Can I Eat Pepperoni While Pregnant? Know If It Is Safe or Not

Are you in your first trimester of pregnancy? You are probably already experiencing pregnancy cravings.

Some women crave sweets, pastries, chocolates, and fatty foods, but what if you crave pepperoni?

The question is – Can I eat pepperoni while pregnant? If you are craving the savory flavor of pepperoni, you may wonder if it is safe and healthy for pregnant women.

You have come to the right place to get the answers you need to know.

In this article, you will learn about various topics related to eating pepperoni while pregnant.

Be informed of the risks and benefits involved in eating pepperoni, as well as discover alternatives to pepperoni with this article.

In summary, here’s what you will read about:

  • Can I Eat Pepperoni While Pregnant?
  • What Are the Benefits of Eating Pepperoni While Pregnant?
  • What Are the Risks of Eating Pepperoni While Pregnant?
  • How to Safely Eat and Enjoy Pepperoni During Pregnancy
  • Are There Pepperoni Alternatives for Pregnant Women?
  • What Meals Can I Eat Pepperoni During Pregnancy?
  • The Takeaway

Can I Eat Pepperoni While Pregnant?

The short answer is yes, eating pepperoni while pregnant is considered safe.

Pregnant women can safely eat pepperoni as long as it is thoroughly cooked.

As a general rule for pregnancy, you should avoid consuming raw meat such as cured salamis.

Keep in mind that pepperoni is a type of cured salami.

Raw meat contains harmful bacteria that can have a negative impact on your baby’s healthy development and cause illnesses.

Although it is safe to eat pepperoni, it should only be consumed in moderation.

Pepperoni is typically not a healthy food source since it is high in fat, cholesterol, salt, and calories, so it should be eaten in small amounts.

Since it is high in fat, overeating pepperoni can lead to unhealthy weight gain, causing other related health issues such as gestational diabetes or heart diseases.

Thus, eating pepperoni is generally not recommended during pregnancy.

If you can’t seem to avoid your pepperoni pregnancy cravings, make sure to consume it in moderation and still maintain an overall healthy balanced diet.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Pepperoni While Pregnant?


Pepperoni has nutrients that are beneficial for pregnancy. It contains enough protein and essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.

You can also get small amounts of vitamins like Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D.

Based on the nutritional value of pepperoni per 100 grams, it provides at least:

  • 2 grams of protein
  • 504 kcal of energy
  • 19 mg of calcium
  • 18 mg of magnesium
  • 33 mg of iron
  • 44 mg of zinc
  • 3 µg of Vitamin B12
  • 03 mg of Vitamin E
  • 3 µg of Vitamin D
  • 8 µg of Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

These are just a few of the minimal nutrients you can get from 100 grams of pepperoni.

Aside from these nutrients, a minor benefit of adding pepperoni to your diet is simply to boost flavor and perk up your meals.

Moreover, it is a tasty add-on best for pizzas, salads, and sandwiches as part of your meal plans.

What Are the Risks of Eating Pepperoni While Pregnant?

Although pepperoni is safe to eat while pregnant, it does come with some risks.

Adding too much pepperoni to your diet is harmful since it can lead to unhealthy weight gain and health issues due to its high fat, high cholesterol, and high sodium content.

Per 100 grams of pepperoni, it contains 46.3 g of total lipid fat, 1580 mg of sodium, and 97 mg of cholesterol.

Aside from these values, pepperoni contains nitrates that are detrimental to your baby’s development.

Consuming nitrates can lead to birth defects, so you should avoid foods with nitrates and carcinogens at all costs.

If pepperoni is not cooked and stored properly, the risk of getting foodborne illnesses is high.

Foodborne illnesses typically show flu-like symptoms.

Here are some foodborne illness symptoms to watch out for, according to the Food and Drug Administration:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps

Aside from flu-like symptoms, it can also cause harmful effects on your pregnancy, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Heartburn
  • Risk of cancer caused by nitrates
  • Indigestion

How to Safely Eat and Enjoy Pepperoni During Pregnancy

Pregnancy cravings can be difficult to handle for some women.

So if you want to enjoy pepperoni while looking out for your health and your baby’s development, you must follow a few safety precautions.

  • The first thing to remember is to eat only well-cooked pepperoni and avoid uncooked or raw meat.
  • Moreover, you must eat pepperoni in moderation and, if possible, in minimal amounts. Do not overindulge on pepperoni.
  • A few slices of pepperoni on pizza or in a sandwich is considered safe as long as you limit it to one serving a week.
  • Most pepperoni meat in stores contains preservatives like nitrate, so if you want to eat pepperoni worry-free, look for nitrate-free pepperoni.
  • Plus, pepperoni must be properly stored and not expired to avoid foodborne illnesses. You can store pepperoni in the refrigerator or freezer.

Are There Pepperoni Alternatives for Pregnant Women?

You have a few options to choose from if you want to avoid eating pepperoni during your pregnancy.

For instance, you can use lean turkey, chicken breast, or plant-based options instead of adding pepperoni to your pizza or sandwich.

These alternatives are usually low in fat and saturated fat.

In addition, incorporating more vegetable options is ideal for your diet and adds the savory flavor you are craving, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and olives.

Vegetables are also low in fat and calories, making them a safer and healthier alternative.

In return, you can satisfy your cravings without the worries and risks of pepperoni.

What Meals Can I Eat Pepperoni During Pregnancy?

Pepperoni with cheese pizza

Pepperoni is not only common in pizzas but in several dishes as well. The following are some ways to eat pepperoni during pregnancy:

  • A slice of pizza topped with pepperoni and vegetables
  • A toasted sandwich with a few slices of pepperoni, vegetables, and sauces
  • A salad topping with vegetables, lettuce, and dressing
  • An additional ingredient in hearty soup bowls and stews
  • A topping for plates of pasta like spaghetti and pepperoni-style pasta

The Takeaway

The bottom line, it is considered safe to eat pepperoni while pregnant as long as it is cooked properly and eaten in moderation.

It contains protein and small amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins, which are all beneficial nutrients to pregnancy.

However, the nitrates in pepperoni could pose a health risk, so it is advisable to find nitrate-free pepperoni options.

Moreover, it is not advisable to overindulge in pepperoni since it is high in fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

Eating pepperoni is still ultimately up to you to decide. Just make sure you follow safety precautions such as avoiding raw pepperoni, eating small amounts, and choosing nitrate-free options.

Remember these reminders and tips to handle your food cravings properly while decreasing health risks.

What are your thoughts on eating pepperoni during pregnancy? Would you eat pepperoni or not while pregnant?

Further Reading on Pepperoni With Slice Pizzeria

Share your thoughts and pieces of advice by leaving a comment below. If you have new information about pepperoni and pregnancy, write a comment as well. We’d love to hear your side too!

If you want to learn more about pepperoni, Slice Pizzeria has several informative articles on pepperoni.

Here are some articles worth your time:

Aside from pepperoni, I also wrote pizzeria reviews, prices and menus guides, and pizza comparisons. Have a read on the following:

Leave a Comment