The 7 Worst Fast-Food Pizzas To Stay Away From Right Now—Eat This Not That

Pizza has always been a busy man’s meal. Its origin story unfolds in Naples in the late 1700s, when the city’s affluent working class needed something cheap and convenient to eat. Nearly 300 years later, pizza itself has evolved. But the need for a warm, hand-held comfort food remains largely the same.

From a single piece to a whole pie, it doesn’t matter how you cut it: ‘Za’s are still fairly inexpensive, and easy to consume. It’s a quick dinner with friends, a late night snack, reheated leftovers. And there’s no version of pizza more convenient or cheaper than fast-food pizza. While the options are vast, the struggle of making relatively healthy choices is real. We consulted with dietitian Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD and got guidance on where to start.

“While pizza can be quite light if it includes a thin crust and is loaded with vegetables, the opposite is also true. Many pizzas are filled with layers of cheese and processed meats, all on top of the thickest layer of dough that sometimes -Sometimes the extra cheese fills up,” she says. And while cheese, meats, and breads can fit into a healthy eating plan, “portion size is important.”

Goodson warns, “Any food contains more calories and sodium than a person should consume during a meal. And if you eat more than one slice… well… it can really add up.”

We’ve broken down some of the unhealthy options currently on the market and suggest how to replace them to make better choices for you.

And don’t miss we tasted 7 Chain Cheese Pizza and this one is the best.

Flame Meat Eater
Blaze Pizza/Facebook

per piece: 270 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium

Blaze Pizza walks that line between fast-food and fast-casual chain, and perhaps it’s its slightly elevated stature that makes it the worst on our list. Meat is the real issue with this pie: It’s piled high with Italian meatballs and pepperoni, and the fat content reflects the amount of meat we’re dealing with. According to Goodson, though, “because the pizza is small, it’s not so bad that you gasp. Sometimes choosing a smaller version of the worst option can make it the best!”

She still suggests opting for a slice of red wine pizza at Blaise’s instead. With cherry tomatoes and basil in place of the meat, it rings in at 200 calories and less than half the amount of fat.

Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch Domino's
Kimberly J./Yelpie

per piece: 410 calories, 23 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 890 mg sodium

While Domino’s holds the title of the largest pizza chain in the world by most measures, it certainly doesn’t offer the healthiest pizza options. Especially when you consider a pie like this one, which is heavy on the meat and uses a garlic-Parmesan white sauce in place of the traditional red sauce—which usually packs more fat. This is why just one slice gives you 410 calories.

In fact, Goodson describes the fat and sodium content of this pizza as problematic. But she also offers a healthy hack: Get this pie on a thin crust and cut out the bacon, and you’ll still be able to enjoy great flavor without going overboard on the calories.

Pizza Hut Meat Lover's Pizza
Courtesy of Pizza Hut

per piece: 480 calories, 28 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 1,180 mg sodium

This pizza is a beast! We’re not only looking at a lot of meat here; We are seeing a lot of everything. The crust is thick and piled with cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, bacon, seasoned pork, and beef.

“The variety and quantity of meats here definitely cause the grams of fat milligrams to the sodium to tick up,” says Goodson. And speaking of sodium, there’s more than a Big Mac in just one slice of this pie.

That’s why Goodson suggests opting for the hand-tossed Veggie Lover’s Pizza instead. It includes vegetables like Roma tomatoes and black olives and cuts the meat, resulting in a calorie count of nearly half.

Papa John's Stuffed Crust
Courtesy of Papa John’s

per piece: 480 calories, 26 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,220 mg sodium

Are you feeling off topic here? While we love one meat lover’s piece of ‘za’ as much as the next one, they are clearly the most damaging to nutrition. Goodson points to Papa John’s Pepperoni, Sausage, and Six Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza with an unreasonably high calorie count as another option. At just under 500 calories per slice, indulging in more than one of these bad boys can really add up. She also stresses that the sodium content here is quite astronomical.

Papa John’s Garden Fresh Pizza is a healthier option. Loaded with five different vegetables, you’re getting half the sodium and a fraction of the calories with this slice.

Little Caesar Deep Dish 3 Meat Treat Pizza
Courtesy of Little Caesar

per piece: 504 calories, 27 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,225 mg sodium

There’s nothing sublime about this Little Caesars delicacy, which is a deep dish-style pizza with a cheese-stuffed crust. Aside from a meat-a-palooza of bacon, sausage, ham, pepperoni and beef, the ‘za’ has more cheese on top.

“Coming in at over 500 calories a slice, this pizza gets you watering on calories,” says Goodson. In addition, many processed meats contain a ton of sodium, making a slice count for more than half the recommended sodium amount for a day.”

Looking for something healthy? You can easily make a better choice by switching to thin-crust pie. Goodson recommends stacking it with vegetables for a better option.

Marco's All Meat Pizza
Courtesy of Marco

per piece: 742 calories, 36 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 1,830 mg sodium

This calorie count means you can get the most calories for the day by eating just three slices of this pie from Marco’s. not ideal! The chain tops its thick crust with pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, and bacon, and slathers on the “original sauce” and the signature Three Cheeses. According to Goodson, this takes you overboard on both calories and sodium. “Ham, sausage, and bacon are the chances that sodium goes through the roof here, not to mention grams of fat,” she says.

She recommends switching to a thinner-crust pie. The mushroom and cheese slice, she says, “is still quite high in calories per slice, but the fat and sodium are cut almost in half making it a better choice at Marco.”

sbarro's stuffed sausage and pepperoni pizza

per piece: 810 calories, 42 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 2,180 mg sodium

Sbarro’s XL NY Stuffed Slice is as big as its name sounds, and in this case, bigger isn’t better. The bottom and top of the pizza are layered with cheese, and then with sausage and pepperoni, there’s even more cheese inside the slices.

With such an abundance of cheese, crust, and meat, this piece is piece to stay away. Goodson specifically points to the amount of calories and sodium that make up this nutritional nightmare.

She suggests going for the Spinach Tomato Crumble on Sbarro’s regular crust instead, which has less than half the calories and sodium, and a fraction of the fat.

A previous version of this article was originally published on March 30, 2022.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *