New Which? research has found huge variation in the calorie, fat, saturated fat and salt levels of pizzas. But finding the healthier options can be quite a challenge.
Our analysis of 162 supermarket and takeaway cheese and tomato and pepperoni pizzas shows that you could be eating treble the fat and salt and up to five times as much saturated fat weight for weight for the same variety of pizza.
So what’s healthier?
Frozen pizzas generally tended to be lower in fat and saturates than fresh. Thin crust pizzas were just as likely to be higher in fat and saturates as thick crust pizzas. Some deep pan and thin crust pizzas had higher levels of fat, saturates and salt than stuffed crust versions. When it came to takeaway pizza, the results were more mixed. Scroll down to see the full results in our spreadsheet.
Choosing a healthier pizza is almost impossible due to the enormous and often unrealistic range of portion sizes used, even by the same manufacturer, together with different front of pack nutrition labelling schemes – something Which? has long for greater clarity on.
The best and worst
These cheese and tomato pizzas were among the unhealthiest per 100g: Tesco fresh Full on Flavour Cheese Feast Deep Crust Pizza, Dr Oetker frozen Chicago Town The Deep Dish Four Cheese Pizza, and Dr Oetker frozen Chicago Town Edge to Edge Deep Pan New Orleans Pizza.
Dr Oetker Chicago Town Edge to Edge Deep Pan Miami Meaty Pizza was among the highest out of the pepperoni pizzas for both saturates and salt.
For a healthier cheese and tomato pizza, Asda frozen Takeaway Style Margherita and The Cooperative Frozen Simply Value Cheese and Tomato Pizza were among the lowest for fat, saturated fat and salt. Morrisons Frozen Value Cheese and Tomato Pizza was among the lowest in calories, saturated fat and salt.
For pepperoni lovers, The Co-operative fresh Italian Inspiration Stonebaked Pepperoni was among the lowest for calories, fat and salt.
What we want to see
Our findings reinforce the need for continuing action by the food industry to reduce salt levels, but also saturated fat and calorie levels where possible as part of the government’s Responsibility Deal. Shoppers also need clearer and more consistent labels, including use of .
Tell us what you think by joining our Which? Conversation piece here.
In the meantime, the best solution to takeaway temptation is to cook your own healthier food. Take a look at our advice on George Foreman grills.
Nutritional analysis of pepperoni and cheese and tomato pizza (XLS: 76Kb) – 20 January 2010
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