The definition of a healthy diet changes from person to person. What might be on the over-indulgent side for one person could be perfectly suitable for another’s lifestyle and health needs. Overall, though, when defining a “healthy” diet, the World Health Organization clarifies that it should prevent malnutrition and, as much as possible, protect you from health concerns such as heart disease or diabetes. This usually requires balancing energy intake with your energy needs and keeping a careful eye on excess sugar and salt intake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expands on this definition by recommending limited consumption of solid fats and alcohol.
But even with these rather simple and accessible ideas of what a healthy diet is and isn’t, adhering to them is easier said than done, especially when dining out at some of America’s most popular food chains — like, in this case, Pizza Hut. According to Yum! Brands, there are more than 18,000 Pizza Hut locations scattered across more than 100 countries, making it one of the largest pizza restaurant brands worldwide. If you’re dining at one of these many locations while also striving to adopt a healthier diet and need a little help deciding on your order, here are some of the more appealing options on the menu — as based on the World Health Organization and USDA’s standards for a healthy diet — along with some of the options you might want to avoid.

If you’re ordering from Pizza Hut, chances are good that you’re ordering pizza. The chain offers a wide, wide variety of pizzas, with near-endless options for combining various styles of crust and toppings, both standard and specialty. However, if you’re trying to make healthier choices that specifically limit caloric, sodium, fat, and cholesterol intake, you might want to avoid Pizza Hut’s Meat Lover’s pizza, particularly if you’re ordering a large, Original Pan-style Meat Lover’s pizza. According to the Pizza Hut nutrition guide, each slice comes with 450 calories, 25 grams of fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, and 890 milligrams of sodium. If you upgrade that Meat Lover’s pizza to a large Meat Lover’s Stuffed Crust pizza, those totals only increase to 55 milligrams of cholesterol and 940 milligrams of sodium per slice — and who really eats only one slice of pizza?
To put these numbers in perspective, consider that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommends you keep your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day, to prevent hypertension and related health concerns. Just one slice of a large Meat Lover’s Stuffed Crust pizza, then, is about a third of that allotment. For a large slice of pizza that’s going to give you less fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories, look to Pizza Hut’s large Thin ‘N Crispy Veggie Lover’s pizza, with 230 calories per slice as well as 8 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, and 560 milligrams of sodium.

Pizza Hut first began offering pasta dishes in 2008, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Pizza Hut even won a Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters award for the new pastas the following year. However, after more than a dozen years of offering the same pasta varieties, Pizza Hut revamped its pasta offerings in mid-2022, which came as great news for Pizza Hut pasta lovers. Diners can now choose between four oven-baked pasta dishes, including chicken alfredo, cheesy alfredo, Italian meats, and veggie pasta. So which of the four new offerings will be kindest to your overall health?
The veggie pasta is, according to the Pizza Hut nutrition guide, your best bet for the least amount of calories (640), fat (16 grams), and sodium (1,170 milligrams). The veggie pasta is also the only one of the new pasta options with zero trans fat. This is important because, as Mayo Clinic explains, trans fat is the unhealthiest fat and can increase your risk of heart disease while raising your cholesterol. In contrast, the chicken alfredo pasta contains the most calories (930) and fat (49 grams) out of the four, while the Italian meats pasta contains the most sodium (1,640 milligrams) and the most cholesterol (90 milligrams).

Pizza Hut has offered a variety of sandwich-style menu items that have come and gone over the years. In 2012, for example, the brand introduced the P’Zolo, which was essentially a calzone with a bit of sandwich inspiration (via The New York Times). Unfortunately, the P’Zolo would eventually land among the discontinued Pizza Hut items we miss the most, even if it’s also considered one of the weirdest menu items in Pizza Hut history. That doesn’t mean you can’t find sandwiches on the Pizza Hut menu at all today, though. Currently, the restaurant offers five sub sandwiches that are firmly sandwiches — no calzone about them.
If you’re hankering for a sub during your next trip to Pizza Hut, the healthiest option is the black forest ham and cheese sandwich, served with chips, not fries, according to the Pizza Hut nutrition guide. This simple sandwich-and-chips combo comes with 850 calories, 39 grams of fat, and 70 milligrams of cholesterol, but also an unfortunate 2,360 milligrams of sodium — more than the recommended daily allotment as prescribed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For those watching their sodium intake, the bad news continues, as you won’t find any other sandwich on the Pizza Hut menu with less sodium than the black forest ham and cheese sandwich. Things get worse all the way to the unhealthiest sandwich on the menu, the honey barbecue with bacon sandwich which, when paired with fries, clocks in at 4,490 milligrams of sodium.

Pizza and wings are a classic combo, and Pizza Hut’s wings are some of the best. However, if you’re aiming for a healthier lifestyle, be careful not to fall into the same trap that can pop up when ordering pizza. If you’re gauging your choices by how much sodium, cholesterol, or fat is in a particular option, it’s important to remember that you’re likely not just going to eat one slice of pizza — and, similarly, you’re likely not going to eat just one wing.
Pizza Hut offers both traditional bone-in and breaded boneless wings. For the least sodium per wing, opt for either bone-in or boneless “naked” wings. According to the Pizza Hut nutrition guide, these sauce-less wings only contain 160 milligrams of sodium each. This is less than half of what you’ll find in some of the other options, such as the buffalo “burnin’ hot” bone-in wings, which contain 390 milligrams of sodium each. 
However, if you’re looking to save on calories or fat content rather than sodium, you’ll find your options are pretty similar across the board, no matter which wings you order. Nearly all of Pizza Hut’s wings are around 100 calories each, except for the garlic parmesan bone-in wings, with 140 calories each. Similarly, just about all the wings contain 4 or 4.5 grams of fat, except for all the variations of the spicy garlic wings, with 8 grams of fat.

Salads always sound like a good option, but they can be deceptive. You can’t just assume a salad is healthy because it’s a salad; lots of unhealthy elements might be lurking among your lettuce. However, when placing your order at Pizza Hut, you might just find that the salads, despite their few downfalls, are some of your better overall menu options, health-wise.
Pizza Hut offers three meal-sized salads: a zesty Italian salad, chicken garden salad, and chicken Caesar salad. All three are about equal in terms of calories and sodium content. Without considering the dressing of your choice, the chicken garden salad is going to be the most calorie-rich option, with 420 calories, according to the Pizza Hut nutrition guide. The chicken Caesar salad falls not far behind with 410 calories. Both salads also include more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium each, good for about half your daily allotment of sodium according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The zesty Italian salad, with 390 calories, boasts the highest amount of sodium, with 1,370 milligrams.
If you’re trying to pick a “healthiest” or “unhealthiest” option out of this batch, it’s all going to come down to your personal health goals. If you’re watching your sodium, you might go for the chicken garden salad. However, if you’re trying to increase the amount of protein in your diet, you might go for the chicken Caesar salad, which packs 33 grams of protein.

Sometimes it’s just nice to have a little extra something before your pizza or alongside it. If you’re not keen on adding a salad or batch of wings to your meal, you might consider one of Pizza Hut’s many side dishes. However, if you’re trying to add flavor and variety to your meal without adding extra sodium, fat, or cholesterol, you might want to avoid the fried nacho straight-cut fries, which are one of the most calorie-rich options out of the currently available Pizza Hut sides (via the Pizza Hut nutrition guide). Covered in nacho cheese, the fries —  which are also topped with even more cheese, some bacon, tomatoes, and jalapenos — clock in at 1,320 calories, 77 grams of fat, and 3,370 milligrams of sodium.
Luckily, the healthiest side dish on the menu is also one that’s super-tasty: Pizza Hut’s famous breadsticks. At 140 calories each, 260 milligrams of sodium each, and no cholesterol or trans fat, you could enjoy several of these breadsticks and know you’re not causing undue stress on your heart with all that salt you’ll find in the nacho fries.

What’s pizza — or wings or breadsticks, for that matter — without a great dip? Be careful, though. As the British Heart Foundation notes, dipping sauces, much like many restaurant salads, look innocent at first, but can actually hide quite a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. Even a dipping sauce as seemingly innocuous as ketchup can contain as much as one teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon of ketchup you eat.
When you’re perusing the available dips at Pizza Hut, though, the ketchup is going to be your best bet for the lowest amounts of calories, fat, and sodium (via the Pizza Hut nutrition guide). Sure, Pizza Hut uses Heinz Dip and Squeeze Ketchup, which does come with six grams of sugar, but that’s nothing compared to the 39 grams of sugar you’ll find in every three ounces of Pizza Hut’s barbecue dipping sauce. To put that into perspective, Harvard’s School of Public Health says four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon of sugar, which means eating a serving of Pizza Hut’s barbecue dipping sauce is the equivalent of eating nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Dessert is your time to indulge, but just because you’re indulging doesn’t mean you have to kick all your health goals to the curb. Pizza Hut has some surprisingly tasty and tempting desserts that won’t squander all your work spent sticking to your goals for the rest of your meal.
In 2018, Pizza Hut partnered with Cinnabon to offer mini cinnamon rolls in boxes of 10 (via Nation’s Restaurant News). These mini cinnamon rolls are still popular today and contain just 80 calories per roll, 3 grams of fat, and 6 grams of sugar (via the Pizza Hut nutrition guide). For an option with even less fat and sugar, you can go with Pizza Hut’s cinnamon sticks. The cinnamon sticks also boast zero saturated fat, compared to the cinnamon rolls’ 1.5 grams. As the American Heart Association explains, saturated fat can raise cholesterol and increase your chances of developing heart disease later in life. However, it is worth also noting that the cinnamon sticks do have significantly more sodium than the cinnamon rolls — 100 milligrams compared to 15 milligrams.
On the other end of the spectrum, the most indulgent option of all on Pizza Hut’s dessert menu is the triple chocolate brownie. If you eat the whole brownie (which is definitely a temptation), you’ll wrack up 2,100 calories, or just above the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s recommendations for adult females following an active lifestyle, and slightly beneath the recommendations for adult males following a sedentary lifestyle.


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