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Pizza vs. Burrito — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on May 01, 2023
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan
Pizza
vs
Burrito

Summary

Pizza has higher calories, proteins, carbs, fats, sodium and is richer in vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, Burritos have a lower glycemic index, lower saturated fats, but they are higher in trans fats. Both are highly versatile and can be modified to be healthier.

Introduction

Pizza originated in Italy, but today it is spread worldwide and is one of the most common fast foods. The original pizza is not categorized as fast food. The fundamental element of pizza is the dough, the sauce, and the cheese. It is highly versatile and can be vegan, vegetarian, and meat products.

The burrito, on the other hand, is Mexican. It is a tortilla wrapped around various elements: Mexican rice, beans, vegetables, cheese, and meat, which can be beef, chicken, or pork. Burritos are described as savory filling and salsa-rich wraps that have a wide range of tastes and flavors.

Culinary world

Both these can be modified from being healthy foods to junk food. This is due to the various ingredients present in them.

Pizzas are the cornerstone of friend gatherings as there is no gathering without pizza; however, most of the time, delivery pizza is a fast-food pizza that is not considered healthy food. So be careful of the number of slices you eat; they are irresistible.

On the other hand, Burritos are not as famous around the world as much as pizza is. However, they are mostly prepared as fast food and not healthy foods. Some cuisines have taken the burrito concept, made it into a burrito bowl, and turned it into healthy food. We will discuss this in the diet section.

In this article, we will compare the differences between pizza and burritos based on their nutritional data, weight loss and diets, and health impacts.

Nutritional data

In this part of the article, we will discuss the nutritional data based on comparing 100g of pizza and burrito. The pizza taken into consideration is a fast-food pizza with cheese topping and regular crust, and we would compare this to burritos with beans.

The serving size of each is essential. 1 serving of pizza which is 1 slice, is about 107g, and 1 serving of a burrito is 217g

Calories

Pizza and burrito are considered moderate in calories; of course, this is based on 100g.

Pizza has 266 calories compared to burritos which have 206 calories. Pizzas are higher in calories.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index for both has a range depending on the ingredients that are used. It is hard to pinpoint an exact glycemic index. Keeping in mind the portions of the pizza and burrito mentioned above, pizza has a higher glycemic index, which is 60, compared to burritos with a glycemic index of 37.

Carbs

Pizza and burritos have nearly similar carbs. They are high in carbs. Pizza has 33.33g of carbs whereas, burrito has 32.92g of carbs. Nearly 100g of either would satisfy around 11% of the daily required carbs.

Proteins

Pizza has higher protein amounts compared to burritos.

Fats

Pizza has higher amounts of fats, mostly due to the cheese topping.

The saturated fat in pizza fills 20% of the daily value, whereas, in burritos, it is lesser as it is 15% of the daily value.

It is important to take into consideration the amounts of trans fats when it comes to both foods.

Pizza has 0.24g of trans fats, which makes around 12% of the daily required value. However, the burrito has a higher trans fat content of about 1.1g, 55% of the daily value.

Minerals

Pizza and burritos are high in sodium. The recommended daily intake is about 2300 mg, and the sodium amount of pizza is 589mg, filling nearly 25% of the daily value. So 4 slices of pizza would fill 100% of the daily required value. The sodium amount of pizza has to be taken into consideration for hypertensive people and individuals who don’t suffer from any health problems.

In the case of burrito, the sodium content is lesser than pizza, yet it is still considered high since 100g of a burrito would make 19% of the daily value.

The mineral amount can vary, but we will take into consideration the standard types of both foods as mentioned above.

Pizza is richer in calcium, iron, and phosphorus, whereas burrito is richer in magnesium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Pizza
5
:
Contains more Calcium +261.5%
Contains more Iron +19.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +380%
Contains more Zinc +91.4%
Contains more Selenium +97%
Contains more Magnesium +66.7%
Contains more Potassium +75%
Contains less Sodium -24.1%
Contains more Copper +65.7%
Contains more Manganese +11.1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 57% 93% 18% 93% 16% 78% 37% 35% 47% 109%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 16% 78% 29% 20% 27% 60% 20% 58% 53% 56%
Contains more Calcium +261.5%
Contains more Iron +19.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +380%
Contains more Zinc +91.4%
Contains more Selenium +97%
Contains more Magnesium +66.7%
Contains more Potassium +75%
Contains less Sodium -24.1%
Contains more Copper +65.7%
Contains more Manganese +11.1%

Vitamins

Pizza is richer in vitamins B1, A, C, and folate. In comparison, the burrito is richer in vitamins B2 and B5. However, these can vary with the toppings and elements added to them.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Pizza
8
:
Contains more Vitamin A +134%
Contains more Vitamin C +55.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +34.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +104.5%
Contains more Folate +132.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +43.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +75%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +19%
Contains more Choline +63.4%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 22% 17% 0% 5% 98% 45% 72% 0% 19% 70% 53% 9% 17%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 10% 0% 0% 3% 73% 65% 36% 56% 33% 30% 63% 15% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +134%
Contains more Vitamin C +55.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +34.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +104.5%
Contains more Folate +132.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +43.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +75%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +19%
Contains more Choline +63.4%

Weight loss and diets

Both pizza and burrito are not usually associated with weight loss. In a sentence, together, they are considered oxymorons. Although most pizzas and burritos are high in calories, we can make adaptations to make them suitable for people who crave them, even when on a diet.

Pizzas are considered one of the most versatile foods. They can be adjusted to fit a healthy diet if required. However, we would sacrifice most of the good parts of the pizza, like pepperoni, extra cheese, the crust dipping in sauces. Maintaining a specific diet for the long term is to have the least amount of local foods. The more restricted elements are in a specific diet, the more cravings for that particular food will happen.

So a healthy alternative to a classic fast-food pizza would be a homemade one. Knowing what ingredients are being used helps with the process of preparation. A thin dough, less cheese, more vegetable toppings are the way to go. Of course, one should also control the number of slices consumed.

On the other hand, Burrito can be made to be healthier without sacrificing the best parts of it. Some people eat burritos with rice, which is not the normal standard. However, if that is the case, the rice has to be removed. Consider using leaner meat, less cheese, low-fat sour cream, or a little bit of sour cream, and fewer beans.

Vegan

We can make both of them into vegan versions. In the case of pizza, We can use vegan cheese with vegetable toppings. For a burrito, it can be made with mushrooms, or instead of ground beef, you can add extra red beans with the salsa. Sour cream and cheese have to be sacrificed in this case. The point is that you can still have a pizza or a burrito, even on a vegan diet. However, a couple of modifications have to be made.

Keto

Pizza made the keto list, with a couple of modifications, of course. The carb source of pizza is the dough, so the challenge is to change the wheat-based dough. The alternative is cauliflower-based dough or almond flour-based dough. For the cheese, we can consume low-carb, high-fat cheese.

When it comes to toppings, it is important to find alternatives for high-carb toppings, like corn, and you have the green light to stay away from pineapples on top of your pizza.

Burritos, on the other hand, have a challenge with the tortilla wrap. An alternative to that would be a burrito bowl with fewer amounts of carbs sources and more protein.

Gluten-free diet

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

People with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (gluten intolerance) should follow a gluten-free diet; choose a gluten-free dough not made from wheat.

Common symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance are abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, anemia-related symptoms (weakness, fatigue, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, shortness of breath), etc.

Health impacts

Cardiovascular health

Pizza, as fast food, is one of the main concerns of deteriorating cardiovascular health among adults. Pizza has adverse effects on cardiovascular health. (1)

Pizzas are considered high in sodium. If the amount of sodium remains unmonitored over long periods, developing hypertension will increase. (2) (3)

On the other hand, the burrito has nearly 55% of the required daily trans fat, associated with developing cardiovascular diseases. (4)

This paper shows a direct correlation between consuming burritos frequently and having a high BMI. High BMI is associated with an increased risk of hypertension. (5)

Obesity

Pizza consumption has a direct link with increased risks of obesity. (1)

In addition to that, burrito consumption also has a direct link with obesity. High BMI is associated with frequent consumption of burritos. (6)

Diabetes

Measuring blood glucose levels after consuming pizza has shown a high increase in blood sugar levels, resulting in high thresholds of hyperglycemia. This hyperglycemic state on a constant and regular basis would lead to type 2 diabetes. (7)

Similarly, as mentioned above, a direct correlation between burrito consumption and high BMI is present, leading to increased risks of developing diabetes. (8)

Cancer

Consumption of fast foods, including pizza and burrito, over long periods of time and in large amounts are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. (9)

Mental health

Sometimes consuming fast foods is considered a comfort food after a stressful day. However, this is proven to have negative long-term effects associated with depression and stress.

Consumption of fast foods is also associated with violent behavior in children. (10) (11)

Miscellaneous health benefits

Eating well-balanced homemade healthy pizza has its benefits.

Data shows that eating the above-mentioned healthy pizza reduces the risks of obesity. (12)

The baker’s yeast added into pizzas have positive benefits on the overall health. It acts as an immune booster, metabolism booster, and enhancer for digestion and absorption of food. (13)

An alternative to the fast-food burrito is the burrito bowl which is a healthier version. Cutting down the elements that give high fat and high carbs and replacing them with elements that satisfy the macronutrients and essential elements of diets is a better option.

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: May 01, 2023
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan

Infographic

Pizza vs Burrito infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Pizza
4
:
Contains more Protein +75.8%
Contains more Fats +55.8%
Contains more Other +30.8%
Contains more Water +21.7%
Equal in Carbs - 32.92
11% 10% 33% 43% 2%
Protein: 11.39 g
Fats: 9.69 g
Carbs: 33.33 g
Water: 43.17 g
Other: 2.42 g
6% 6% 33% 53% 2%
Protein: 6.48 g
Fats: 6.22 g
Carbs: 32.92 g
Water: 52.53 g
Other: 1.85 g
Contains more Protein +75.8%
Contains more Fats +55.8%
Contains more Other +30.8%
Contains more Water +21.7%
Equal in Carbs - 32.92

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Pizza
2
:
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +19.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +205.1%
Contains less Saturated Fat -28.9%
51% 30% 19%
Saturated Fat: 4.465 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.608 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.681 g
54% 37% 9%
Saturated Fat: 3.174 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.184 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.551 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +19.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +205.1%
Contains less Saturated Fat -28.9%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Pizza Burrito
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pizza Burrito Opinion
Net carbs 31.03g 32.92g Burrito
Protein 11.39g 6.48g Pizza
Fats 9.69g 6.22g Pizza
Carbs 33.33g 32.92g Pizza
Calories 266kcal 206kcal Pizza
Starch 26.95g Pizza
Fructose 1g Pizza
Sugar 3.58g Burrito
Fiber 2.3g Pizza
Calcium 188mg 52mg Pizza
Iron 2.48mg 2.08mg Pizza
Magnesium 24mg 40mg Burrito
Phosphorus 216mg 45mg Pizza
Potassium 172mg 301mg Burrito
Sodium 598mg 454mg Burrito
Zinc 1.34mg 0.7mg Pizza
Copper 0.105mg 0.174mg Burrito
Manganese 0.36mg 0.4mg Burrito
Selenium 19.9µg 10.1µg Pizza
Vitamin A 358IU 153IU Pizza
Vitamin A RAE 69µg Pizza
Vitamin E 0.83mg Pizza
Vitamin C 1.4mg 0.9mg Pizza
Vitamin B1 0.39mg 0.29mg Pizza
Vitamin B2 0.195mg 0.28mg Burrito
Vitamin B3 3.825mg 1.87mg Pizza
Vitamin B5 0.92mg Burrito
Vitamin B6 0.08mg 0.14mg Burrito
Folate 93µg 40µg Pizza
Vitamin B12 0.42µg 0.5µg Burrito
Choline 16.4mg 26.8mg Burrito
Vitamin K 6.7µg Pizza
Tryptophan 0.079mg Burrito
Threonine 0.41mg 0.244mg Pizza
Isoleucine 0.564mg 0.27mg Pizza
Leucine 1.139mg 0.504mg Pizza
Lysine 0.77mg 0.343mg Pizza
Methionine 0.264mg 0.107mg Pizza
Phenylalanine 0.664mg 0.351mg Pizza
Valine 0.72mg 0.319mg Pizza
Histidine 0.355mg 0.172mg Pizza
Cholesterol 17mg 2mg Burrito
Trans Fat 0.241g Burrito
Saturated Fat 4.465g 3.174g Burrito
Omega-3 - EPA 0.004g Pizza
Omega-3 - DPA 0.004g Pizza
Monounsaturated Fat 2.608g 2.184g Pizza
Polyunsaturated fat 1.681g 0.551g Pizza
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.003g Pizza
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 1.367g Pizza
Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid 0.003g Pizza
Omega-3 - ALA 0.175g Pizza
Omega-6 - Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid 0.009g Pizza

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pizza Burrito
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
33%
Pizza
29%
Burrito
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
58%
Pizza
41%
Burrito

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.58g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Burrito
Burrito contains less Sodium (difference - 144mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 15mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.291g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Burrito
Burrito is lower in glycemic index (difference - 23)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Pizza - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173292/nutrients
  2. Burrito - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172038/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.