Pregnancy is one of the essential phases of a woman’s life. Because she only has the ability to give life to a new living creature. So, every woman during her pregnancy will be meticulous and cautious about what she eats during the gestational period. No wonder she might have cravings for many things, the ones which she wouldn’t have tasted before her pregnancy. Pepperoni is one such eatery that pregnant ladies. May crave for during her pregnancy because of the spicy taste and distinct flavour it adds to the food. Pepperoni is usually consumed along with the pizza. While pizza is quite safe to eat; we will look into how safe is pepperoni during pregnancy.
What Is Pepperoni:
Pepperoni is an Italian-American salami prepared from cured pork and beef, seasoned with chilli pepper or paprika. This bright red-coloured salami is soft and smoky which adds an excellent taste and distinct flavour to your foods. Authentic pepperoni is available in Southern Italy that is made of beef and pork. Alternatively, turkey is being used in place of pork and beef in some areas of America. Nitrates or nitrites are the conventional curing or preservatives used in pepperoni.
Is it ok to Eat Pepperoni During Pregnancy:
While pizza is quite safe to eat during pregnancy. You need to reconsider if you are planning to eat pepperoni during pregnancy. Doctors do not recommend eating pepperoni during pregnancy. Although it is tasty and spicy that can satisfy cravings. But, if you have very strong desires, you might consume it once or twice during your gestational period. The main reason is because of the nitrates and nitrites used for preservation. These compounds react with the meat that produces some carcinogenic agents.
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Health Benefits Of Eating Pepperoni During Pregnancy:
Pepperoni is considered one of the great sources of minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Some of its benefits are.
- Pepperoni has a significant amount of fat content in it. If the pregnant lady is too lean, the doctor advises eating foods that have high-fat content. In such cases, consider pepperoni to eat.
- This salami contains one important mineral selenium in it. This is an essential antioxidant that keeps the immune system of the pregnant lady strong by fighting free radicals. That is produced as the byproduct of metabolism.
- During pregnancy, the pregnant lady should eat foods that have all the vitamins and minerals in them. Pepperoni has the right amounts of Vitamin B12, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Vitamin D &K.
Side Effects of Eating Pepperoni During Pregnancy:
Adding pepperoni to your diet during pregnancy might not be that helpful. Instead, it will add some complications for the pregnant lady and the unborn baby.
- Pepperoni is high in fat content. One ounce of pepperoni has around 141 calories and 13g of fat in it. These fats are mostly saturated fats that may result in weight gain, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and sometimes even heart disease.
- The spicy content present in the pepperoni causes heartburn and also causes indigestion.
- As seen earlier, pepperoni is made from cured pork and beef. These are preserved or cured using nitrites and nitrate. Which react with secondary amines the compounds present in the meat to produce nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are considered carcinogens that may increase the risk of cancer. Further, the studies showed that these nitrates and nitrites cross the placenta and increase the risk of brain tumours in the baby.
- Consuming pepperoni increases the sodium content in the body. One ounce of pepperoni contains about 443mg of sodium. The increase of sodium content in the body increases blood pressure and also affects fetal renal functions.
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How To Eat Pepperoni During Pregnancy:
Many of them think that pepperoni is only used as a topping on pizza. But, there are many varieties of eating pepperoni. Some of them are
- Use this tasty salami in the favourite sandwich you eat. Toast your favourite sandwich and top it with this salami.
- Eating pepperoni with black olives and cheese also is a beautiful combination.
- One other way of eating pepperoni is by making pepperoni soup. Add small pieces of pepperoni to the soups and stew and enjoy it.
- Some people also make bread out of pepperoni. Pepperoni bread is an excellent substitute for the sandwich.
- Chopped pepperoni can be used as toppings on your favourite pasta.
Pepperoni Pizza During Pregnancy:
Eating pizza during pregnancy is quite safe unless it is properly cooked. Pizzas come in different types, flavours, and toppings. One such kind of pizza is pepperoni pizza. This is one of the tastier pizzas that you can eat. But is this pizza safe during pregnancy, is the question? While most of them say that pepperoni is unsafe during pregnancy. Because of the cured pork and beef, eating this pizza once or twice during the gestational period may not harm the pregnant lady.
How To Make Pepperoni Pizza:
- One round of pizza dough.
- Three loaves of pepperoni.
- One cup of cheese.
- Sliced tomatoes.
- Chilli flakes.
- Sliced capsicum and onions.
- If you are a first-timer, it is better to purchase the pizza dough from the pizza store.
- Finely chop the pepperoni into small pieces or cut them into circular shapes.
- Firstly, put the pizza dough in the oven at a temperature of 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Add cheese on top of the hot pizza, let the cheese melt, and get absorbed into the dough.
- Top the cheese pizza with pepperoni, sliced onions, tomatoes, and capsicum. Let the dough get cooled for a few minutes.
- Place this pepperoni cheese pizza in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chilli flakes, pepper, and salt (if required) on the pizza and enjoy the delicious food.
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Pepperoni is considered unsafe to eat during pregnancy. Because of the high-fat content, nitrates and nitrites are used as preservatives, as also the meat used in it. Even though pepperoni has some health benefits. It is better to avoid eating this during pregnancy. But, if you have a very strong craving to eat pepperoni pizza. Then have it once during your pregnancy. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Q1. Can pregnant women eat raw pepperoni?
Ans: It is highly not recommended to eat pepperoni during pregnancy. Raw pepperoni is more harmful than properly cooked ones. The raw meat may contain bacteria, and the nitrates present in the pepperoni are detrimental to the pregnant lady and the unborn baby.
Q2. Is uncured pepperoni safe to eat during pregnancy?
Ans: Curing of pepperoni is done to preserve it from getting spoiled. Usually, fresh meat only should be consumed. Hence uncured pepperoni is not safe to eat. But, if you are sure that beef and pork are very fresh. Then you might take a chance to eat it during pregnancy.
Q3. How safe is turkey pepperoni during pregnancy?
Ans: Pepperoni made of turkey is quite safe to eat during pregnancy. Provided no preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites are added to preserve the turkey pepperoni. If the turkey meat is fresh, then you might try once eating it during pregnancy.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are just suggestions. And the website is in no way responsible for the side effects it may cause. It is better to consult a doctor before you eat anything, especially when you are pregnant.