Chapter 4: Is Healthy Pizza Possible?

While pizza isn’t exactly a health food, it’s possible to eat sensibly and still enjoy pizza. When it comes to food for college students, any time you can make a popular food for college students like pizza healthier, so much the better.

Nutritional Facts About Pizza

First, let’s take a look at the plain old cheese pizza. Pizza places that deliver serve up more of this type of pizza than any other, and college town pizza shops are famous for it.


Nutritionally speaking, the average slice of cheese pizza isn’t great, but it’s not terrible, either.

You can increase the nutritional quotient of your pizza, and decrease its negative effects, by trying the following:

  • Order Giordano’s extra-thin-crust pizza. This pizza cuts the calories and fat without sacrificing taste by simply making the layers thinner. It’s still the same great Chicago thin-crust-style taste!
  • Add fiber and vitamin-rich vegetables to the top! Broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, onions and peppers all taste great on top of a pizza, and add fiber while offering a filling slice.
  • Order Tomato Pie. Remember that Tomato Pie or Philadelphia-style pizza offers a lycopene-rich tomato topped pizza. It’s healthier and cuts the fat from pizza, as well as calories. You do lose the calcium benefits, but you can more easily obtain calcium from vegetables and low-fat dairy products than from pizza.

Avoid the ‘Freshman 15’

The dreaded “freshman 15” occurs when students enter college. Many students, active in sports during high school, suddenly find themselves moving around less and studying more. They’re also away from home and craving comfort food. The pounds can pack on quickly!

The good news? You can have your pizza and eat it, too, and still avoid the freshman 15. Try these simple steps:

  • Limit your pizza intake. Pace yourself on how many times a week you enjoy your pizza.
  • Add plenty of vegetable toppings to your order.
  • Add a side salad to your meal to fill you up without the fat.
  • Spice it up! Spices such as garlic or red pepper flakes increase the taste and satisfaction of a plain cheese pizza without the fat and calories of sausage or other toppings.
  • Burn up those calories! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go walking with friends, or make going to the gym as much of a habit as your pizza nights.

Go Green! Green Salad, That Is

Most hungry college students don’t stop at one slice of pizza. They’ll eat two or more in one sitting. If hunger drives you to inhale your pizza — stop! There’s a healthier way of slaking hunger pains without the fat and calories.

First, enjoy a single slice of pizza — whatever kind you love. But then, instead of reaching for a second slice, grab a salad instead. A large side salad can usually be added to almost any pizza delivery order. Mix it up with dark, leafy Romaine lettuce in a Caesar salad, or add other vegetables for a fiber- and nutrient-rich side dish. It’s an easy way of adding plenty of vitamins and nutrients without the fat and calories.

Go to Chapter 5: Reheating and Storing Pizza the Right Way