You're craving Italian, but you want to keep calories in check. So what should you order? A nutritionist weighs in.

By Kim Tranell
Updated February 26, 2021
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How can bread slathered in grease be less fattening than noodles with Parmesan and tomato sauce? The answer is simple: portion size.

"Most restaurants give you at least six times the recommended ½-cup serving size of pasta," says New York City nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, RD. Real talk: You're probably not going to eat just half a cup. On the other hand, she explains, "a pizza slice is like automatic portion control." After each piece, you're forced to stop and think, "Am I still hungry?"

Plus, pasta sauces can be loaded with oil, cheese or sugar; pizza sauce is often simply crushed tomatoes, since mozzarella is the star ingredient (which explains pizza's relatively high saturated-fat content). Add veggies on top and you get a little nutritional boost, too.

Still craving pasta? Ask for a side order with a tomato-based sauce.