s piece.
Papa John’s energy measure stands between the two pizzerias above. This restaurant’s medium-sized classic crust cheesy pie contains 210 energy units. Thin crust is incomparable in this case since they only offer thin crusts for large-sized pies.
Yet, a piece of large-sized thin-crust pie will add 215 calories to your body, implying that a thin crust counts for fewer energy units than the classic crust.
A piece of rising crust cheese pizza from DiGiorno, one of the major players in the pre-packaged pizza market, provides 190 energy units, carbohydrates of 36 grams, fat of 10 grams, saturated fat of 4.5 grams, and protein of 14 grams.
Why Does Pizza Have So Many Calories?
Now that you know how many calories are in a slice of pizza, it’s too great a temptation to wonder why pizzas comprise such a considerable amount of energy.
Nutrients in pizza slices differ broadly according to the toppings, crust’s thickness, size of the pie, and amount of cheese.
Not to mention that there are more and more innovative variations, such as crust supplemented with hot dogs or more cheese.
The crust is the primary factor determining a pie’s energy amount. Though it isn’t the most critical part of a pizza, it contributes 50 energy units to a slice comprising 200-300 units.
Plus, since the crust absorbs oil immensely during the baking process, it can add 40 units more for every tablespoon of oil.
Besides, crust thickness affects the calorie count, too. Research by LiveStrong suggests that a standard triangle piece of thin-crust cheese pizza counts for 230 energy units while that of thick-crust pie comprises up to 312 units.
Notably, a triangle piece of Chicago-style cheese pizza whose crust is a lot thicker can add to your body a 640-calorie count. That means you’re consuming over a quarter of the recommended amount for a day just in one piece!
The ingredients stuffed in the crust are also a critical factor, thickness or size aside. If you’re seeking a healthier choice, alternative vegetable-based cauliflower or whole-wheat crusts are terrific options.
Another noticeable part attributed to the pizza’s energy count and cholesterol, and sodium content is the cheese.
While a piece of Domino’s original cheese pizza comprises 237 calories, sodium of 462 mg, and cholesterol of 21 mg, Spinach & Feta pie (of the same restaurant) only includes 150 calories and sodium of 250 mg, and cholesterol of 10 mg.
For a healthier selection, cheese-free vegetarian pizzas prove to be an excellent choice with zero milligrams of saturated fats and cholesterol.
Many of us think that the sauce contributes an insignificant portion to the total calorie count. However, different sauces count for different amounts of calories.
While pies using tomato-based sauces contain a relatively low-calorie content, those using dairy-based sauces can increase that content considerably.
For instance, a triangle piece of 12-inch cheese pizza from Papa John’s sets you back 215 energy units with a white Alfredo relish and 210 units using a tomato-based relish.
While it’s not a far cry, it complements other elements and goes with each more slice you munch on.
Unlike sauce, cheese, and crust, which are the core ingredients, additional toppings are the most significant factor making the difference in calorie count.
Meat toppings, such as Italian sausage or pepperoni, are tremendously high in calories. Each ounce can bump the total amount up by 130 energy units.
Extra meat provides you with extra protein and plenty of saturated fat and sodium.
For instance, while a Domino’s cheese pie contains 462 milligrams of sodium, that of MeatZZa Pizza counts for 770 mg – more than ⅓ of the suggested daily sodium consumption.
If you love meat, it’s better to go for dishes with leaner meat, like a Hawaiian or BBQ chicken pie. Chicken and ham are much lower in fat than bacon, sausage, and pepperoni.
Meanwhile, vegan pizzas are generally much healthier since they provide necessary nutrients and make up for all the bad stuff.
Vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or garlic contain antioxidants and fiber critical for a healthy body.
Margherita Pizzas also helps retain a healthy heart with olive oil (rich in monounsaturated fats) and fresh tomatoes (rich in vitamin C).
Vegan pizzas, however, can still pack a vast calorie count. A slice of medium-sized hand-tossed vegan lover’s pizza from Pizza Hut comprises 230 energy units.
Though it’s not much of a notable figure like meat-based pizzas, it still exceeds the recommended estimate for a meal.
How Does Pizza Affect Your Health?
Many factors contribute to the general effect on your health when you eat a pizza, like the sauce used or crust.
Some pizzerias offer little or zero nutritional values in the crust, whereas others offer whole-wheat crust as a healthier choice.
Similarly, while some use classic tomato-based sauces, others add extra flavoring and spices to intensify flavor and taste.
Generally, the fat intake and calorie count should be concerned when dining out at a restaurant since most eateries don’t provide complete nutritional information on their menu or the website.
If you munch on two slices of cheese pizza a day (according to weight), which sets you back 350-400 energy units, you can experience weight gain or obesity over time because of calorie and high fat intake.
Meanwhile, if you rarely eat pizzas, there’s no considerable worry about your health since the little fat, and calorie intake won’t induce a significant impact over time.
Should you intend to make your homemade dish, whether it’s a whole wheat crust pie or any recipe poses a dramatic impact on your general health.
A plus point is that you have entire control over the ingredients going into your food, including the cheese, toppings, and sauce.
There are various factors to consider before determining if eating pizza is healthy or not. Simply put, it depends on the specific recipe and location you choose (whether at an eatery or home).
Fast food isn’t necessarily bad, so is pizza, if you consume it in reasonable portions. The primary problem with pizzas is the vast amount of sugar and sodium, mainly in the cheese and sauce.
That means it’s OK to munch on this favorite fast food as long as you keep a low sugar and salt content.
Should you want to lower cholesterol levels or fat intake, we suggest going for a whole wheat crust, using less cheese and light toppings, like veggies or meats.
Also, you should try to put in reduced-fat cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, and always buy fresh vegetables as frozen products come with preservatives.
For instance, a bowl of sliced mushrooms provides a five-calorie count, while green pepper chunks of 100 grams only count 18 calories. Your body processes the carbs just like simple sugars.
Nevertheless, excess consumption of any fast food will lead to weight gain, irrespective of the fat content included.
That means if you eat four portions of meat lovers’ thin crust pizza and order extra cheese rather than two servings, as usual, there’s a high chance you’ll get fat since each portion contains up to 500 kcal.
Plus, eating a high-fat pie like that after every lunch can lead to many health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity.
Thus, the recommended portion will be two slices with some green foods on your table without excess oil and cheese. This way, you can reduce calorie intake to some degrees, not completely, though.
Over time, eating too many pizzas a day will risk heart disease and weight gain. In particular, this delicious yet guilty food causes these issues in two manners:
- Raise cholesterol levels, inducing a higher risk of plaque developing on your blood vessels.
- Or cause prediabetes if you fail to control the portion carefully.
So, the next time when you crave a quick, finger-licking meal, order wisely. You don’t want it to become the thing holding you back toward better health, alright?
Can Pizza Fit in a Healthy Diet?
Even when you’re on a weight-loss diet, you can still eat this dough-based food. The secret is to go for healthier versions and avoid ingredients rich in calories.
Multigrain, buckwheat, whole wheat, gluten-free, or other substitute flours are brilliant picks for those wishing to lower their carb intake.
It’s possible to mix whole grain flour with regular flour in half: half (replace whole grain one with any type of healthy flour if you like). A combination of brown and white rice is also a fantastic choice if you don’t want extra gluten.
Please remember to add vegetables. Healthy alternatives to regular dough include finely-grated zucchini, carrot, and cauliflower.
Toppings contribute greatly to the total kcal count, so if you wish to lower carbs intake, refrain from the temptation to add extra cheese.
Instead, go for other alternatives, like mozzarella, low-fat ricotta, goat cheese, parmesan, and soy cheese.
Should you expect to see your cholesterol level go down, choose egg white in place of whole egg and cottage cheese in place of ricotta.
We suggest choosing fresh vegetable toppings, such as onions, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, or spinach. Ensure that all the ingredients are high quality and fresh.
For onions, remember to sweat them before eating. That way, you’ll remove excessive water.
The best option is probably tomato sauce. Consider following this tutorial video to make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes:
However, it’s also possible to use yogurt low in fat with garlic to lower the saturated fat content in your recipe.
One more thing to remember is that sauces usually contain preservatives. Thus, check the ingredient list thoroughly before buying a product. Again, pay attention to added sugar.
Healthy Toppings – Nutrients
Processed meats, poultry, or red meat are rich in empty calories, meaning that they don’t offer much nutritional value. So, you’d better opt for seafood instead, which provides omega-three fatty acids or leaner meat, like turkey, chicken breast, or veal.
Besides, whole grains also offer plenty of proteins. Use them as an alternative to processed meats on your pie.
Also, bread made of whole grains is a fantastic source of B vitamins and fiber. It takes longer to digest, meaning that it won’t cause insulin levels or sugar to surge after eating.
Healthy bread helps prevent your body from producing insulin uncontrollably, critical to weight reduction.
Healthy Toppings – Extras
Minimize the addition of extra sauce, meat, and cheese to the lowest to make your food healthier and lower fat consumption.
Instead, add extra low-kcal toppings, like ham, salami, or olives but not too much. Saturated fatty acids primarily create them, so opt for small portions.
What Is The Healthiest Type of Pizza?
Should you wish to stick to a healthy eating habit, there are some kinds of pizzas to steer clear of.
All those packing sour cream or mayonnaise as an element are great examples. Sour cream is always not a healthy food to add to your recipe.
Thus, as long as you encounter this word when checking any nutrition label, steer clear of it without thinking twice.
Remember that mayonnaise-based sauces like béchamel sauce (white sauce) always bump up calorie count because of the high-fat levels in their ingredients.
However, there’s a tip to add extra flavor to your meal while keeping it healthy. Try mixing avocado paste and egg yolks instead of mayo mixed and regular sour cream for the next dinner. This brilliant trick helps deliver the same taste and make your food healthier.
Another pointer that those sticking to a diet should note is to steer clear of white flour since it’s bad for your health, just like salt or sugar, as eaten in excess. Instead, choose whole wheat crust.
However, other kinds of dough are usually harder to digest because of yeast content. Indeed, brown bread is much more difficult to dissolve than white one.
Thus, if you find your stomach produces excess gas after consuming this kind of meal, have it less frequently or try other kinds of pies with a whole wheat base only.
Besides, whenever you want to pick another ingredient, ensure that it originates from a reliable source that offers crucial nutrients and minerals in the correct amounts.
For instance, choose fresh vegetables instead of canned or pickled ones, lean meats over fatty ones, and keep away from processed cheese.
If you’re unsure if any element is healthy for you, seek advice from an expert or doctor. Please remember that it is when something sounds unbelievable or difficult to happen.
Healthy fast food is undoubtedly achievable through appropriate meal planning, yet it requires extra effort and involves extra limits.
That means you have to increase your exercise levels during the day and stick stringently to healthy recipes rich in veggies and fruits only.
Where Can I Get the Healthiest Pizza?
The best idea to achieve the healthiest pie is to cook it yourself. Because you have entire control over everything going into your food, you’re free to cut down on unhealthy stuff and put in greener, more nutritious elements.
There are many ways to make an extra healthy homemade pie. Instead of regular flour, we strongly recommend using whole wheat for the crust.
Plus, low-fat mozzarella will help lower the total kcal count significantly instead of ordinary cheese.
Last but not least, pay attention to the sauce. It’s a good idea to make tomato sauce yourself to lower added sugars, which are present in store-bought products.
What If I Want To Eat Pizza And Lose Weight At The Same Time?
- Eat it less frequently. You’d better have a slice of pizza once a week only, or around 12 times a year.
- It’s always better to make pizzas yourself with mozzarella cheese low in fat or lean meats such as turkey pepperoni in place of the usual kind.
- This popular fast food can be healthy if you pay full attention to the toppings and avoid eating in excess.
- It’s essential to ensure you take in the recommended amount of protein daily, even by eating pizzas.
- Eat smaller servings with fewer additional toppings if you are on a diet or just start your weight loss journey. Also, eat them less often.
- Consume sugar of no more than 20 grams a day to promote your blood glucose level and minimize the risks of diabetes.
- Like mushrooms or peppers, putting in veggies can serve you the desired flavor without bumping up the calorie count.
- A tip for eating less is to drink water before a meal. Water will somehow fill your stomach, so you’re no longer in a high mood for foods rich in kcal.
- When dining out at a restaurant, ask the chef to add ½ the dough when cooking the crust. This way, there will be less breading outside.
- Be careful when picking low-calorie selections. Light pizzas sometimes contain more fat than heavy ones.
- Should you want to eat more veggies, top your food with fresh ones to replace the meat toppings.
- Hawaiian-style pizzas use pineapples as a unique topping. Indeed, this fruit contains a whopping bromelain, a kind of enzyme aiding your digestive system. Do you want your fast food to be healthier? Go for one with pineapple toppings.
Once you figure out how many calories are in a slice of pizza, you know that the most critical thing is to deter yourself from overeating.
Excess consumption of any food does your health no good, not to mention junk food famous for being unhealthy like pizza.
It’s still possible to enjoy a hot, cheesy pizza when targeting a weight loss goal, provided that you know what goes into your food.
Start by selecting the crust correctly, which should be crispy and thin. Ascertain to avoid soaking the toppings in oil since extra oil makes your food even richer in kcal than standard ones.
Also, steer clear of buttered pasta recipes and creamy sauces like Alfredo because they will only bump up the calorie count, in addition to fatty meats that are already there, such as sausage and bacon.
Lastly, avoid ordering big servings or too many pie slices. For every order, call for 1-2 pieces at most.
It would be best to control yourself and not overeat, particularly when craving something fatty, for example, sausage and pepperoni pizzas.
Find out the answer to how many calories are in a slice of pizza to see that this food rarely benefits your body.
Though pizza is famous for being highly calorific, consumers can still make it beneficial for their health in many ways or, at least, find a location offering green, healthy recipes with fresh, low-fat ingredients.
Remember that your passion for pizzas can be the prime culprit of weight gain and other diseases if consumed frequently.
That said, try to save such a savory, delicious dish for only special occasions.