Do you think you’re doing better by reaching for a pizza menu than by driving through McDonald’s golden arches? Think again. A recent study published by the U.K.-based health group CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health), found that almost half (612 pizzas) of the tested 1,267 restaurant and takeout pizzas contained more than six grams of salt (the daily recommended salt intake). The kicker, though, is that five of the biggest sodium offenders actually contained the same amount of salt as seven Big Macs, including the stuffed-crust sausage and pepperoni pizza from Papa John’s, and the now-discontinued Domino’s “Pepperoni Passion” with a hot dog-stuffed crust.
The worst offenders, according to the survey, are “takeaway” pizzerias (or takeout), where almost three-quarters of the pizzas tested had more than the daily recommended sodium intake. It should be noted that the unhealthiest pizzas, unsurprisingly, were loaded with various types of cheese and processed meats. The Vegetable Supreme pizza from Pizza Hut, for instance, only contained 3.2 grams of salt.
"Most of us aren’t aware of how much salt we actually eat on a daily basis, and thus the danger we are putting ourselves in,” said Sonia Pombo, nutritionist at CASH. “We need the food industry to help us improve our diet, not to hide three times more salt than is recommended in a day in a single pizza!”