Fast food

"Upsizing" your meal will really push the fat, salt and sugar right over the top.
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  • Updated:9 Jan 2005


Most pizzas today are just fast food, and are a long stretch from the pizzas common in Italy — thin crust, plenty of tomato sauce, olive oil and vegetables or lean, thinly sliced ham, with a smattering of mozzarella. Most people know fast-food pizzas aren’t on the list of foods we should eat regularly, but every now and then in an otherwise balanced diet is fine. Even then, there are some better choices you can make from a nutrition perspective.

In brief:

  • Crusts. Our previous tests haven’t found much difference between thin or thick crusts (as long as you eat about the same weight of each). But don’t fall for the stuffed version — there should be ample cheese on the pizza already without adding more kiloujoules and salt hidden in the crust.
  • Vegie v meat toppings. If you’re trying to keep the fat down, vegetarian toppings are generally a good choice. If you add a meat-based topping to a thick-crust pizza you’re looking at over 1000 kJ per slice. Three slices of most supreme pan pizzas give you more than a third of the recommended kilojoule intake for the day for a moderately active woman, or about a quarter of that for a moderately active man. Not to mention around 30 g of fat, about half of which is likely to be saturated.
  • Salt. If you’re watching your salt intake, avoid anchovies, olives and meats such as salami, pepperoni and ham.
  • Cheese. To cut the fat and salt further ask for less cheese, rather than more.

Oh, and easy on the garlic bread.


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