Blog Nutrition Nutrition Facts Is Pepperoni Bad For You? Here is What Experts Say

Is Pepperoni Bad For You? Here is What Experts Say

Tangy flavor, chewy texture, spiciness, and even more. This is how people usually describe pepperoni when trying it for the first time. Being one of the most common and delectable pizza toppings, pepperoni has gained popularity.  

Treating yourself to pepperoni pizza once in a while will not put you at risk of major health issues. Only those who indulge in pepperoni challenges constantly may impact long-term health negatively. 

Although it is loaded with a bunch of benefits it has a lot of calories, sodium, and cholesterol. This article reviews the effect of pepperoni on human health, its possible effects on weight, and why it should not be consumed on a daily basis. 

Is pepperoni bad for you? Here is what experts say. 


Is pepperoni good for weight loss?

If you constantly consume pepperoni pizza or other caloric snacks then you can say goodbye to a healthy weight. Everything here is hiding in the nutritional value of pepperoni itself. 

Nutritional facts per serving size 1 oz

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Cholesterol
141 13g 5g 27.2mg 443mg (6)

This nutritional value is a good indicator of the negative impact on weight in general. Even though our body craves fat to get energy and absorb essential vitamins, we can see that fat content is also loaded with unhealthy saturated fat and also trans fats which may increase bad cholesterol and empower the accumulation of fatty deposits in the vascular system (5).

The scientific review in 2017 shows an association between people who have heart diseases or risk heart issues and those who consume large amounts of saturated fat. 

However, more recent research challenges the link between heart disease and saturated fat. 

The caloric density can increase body weight with the person’s risk of heart disease. Additionally, high-fat food may negatively impact your sleep which also causes weight gain and a decrease in sensitivity to orexin – a brain chemical that helps regulate the body’s sleep clock (1).

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Hence, adding pepperoni pizza to your diet may not lead to weight gain when you only choose to consume it in adequate amounts and not often. 

This still doesn’t mean you should avoid products with saturated fats because they are linked to other health benefits. If your goal is to cut calories, you should focus on replacing saturated or trans fats with unsaturated healthy fats. 

Read More: Are Roasted Almonds Healthy? The Tea On Raw Vs. Roasted Almonds

Is pepperoni good for health?

Before we jump into the possible drawbacks of pepperoni it is also important to highlight a few possible benefits you can get. 

First, essential minerals can be found in pepperoni, including manganese. 13% of manganese per 48-gram serving is beneficial to the body’s enzyme function for the metabolism of protein, cholesterol, carbs, muscle contraction, bone development, and wound healing. 

Second, it contains selenium. This essential antioxidant helps your immune system stay strong by controlling free radicals, produced from pollution and as byproducts of metabolism. 

Also, pepperoni provides other minerals, like zinc for immune function, vision, and reproduction; copper, which eases the absorption of iron; phosphorus, for healthy teeth and bones; iron, which is beneficial to red blood cell production. 

Besides minerals, it provides important B vitamins that aid energy for the proper functioning of the brain, skin, muscles, nerves, and every cell in your body. 

Nutritional Facts

28 grams of pepperoni include the following B vitamins: 

  • Vitamin B12: 15 percent of the DV
  • Niacin: 9 percent of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 6 percent of the DV
  • Thiamin: 6 percent of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 6 percent of the DV
  • Pantothenic Acid: 5 percent of the DV

Is pepperoni bad for you

Why is pepperoni bad for you?

Why is pepperoni bad for you? In fact, even healthy food is going to harm you if you over consume it. With pepperoni, it works the same way as well. Despite the various benefits it can bring to the table, there are a few factors to be aware of. 

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Pepperoni is loaded with a large amount of sodium. Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming less than 2.300 milligrams of sodium per day. And only 28 grams of pepperoni is packed with 443 mg which is 18 % of that recommendation. In small amounts, sodium is related to the proper function of nerves and muscles. Too much salt though leads to elevated blood pressure which may put you at risk of developing a heart disease (2).

Processed meat that may lead to bowel cancer

Pepperoni is a so-called processed meat. When consumed in large amounts, it can increase the risk of developing bowel cancer. Therefore, cutting down on red and processed meat can minimize this risk (3).


Cured and processed meat usually contains nitrates that prolong shelf life and enhance the distinct flavor and color. In some people, pepperoni with nitrates can trigger migraine headaches. In small amounts, nitrates in processed food are safe to consume though. 

To sum up, unreasonable consumption may trigger headaches, and heart issues, and even elevate the risk of bowel cancer. Therefore, consuming it in small doses will be a good decision. 

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Is pepperoni healthy for weight loss?

Since the pepperoni is part of processed meat, its consumption is less likely to be beneficial to losing weight. This is connected to the general nutritional value of pepperoni itself where we can acknowledge a high amount of saturated fats, calories, sugar, hidden carbohydrates from flavors, and sodium. 

These nutrients in large amounts give the opposite effects and may even lead to weight gain. Therefore, considering it for weight loss may not be a good idea. Don’t get frustrated though, especially if you are a big pepperoni fan because there is a possibility for you to gain more benefits from a certain kind of pepperoni. 

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Turkey pepperoni is healthier than the regular one since it has only 3.5 grams of fat per 1-ounce portion, including only 1.1 grams of saturated fat. The downside is that turkey pepperoni has a greater amount of sodium which is 557 gm per serving. 

Is pepperoni good for weight loss? Generally, no, the consumption will not shed your calories and in large amounts may even increase your weight. 

You may still consume it either way but once in a while in smart doses. Only in this case, your waist size is not going to change.  

How bad is pepperoni for you? 

Consumption of pepperoni in large amounts may provoke negative effects on overall health. Due to the large amounts of calories, saturated fats, sugar, sodium, and hidden carbs, a person has a risk to put on weight, increasing the chances of heart disease, and chronic migraines. Thus, the best solution would be to cut down on pepperoni or completely eliminate it. 

Is pepperoni bad for you

Is pepperoni fattening?

Absolutely since it is high in fat and calories. According to the USDA, pepperoni contains 141 calories per 1-ounce piece, weighing 28 grams.

The amount of pepperoni in 28 grams equals the amount on five thin pizza slices.

The number of fat accounts for 84 percent of the total calories. This is equal to 13 grams, or 20% of the daily value (DV).

However, 5 grams of the total fat in an ounce of pepperoni is bad saturated fat, which accounts for 25% of your daily value.

It also includes unhealthy fats, which can raise bad cholesterol that may provoke heart diseases. 

Dietary Guidelines suggest that you should consume less than 10% saturated fat per day and avoid trans-fat.

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Is cheese or pepperoni pizza better for weight loss? 

Cheese pizza vs pepperoni weight loss is impossible because both of these pizzas include a high amount of calories and fat. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of both pizzas. 

Cheese pizza. Nutritional facts per serving size – 1 slice (107g)

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Cholesterol
285 10.4g 4.8g 18.2mg 639.9mg (6)

Pepperoni pizza. Nutritional facts per serving size – 1 slice (111g)

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Cholesterol
313 13.2g 5.7g 27.8mg 760.4mg (6)

Pepperoni pizza nutrition has shown it to be a tad worse choice for weight compared to cheese pizza. Please note that adding pizza to a weight loss diet is not the best option due to the high number of calories and fat in pizza itself. 

However, you may lose weight healthily only if you:

  • consume pizza in small doses once in a while; 
  • sleep well;
  • exercise regularly;
  • improve your eating habits. This means cutting down on saturated fats, eliminating trans fats, and enlarging the consumption of unsaturated healthy fats which can be found in avocados, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olives, and olive oil. 

Read More: What Does Sugar Do To Your Body? 16 Reasons Why Too Much Added Sugar Is Bad For You

Is pepperoni bad for you

What can I add to pizza? 

Experimenting with pizza toppings is always a nice treat. The traditional pepperoni pizza includes mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and pizza sauce. Still, you can load up your pizza with an endless amount of options. The most common are: 

  • olives
  • chicken
  • hot peppers
  • pineapple
  • bacon
  • various types of cheese
  • bell peppers
  • arugula
  • sausage

If you want to make your pepperoni pizza more hearty then you can use this simple recipe for the light-tasting and nutritional treat. The best part is that you can cook it on the skillet and enjoy the crisp juicy slices. 


  • 1 teaspoon fine yellow cornmeal
  •  1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces fresh prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
  •  3 1/2 ounces low-moisture, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  •  1 1/4 ounces uncured pepperoni slices 
  •  2 teaspoons olive oil
  •  Crushed red pepper
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  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF and sprinkle cornmeal evenly in bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. 
  2. Stretch pizza dough and Fit it into the bottom and up sides of the skillet. 
  3. Place skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop and cook until the bottom of the crust is dry and beginning to brown. It should take about 8 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat and prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork.
  5. Spread marinara sauce over the crust in a skillet.
  6. Sprinkle cheese and pepperoni on top. 
  7. Brush crust edges with oil and put your pizza into a preheated oven. 
  8. Bake  the dish until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. 
  9. Let it cool for 5 minutes and slice. 
  10. If desired, garnish it with chopped bell peppers. 

Pepproni pizza. Nutritional facts per serving size – 1 slice (107g)

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Protein Carbs
340 15g 5g 14g 41g (4).


Wrapping up

Is pepperoni bad for you? Here is what experts say. 

Pepperoni is the American variety of spicy salami created from cured pork and beef. The nutritional value of pepperoni shows it to be not the best food choice for people who desire to lose weight due to its big amount of calories and fat. 

Pepperoni provides essential minerals and B vitamins that may positively impact overall health. However, this processed meat includes a high amount of sodium which in large doses may provoke the risks of heart disease. Inadequate consumption of pepperoni is also related to the risks of migraines and bowel cancer. 

The nutritional value of pepperoni pizza demonstrates it to be less caloric compared to cheese pizza. Nonetheless, people who want to shed calories might consider replacing pizza with healthier food options. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Better Sleep: 3 Simple Diet Tweaks (
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (
  3. Cut Down On Red Meat And Processed Meat To Reduce Cancer Risk (2011,
  4. Healthy Pepperoni Skillet Pizza (
  5. Is saturated or unsaturated fat better for health? (2021,
  6. MyFoodData (
  7. Saturated Fat Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Ischemic Stroke: A Science Update (2017,