Finally, real evidence that us pizza blotters were right all along! Ha! Now our friends can’t laugh at us or say, “You’re trying to make pizza healthier?” No, I’m just trying to bring my calorie count down slightly and keep that extra grease from entering my system.
I’m well aware that pizza blotting doesn’t suddenly turn pizza into a “clean” meal that was measured by a fitness guru.
Mental Floss found that blotting a pizza can reduce the calorie count by 35 calories per slice, according to Food Detectives, or 20 to 50 calories, according to Popular Science, depending on how skilled of a blotter you are.
Mental Floss pointed out the sad fact that federal funding into pizza nutrition is very limited, so no one actually knows how many calories do come off of a slice of pizza after blotting.
The two above estimates are only guesses, so Lifehacker writer Beth Skwarecki used a high-precision scale and her love of pizza to find a more definitive answer.
She used the scale to weigh napkins, blot the pizza, then weigh the napkins again. Skwarecki equated each gram of added weight to nine calories of fat, since a McKinley Health Center study found that nine grams of fat weighs about one gram.
So, Skwarecki did what any determined, skeptical journalist is required to do in our demanding line of work: she ordered an 18-inch New York style cheese pizza. She blotted the first slice and removed 20 to 40 calories with a napkin and then another 20 with a second napkin. Skwarecki also took into account the important factor of taste: was there a difference before and after blotting? She said there was, but that it was only barely detectable.
That means that even though the difference in calories is small post blotting, it would add up over a few slices of pizza. It could be up to 120 calories saved if you had three slices.
And Mental Floss pointed out that what’s important is the percentage change in calories. For example, for an average slice of cheese pizza, which comes in at about 272 calories, blotting off 35 calories would be a 13 percent reduction. And, over time, that adds up a lot.
Mental Floss found that national average for pizza consumption among Americans was 23 pounds of pizza per year. Using that number, blotting your pizza could save you a total of 6611.2 calories in a year, or nearly two pounds of fat.
So, uh, case closed. Pizza blotters are the real MVPs.