Did you know that if you were to lay side-by-side all the pizzas eaten in America each month, you’d fill 100 acres of pizza each day? In a month, Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods would be knee-deep in pizzas! That’s because 93% of Americans eat at least one pizza each month. Pizza consumption is even bound to double this October, the National Pizza Month in America.
Just why is it so popular though?
4 Reasons Why Pizza is Popular All Over the World
1. They are very versatile.
Technically, pizza is just flat bread with toppings. This makes it such a versatile food because you have a variety of options to use for your crust and you can put anything you want for your toppings. They come in varying sizes and shapes. They can be stuffed or folded. You can have them anyway you want.
2. They are easy to prepare.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make your own pizza. You don’t even have to make your crust from scratch. Choose from among the many frozen crust options from the grocery, then top it with whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you prefer. If that’s even too much work for you, there are plenty of frozen pizzas that you can pop straight into the microwave or oven. Easy as pie!
3. They are easy to eat.
Pizzas are arguably very easy to eat. You can eat them while doing other things such as studying, reading, or watching TV and movies. They’re always first on the list when friends hang out together to watch games. No wonder Super Bowl Sunday is the day when the most pizzas are consumed in the US.
4. They are delectable.
Oh yeah! Pizzas are among the world’s tastiest, most delectable food. They’re fatty, high in calories, and not very healthy, but, boy, are they uber delicious.
Which Pizza Chain Has the Healthiest Pizza?
Is there even such a thing as healthy pizza from a fast food chain? Well, let’s see what these popular faves are really made of.
Since pepperoni is the most popular topping, we’ve decided to compare pepperoni pizzas from the most popular pizza chains. Take note that all data are based on just one slice of a 14” pizza. If you’re eating an entire box on your own, multiply the values accordingly.
Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza, Classic Hand-Tossed Crust
1 slice (113g)
Calories 308kcal, Total Fat 12.6g, Total Carbs 36g, Dietary Fiber 2.37g, Protein 12.7g, other nutritional values
From just one store in 1960, Domino’s now has over 16,000 stores all over the world. Domino’s pizza dough is made from flour, water, salt, sugar, yeast, and oil. Nothing extraordinary really as these are the basic ingredients for pizza crust. Their secret must be in the pizza sauce then.
Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza, Hand-Tossed Crust
1 slice = 110g
Calories 320kcal, Total Fat 13.9g, Total Carbs 35.3g, Dietary Fiber 2.86g, Protein 13.5g, other nutritional values
From a capital of $600 two brothers borrowed from their mother, Pizza Hut is now a multinational company. While it now offers an extensive menu, its hand-tossed pepperoni pizza remains the most popular. The hand-tossed crust, reminiscent of traditional pizzeria crusts, is topped with loads of pepperoni, a double layer of mozzarella cheese, and their signature pizza sauce.
Papa John’s Pepperoni Pizza, Original Crust
1 slice = 123g
Calories 338kcal, Total Fat 14.6g, Total Carbs 36.9g, Dietary Fiber 1.48g, Protein 14.7g, other nutritional values
Although fairly new in the industry, Papa John’s has made its mark in the pizza world with its special dipping sauce. Papa John’s uses unbleached enriched wheat flour and soybean oil for their crust. Their pizza sauce is made from vine-ripened tomatoes, olive oil, sunflower oil, and spices. For their cheese, they use part-skim mozzarella cheese, parmesan, and romano. You can check out the rest of the ingredients in their website.
Little Caesars Original Round Pepperoni Pizza, Regular Crust
1 slice = 90g
Calories 246kcal, Total Fat 9.45g, Total Carbs 27.9g, Dietary Fiber 1.53g, Protein 12.2g, other nutritional values
Little Caesars is among the largest and most popular pizza chains in the United States. They’re known for their “hot and ready” pizzas that deliver the “fast” in fast food. For their pepperoni pizza, Little Caesars uses two kinds of cheese, mozzarella and muenster.
Here’s a chart that shows the number of calories in each slice of pepperoni. You can also use the interactive comparison tool in Calorie-Charts.info for a more comprehensive comparison of nutrition values. Don’t worry, your brain won’t turn into mush with all the data as they’re presented in visually appealing graphs.
As you can see, just one slice of pizza rakes in about 300 calories. If you’re watching your weight but still want to indulge in a slice or two, just make sure you get some exercise to burn those extra calories.
Healthy Pizza Alternatives
As with any other fast food, their homemade version is always much healthier. With the versatility of pizza, it’s quite easy to make your own using your preferred ingredients. Here are some alternative ingredients you can use to build your own healthy pizza.
For the crust, you can use portobello mushrooms, zucchini, or pita bread. You can also make crust using cauliflower or polenta.
Pizza sauce is commonly made using fresh tomatoes so they’re already pretty healthy. However, if you wish to have some variety, you can also use pesto, hummus, garlic paste, or pumpkin puree.
There are no rules on choosing toppings for your pizza. You can put whatever you want. Among the most common healthier choices are spinach, arugula, chards, grilled chicken breast, and tofu.
While pizza is considered a fast food, it’s not totally junk. Choosing healthier toppings and minding your portions will still allow you to enjoy this delectable food without wreaking havoc inside your body. Moreover, you can always easily make your own healthier version in the comfort of your own home. So, go grab that pizza once in a while, and indulge in this savory treat while watching your weight.