What the Yuck: Does blotting pizza save calories?
April 29th, 2011
09:17 AM ET

What the Yuck: Does blotting pizza save calories?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: How many calories do you save blotting pizza with a napkin?

You are probably cutting 20 to 50 calories a piece - not a whole lot, but I guess if you have a couple of slices, it adds up. So if it makes you feel better, go for it.

Other ways to skinny up your pie: Ask the pizza guy to cut it into 10 or even 12 slices (each piece will have fewer calories and less fat), and start with a salad so you aren't famished by the time you open up that box. Also, order whole wheat or thin crust, avoid fatty toppings like sausage or pepperoni, and go for veggies like peppers or mushrooms instead. And, of course, if you skip the cheese, you'll cut out a whole lot of calories and saturated fat.

But call me old-fashioned: It's just not pizza without any cheese.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Staceyann C. Dolenti

    I like the idea of having it cut in 10 to 12 slices. Every little bit helps 🙂


    May 1, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Food Policeman

    When you blot the fat from pizza, you are also blotting up the flavor, since the fat carries the flavor (flavor compounds dissolve in fat.) As some have said, it makes more sense to choose a pizza with less cheese, and higher quality ingredients that have more flavor, so you will need less of the fatty ones (cheese, pepperoni, etc.) Ultimately denying yourself only causes an equal and opposite desire for what you are denying yourself. So the trick is to eat pizza less often, and enjoy it as much as possible when you do, and the result will be less calories overall but without the painful self-abuse that comes from feeling guilty while you eat the food you like.

    May 1, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Staceyann C. Dolenti

    Good I finally have a use for my Chia Pet 🙂


    May 1, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. M C Crockett, Thousand Oaks, CA

    A thin crust pizza with jalepeno, olives, onions, and peppers I can understand, but leaving off the anchovies, ground beef, Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, shrimp, and cheese just doesn't make a Round Table King Arthur Supreme.

    I have cut back by only ordering a medium instead of a large pizza for myself; however, I'm not going to worry about the calories in something that I only eat about six times a year.

    May 1, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 66Biker

    Pizza without cheese? Are you insane?

    May 1, 2011 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BrickOvenBaker.com

      If you're out for pizza and worried about calories, then just eat the napkin and leave the pizza to the others who can fully appreciate it the way it's meant to be. Napkins are naturally low in calories and high in fiber.

      If you don't like the excessive fat, then you might avoid pepperoni and sausage and go for some other toppings, but how many calories are in the rest of the slice.

      @66Biker, I like my pizza with cheese, but here in New Haven, the two rival pizza places that have been around for about 100 years, Pepe's and Sally's, each serve up their pizza, calling it a "tomato pie". If you say that you want a large sausage and pepper, they'll ask you, "Do you want Mozz on that?" Cheese is just another topping choice like any of the others. It's not assumed.

      May 1, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • Lincoln Place

      Around Philly that's known as Tomatoe Pie. No it's not pizza, but it's still good!

      May 19, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  6. Healthypizza

    You should check out nakedpizza.biz for a healthier pizza option that tastes great!

    May 1, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BrickOvenBaker.com

      Interesting. No Naked Pizza close to me here in CT though. I'd be willing to try it. I want to experiment with whole grain crusts myself at home. To be in the true spirit of Naples tradition, you've gotta have a thin white flour crust (preferably with Caputo 00 flour, and it should be cooked in a 900 degree wood-fired oven), but I do like to experiment.

      May 1, 2011 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
  7. H Bee

    Always love how they try to modify the traditional pizza...i know it would reduce the caloric and fat intake, but my golly, it is pizza after all !

    May 1, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hugh Jassel

    So according to the article, you should order a pizza with whole wheat crust no cheese and no meat, and cut it into smaller pieces. Sounds great, tomato sauce on crappy bread.....yum.

    May 1, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. P

    Pizza doesn't need cheese if you've got a good quality crust and super fresh veggies on it. I didn't believe it myself until I made one myself – Peter Reinhart’s Napoletana Pizza Dough recipe and homemade sauce (don't remember where I found that recipe). I topped it with onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms (all local and from the farmer's market) and it was seriously amazing. It sounds simple and boring but when you've got quality ingredients.. cheese isn't necessary.

    May 1, 2011 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. James

    Nothing makes you fatter faster than high fat + high carbs in the same meal. So pizza, ice cream, doughnuts, bread with butter, pasta swimming in olive oil, candy bars, etc... will put you on a train to Fattytown, Ohio like nothing else.

    If you want to lose fat, better to do higher fats in one meal and higher carbs in another, and reduce carbs overall. Slow-digesting carbs like black beans, raw carrots, and fibrous veggies will make you lose weight fast. Combine them with good portions of protein and medium to low levels of fat, and you'll shed pounds nicely.

    May 1, 2011 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jason

    I love cheese

    May 2, 2011 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Give me a break

    No cheese on a pizza? That's not pizza. That's flatbread with toppings.

    May 2, 2011 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JohnnyBee

    It's not the fat that gets you-it is the bread & veggie carb's. There is nothing wrong with saturated fats and meat proteins-the low fat/high carbs is just the AMA fantasy to promote increased rates of Diabetes and obesity.

    May 2, 2011 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • marlene a

      JohnnyBee ,
      Just had to comment I AGREE!!! ( Mostly)....Veggie carbs, are good carbs..it's the wheat carbs that will kill you! Saturated fats from protein and coconut oil is what your body needs and some mono unsaturated fats,like first cold pressed olive oil! Wheat breaks down to sugar very fast and sugar is the real ememy in our health!!

      May 2, 2011 at 06:56 | Report abuse |
  14. Pat

    You could always just gnaw the bark off a tree limb. THAT would be fewer calories.

    But at some point you gotta ask, when does your happiness count for something?

    May 27, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. john

    Pizza is actually modern Italian for pie. The origin of the term is murky but is said to be derived from an Old Italian word meaning "a point," which later evolved to the Italian word pizzicare, meaning "to pinch or pluck." A Neapolitan dialect of the word first shows up in print in 1000 A.D. in the form of picea or piza, assumably referring to the way way|the way in which} the hot pie is plucked from the oven.

    October 8, 2011 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katy

      Liz,The kids were on the fence–Little H gobbled it up. Big C took to ptaotoes off (she was in a weird mood). Little C wasn't interested in lunch at all but enjoyed what she ate. If you think the balsamic vinegar is too tart, you can leave it off. It really just tastes like a decadent cheese pizza.Hope you're doing well!!-Mandy

      March 5, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
  16. Edison

    I have been a vegetarian for 9 1/2 years now. When I first went vggiee, I gained weight so much so (about 10 pounds) that I went on Weight Watchers. I realized I was eating more cheese and just a lot more crap than usual. So maybe look at what you're eating .but also, being a triathlete adds muscle, which you KNOW weighs more. I wouldn't worry about it, you look great!sugarmagnolia70 recently posted..

    March 5, 2012 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
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