Americans have a love affair with pizza. But can you guess how many calories you consume with each slice? Is it 150? Closer to 320? Maybe 530? 

Depending on the pizza type and slice size, all of these figures are correct. This is actually good news for pizza lovers: With just a bit of forethought, you can make sound nutritional pizza choices to ensure you enjoy a balanced, healthful and delicious meal. 

One hint: All slices are not created equal. One slice from a 14-inch (large) pizza contains about 80 to 120 calories more than a slice from a 12-inch (medium) pie. 

Research also suggests that people are likely to eat whole slices of pizza, regardless of pie size. So, you may end up eating less when you order a small or medium pizza than you would with a larger version. The bottom line? Grabbing a “harmless” slice or two could end up adding 300 to 800+ calories. 

Here’s another tip from the experts: Out of sight is apparently out of mind. Behavioral research suggests you’re more likely to avoid finishing off a pizza if you select your portion and box additional slices before digging in. 

—Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN
American Institute for Cancer Research