Pizza: The Healthier Take-Out Food

Americans order 3 billion pizzas a year, mainly from the more than 60,000 pizza restaurants found in every burg with a ZIP code.

There’s no reason to cut pizza out of your life — it offers a quick, easy, tasty way to get loads of vegetables, fruit, fiber, and even fish without much artery-clogging saturated fat. But pizza, like any other take-out/order-in food, has its own pitfalls.

When the Center for Science in the Public Interest evaluated pizza slices from the top chains, it discovered fat levels approaching — and sometimes surpassing — a fast-food cheeseburger. The main culprit: way too much cheese. Add to that fatty meat like sausage and pepperoni, and you are in the unhealthiest reaches of the food world. Here’s how to make pizza a healthy delight:

1. Order half cheese or no cheese.

2. Ask for extra veggies.

3. Steer clear of stuffed crust pizzas. You don’t need the extra cheese.

4. Avoid anything called Meat Lover’s, All the Meat, or Super Supreme. In fact, order your toppings individually.

Best toppings: After veggies and fruit (ever tried pineapple-topped pizza?), chicken, ham, clams, shrimp, and anchovies offer the greatest nutritional punch with the lowest saturated fat.

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