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The Best and Worst Pizzas in America

From Yahoo! Health By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding of Men's Health: Somewhere between the brick ovens of Italy and the delivery cars of America something went horribly wrong. The traditional pizza, made with just bread, cheese and tomatoes, is now tricked out with inflated crusts, four-cheese toppings, and a surplus of pepperoni, all of which contribute to its quadrupled caloric count. And man, do we love it. With 69,000 pizza joints scattered across the U.S., it's no wonder that each man, woman and child devours an average of 46 slices a year. That's the equivalent of 23 pounds of pie!

Any way you slice it, we're taking in a lot more fat than our slimmer friends in Italy, where only 9 percent of the population is obese compared to our 34 percent . Their secret: Thin crust, half the formaggio, and extra vegetables. That's why we've included Best and Worst pizzas in our new book: Eat This, Not That! The Best (& Worst!) Foods in America! The following 7 problematic pies are pulled straight from the book: Avoid them at all costs, and see how, with the help of the Eat This, Not That! series, you can lose 10 pounds or more of belly fat--while still eating all of your favorite foods!

7. WORST SEAFOOD PIZZA
Red Lobster Lobster Pizza
720 calories
30 g fat (13 g saturated)
1,390 mg sodium
69 g carbs

It's a cool concept (certainly more appetizing than your grandfather's old anchovies habit), but it makes for a heavy meal that's stuffed with more sodium than you should eat in one sitting. Fare from the sea is one of the best ways to go, but sprinkled over a bed of starchy dough and fatty cheese and you've got a different story altogether. Billed as a starter, this Lobster Pizza is the only pizza on Red Lobster's menu. Luckily it shares space with one of the world's greatest appetizers--shrimp cocktail--and the chain restaurant is among the healthiest chain restaurants in the land, so you'll have no problem finding better options. 

6. WORST VEGGIE PIZZA
Papa John's Pan Crust Garden Fresh Pizza (2 slices)
740 calories
38 g fat (12 g saturated)
1,320 mg sodium
78 g carbs

Just because it's topped with veggies doesn't make it healthy. The real problem here isn't the toppings, though; it's the excessively thick, greasy pan crust that sinks this veggie-strewn ship. Two slices of this garden fresh pie will set you back the caloric equivalent of 7 ½ Rice Krispies Treats, and it'll stuff your belly with as much salt as you'll find in nearly 4 large orders of McDonald's French Fries. Save over 300 calories by switching to a larger pie (14") with a thinner crust. Just another example of why crust is king when trying to find a healthy pie.

5. WORST STUFFED PIZZA
Sbarro Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza
960 calories
(Sbarro doesn't offer other nutritional information)

Sbarro's individual pizza slices are oversized to begin with, but throw in the stuffed factor and you're looking at this single worst slice of pizza in America--the equivalent of almost 4 pepperoni slices from Pizza Hut. A rule of thumb for ordering pizza in general (and it's especially applicable at Sbarro) is to always choose the thinnest crust possible, and to always avoid any "stuffed" options, which indicate at least double the toppings. Downsize this massive wedge for a Fresh Tomato Pizza--and be sure to limit yourself to just one.

4. WORST PIZZA LUNCH COMBO
Romano's Macaroni Grill Sicilian Mio Pizza and Insalata Blu
1,010 calories
58 g fat (22 g saturated)
2,755 mg sodium
71 g carbs

Consuming over half your daily calories at lunch is asking for energy trouble in the afternoon (not to mention difficulties with your belt buckle). Macaroni Grill boasts about their perfect sized lunch combos as if super-sized individual pizzas and high-calorie "side" salads are a good thing. Even more disturbing is the fact that recent research found that people tend to underestimate portion sizes when their meals have more variety in them, so you're bound to eat more when you have more pieces to your meal. All the more reason to skip the Mac Grill combo meals and choose a simpler lunch, instead. (But beware: Healthy doesn't come easy at this restaurant, especially with pasta. Canneloni or Pasta Pomodoro are the only two bowls with less than 1,000 calories.)

3. WORST CALZONE
Pizza Hut Meaty P'Zone Pizza
1,480 calories
66 g fat (30 g saturated, 2 g trans)
3,680 mg sodium
152 g carbs

The word "calzone" alone should spell trouble, but this Pizza Hut Meaty P'Zone takes bad pizza pockets to a completely different level. The worst part is that Pizza Hut brags about their massive P'Zone like it's something to be proud of: The website reads "Over 1 LB of pizza goodness." Why is it over a pound? Because it's a regular-sized 12" pizza folded over onto itself and stuffed with meat and cheese. There's nothing impressive about eating an entire pizza by yourself.

2. WORST PIZZA APPETIZER
Uno Chicago Grill Pizza Skins
2,400 calories
155 g fat (45 g saturated)
3,600 mg sodium
195 g carbs

How are pizza skins different from an actual pizza? Well, they're not--they just come topped with crumbly processed bacon bits and a big fat dollop of sour cream. The only reason this monstrous dish didn't make it to our number one worst pizza spot is because it's supposed to be an appetizer, which means that some of the damage is mitigated by the fact that multiple people are digging in (or should be, at least). But even if you're traveling with a party of 5, it makes no sense to order what's essentially a family-sized pizza before your meal. To put it in perspective, a medium 12" pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut only racks up 1,840 calories. That's nearly 600 fewer calories than you'll find in this one appetizer! Disgusting.

1. WORST PIZZA IN AMERICA
Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza
2,310 calories
165 g fat (54 g saturated)
4,920 mg sodium
120 g carbs

This individual pizza has been named Worst Pizza in America three years in a row now, but Uno Chicago Grill doesn't seem to care--all they've done to minimize the epic impact of this monstrous meal is to change the nutrition labels on their website to reflect the calories "per serving," instead of the total calories per dish as a whole. What's revealing about that slight of hand is that it shows that Uno knowingly sells an individual pizza that actually has three servings' worth of calories, fat, sodium, and carbs. This one individual pizza has more calories than you should eat in a day and more than two days' worth of sodium. (That's as much salt as you'll find in 27 small bags of Frito Lays Potato Chips!) The only way to go at Uno is to steer away from the infamous deep dish Chicago-style pizzas and opt for a flatbread pie instead.

HALL OF FAME
THE BEST PIZZAS IN AMERICA

Next time you're hankering for a pie, grab a slice from one of these premium pizzas.

BEST VEGGIE PIZZA
Pizza Hut 12" Fit and Delicious Diced Red Tomato, Mushroom and Jalapeno (2 slices)
300 calories
16 g fat (7 g saturated)
1,220 mg sodium
46 g carbs

BEST HAWAIIAN PIZZA
Domino's Thin Crust Ham and Pineapple Pizza (2 slices)
294 calories
14 g fat (5 g saturated)
790 mg sodium
30 g carbs

BEST INDIVIDUAL PIZZA
Chuck E. Cheese Individual Cheese
540 calories
19 g fat (8 g saturated)
1,255 mg sodium
69 g carbs

BEST MEAT-LOVER'S PIZZA
Pizza Hut Meat Lover's 12" Pan Pizza (1 slice)
330 calories
18 g fat (7 g saturated, 0 g trans)
820 mg sodium
27 g carbs

Full Article on Yahoo! Health

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