Bacon vs Pepperoni: Which Topping is Healthier?

As a pizza lover, I’m always trying to figure out ways to make my cheesy slices a little healthier without sacrificing that delicious flavor Two of the most popular pizza toppings are bacon and pepperoni, but is one better for you than the other? I decided to dig into the nutrition to find out whether bacon or pepperoni is the healthier choice

Comparing the Nutritional Values

First, let’s break down and compare some of the key nutritional values in bacon and pepperoni:

  • Calories – Pepperoni has slightly fewer calories per serving than bacon (around 70 calories vs 80 calories per ounce)

  • Fat – Pepperoni contains less overall fat than bacon (5 grams vs 9 grams per ounce) and also has less saturated fat.

  • Protein – Pepperoni packs more protein than bacon, with about 5 grams vs 3 grams per ounce.

  • Sodium – Both toppings are very high in sodium, but pepperoni has slightly less per serving compared to bacon.

  • Cholesterol – Bacon contains more cholesterol than pepperoni (23 mg vs 17 mg per ounce).

  • Carbs – Bacon has a tiny bit of carbohydrates, while pepperoni has basically zero.

So at a glance, pepperoni looks a little better nutritionally thanks to its lower fat and calories, plus higher protein. But there’s more to consider.

The Meat Factor

Both bacon and pepperoni fall into the processed meat category, which has been linked to health risks like heart disease and cancer. The WHO recommends limiting processed meats, so neither topping is considered healthy.

However, bacon may be slightly more concerning than pepperoni due to specific ingredients:

  • Nitrates – Many bacon products contain sodium nitrate to preserve color and extend shelf life. When cooked at high heat, nitrates form carcinogenic nitrosamines.

  • Saturated fat – The high saturated fat content in bacon mostly comes from unhealthy sources like pork belly. Pepperoni fat is leaner.

  • Smoking – Traditional bacon is smoked, exposing it to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that may be carcinogenic. Pepperoni is generally not smoked.

So while both processed meats bring health concerns, bacon could be riskier due to some processing methods. Moderation is key with both.

Other Factors to Consider

Looking beyond nutrition, here are some other factors to weigh when choosing between bacon or pepperoni:

  • Taste preference – Bacon offers smoky, savory flavor, while pepperoni brings spicy, tangy taste. Choose your favorite!

  • Texture – Pepperoni slices provide an enjoyable crispness. Thick bacon can be chewy. Consider your ideal texture.

  • Cost – Pepperoni is generally the more budget-friendly choice over premium artisanal bacon.

  • Convenience – Pre-sliced pepperoni is ready to top a pizza, while bacon requires prep work.

  • Versatility – Pepperoni works well in more dishes like salads, sandwiches, snacks and more. Bacon is more limited.

  • Sodium – If limiting salt intake, pepperoni may be slightly better than super salty bacon.

Healthier Cooking Tips for Bacon and Pepperoni

When using either bacon or pepperoni as a pizza topping, there are cooking methods that can make them a little healthier:

  • Opt for uncured bacon without nitrates/nitrites or pepperoni without preservatives.

  • Choose turkey bacon or turkey pepperoni to cut down on fat and calories.

  • Bake or broil pizzas with bacon/pepperoni instead of frying on the stovetop.

  • Place bacon on a wire rack on a baking sheet to allow fat to drip off while cooking in the oven.

  • Use thicker pepperoni slices and cook just until crispy, avoiding burnt edges.

  • Add lots of veggie toppings like mushrooms, onions, and peppers to balance the meat.

The Final Verdict

After comparing nutrition and health factors, pepperoni appears to be the slightly healthier choice between these two processed meat toppings. It contains less fat, sodium and calories compared to bacon.

However, both toppings should be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, due to concerns over processed meat intake. Consider turkey versions and opt for veggie-laden pizzas to mitigate any risks.

My personal verdict? While I’ll choose pepperoni more often for health reasons, I can’t resist the irresistible smoky flavor of bacon on pizza every now and then. With sensible portions, both toppings can have an occasional place in a balanced lifestyle. Moderation and variety is key!

Now I’m craving a slice of pepperoni pizza…time to order some dinner! What’s your go-to pizza topping preference?

What If You Eat BACON Every Day For 30 Days?


Is bacon or pepperoni healthier on pizza?

Lean Meat Toppings Are Best When compared to pepperoni, sausage, or meatballs toppings like Canadian bacon, chicken, and turkey come out way ahead in the “good for you” category. You don’t have to give up meat on a pizza to eat healthier, but you should at least give these other options a chance.

How unhealthy is pepperoni?

Processed meat Hot dogs, cold cuts, pepperoni, sausages — these processed meats may be tasty, but they may also put you at risk for heart problems in the future. Not only are they loaded with sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure, they are also high in compounds called nitrates.

What is healthier, ham or pepperoni?

Choose lean cuts Some deli meats, like bologna, salami, and pepperoni, are notoriously high in saturated fat—which can increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol and put you at a higher risk for heart disease (7). “Choose the leanest cut of meat like turkey breast, roast beef, and lean ham,” says Levinson.

Is bacon and pepperoni the same thing?

Bacon and pepperoni are both processed and cured meat products. Bacon is basically thin and long slices of pork (pig meat) belly or the back area, while pepperoni is the mixture of both ground pork and beef mixed with spices, seasoning, etc. No they aren’t the same thing. Bacon has a lot more fat and very little meat.

Are Pepperoni & Bacon healthy?

They are both high in protein and low in carbohydrates. They are both good sources of B vitamins, iron, and zinc. They are both relatively low in calories, with pepperoni having about 80 calories per ounce and bacon having about 55 calories per ounce.

What are the healthier substitutes of pepper?

Healthier substitutes of pepper are: 1. White pepper: It comes from the same fruit as the black pepper. The seed in the fruit gives us white pepper if you crack open the black pepper. 2. Green pepper: The harvesting of the fruit happens much earlier. It has mild taste and carry less heat than the black ones. 3. Pink pepper: These can also be grounded and can be used as a substitute for black pepper. It has sweeter taste and brings a rosy tone to the food. Because of its mild nature, you may have to compensate by adding a little more. 4. Papaya seeds: The seeds of the sweet fruit mimics black pepper once dried and grounded. Additionally, papaya seeds contain antioxidants and are highly nutritious.

Does Bacon have more calories than pepperoni?

Let’s start with the macros. In terms of calories, bacon actually has slightly more than pepperoni. Each 100g of bacon contains 556 calories, while pepperoni has 504 calories per 100g. However, when it comes to protein content, bacon comes out on top with 33.33 grams per 100 grams compared to pepperoni’s 19.25 grams.

Are pepperoni and Bacon the same?

Pepperoni and bacon are both cured meats that are often used as toppings on pizza or in other dishes. They are both salty and have a similar texture. They are both high in protein and low in carbohydrates. They are both good sources of B vitamins, iron, and zinc.

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