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Mortadella vs Bologna sausage - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on August 26, 2021
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Mortadella
vs
Bologna sausage

Summary

Bologna sausage is a more processed form of mortadella and is cheaper. Bologna has a richer and more versatile vitamin and mineral profile. It is lower in carbs, fats, calories and has a lower glycemic index. Mortadella is richer in proteins and has higher sodium content.

Introduction

Bologna sausage and mortadella are meat products that are mostly made of pork. However, bologna sausage can be prepared by processing beef, pork, or veal, whereas mortadella is solely prepared by pork.

Bologna sausage is also known as baloney, parizer, polony, devon, and fritz. It is a derivative of mortadella, usually made of pork meat and fat. Bologna sausage was derived from the mortadella, and it is said that bologna sausage originated from the families that moved from bologna to the United States.

Bologna sausage has a homogeneous form which is one of its differences from mortadella. The meat, pork, and/or beef is mixed with fats and spices and emulsified together. This product is then processed into the shapes of the bologna sausage.

On the other hand, mortadella is a delicacy that is made exclusively from pork meat. It originated in Bologna, Italy. Mortadella has been part of the Italian culinary world since the 14th century. Mortadella is made by curing ground pork meat; chunks of pork fat, black pepper seeds, and pistachio are added on this mixture. On the contrary to bologna sausage, this mixture is not emulsified, thus giving the mortadella a heterogeneous form. Usually, 15% of the mortadella has to be pork fat chunks.

This article will compare bologna sausage to mortadella based on their nutritional content, weight loss and diets, and health impacts.

What is the actual difference?

There are differences between bologna sausage and mortadella. These differences vary among its origin, forms, price, shelflife, and taste, nutritional content, among other things.

Origin

The difference in origin is that bologna sausage is from the United States, and mortadella is from Bologna, Italy.

Form

The difference in form is that bologna sausage is homogeneous, whereas mortadella is heterogeneous with fat chunks, black pepper, and pistachio.

Price

When it comes to its price, bologna sausage is cheaper than mortadella.

Shelf life

Both are cold cuts that require refrigeration. However, mortadella has a longer shelf life compared to bologna sausage. In its unopened condition, refrigerated mortadella can last up to 1 month compared to bologna sausage that lasts for 1-2 weeks. Mortadella, when opened and sliced, lasts up to 1 week.

Taste

Mortadella has a richer, fattier flavor than bologna sausage. Mortadella has a delicate taste than bologna; the spices and pork fat make the mortadella a more flavourful cold cut than the bologna sausage.

About the nutritional content, they will be compared in further sections.

Culinary world

Bologna sausage can be eaten in different ways. It could be the simplest lunch sandwich: white bread, bologna, American cheese, and mustard, or it could be added to a burger as a topping or even added as a topping to pizza.

On the other hand, mortadella is a more delicate cold cut, which can be eaten similarly to bologna as part of a sandwich, or it can be added as a pizza topping to add a richer flavor profile. Mortadella can even be added to meat and cheese boards served with wine.

Nutritional data comparison

Glycemic index

Bologna sausage and mortadella are categorized as low glycemic index foods. Bologna sausage has a glycemic index which is 0. In comparison, mortadella has a higher glycemic index which is equal to 28.

Calories

Bologna sausage is lower in calories than mortadella. Mortadella contains 1.25x more calories than bologna sausage.

Carbs

Bologna sausage is lower in carbs compared to mortadella. Bologna sausage contains 0.7g of carbs whereas, mortadella contains 3g of carbs.

Fats

Both these foods are high in fat. Even though bologna is high in fat, it has lower fat content than mortadella. Bologna sausage contains nearly 20g of fats, for which 10g are monounsaturated fats, 3g are polyunsaturated, and 7g are saturated fats. On the other hand, mortadella is higher in fats than bologna; it contains 25g of fat, for which 11.3g are monounsaturated, 3.1g are polyunsaturated, and 9.5g are saturated.

Trans fat

Mortadella is higher in trans fat than bologna sausage. However, both are high in trans fats.

Cholesterol

Bologna sausage and mortadella have similar amounts of cholesterol. Constituting nearly 16% of the daily recommended value.

The amounts of fats in both these foods are elevated, and it is important to always keep in check the fat intake, even in normal and healthy individuals.

Protein

Both are rich in proteins, although it is important to mention that mortadella has a slightly higher protein content. In addition to that, both have a complete amino acid profile satisfying all essential amino acids.

Mineral content

Bologna sausage is richer in phosphorus, copper, and potassium. In comparison, mortadella is richer in zinc and iron. One of the most important features in their mineral profile is their sodium content. It is important to note that 300g of each surpasses the daily sodium requirement by 100% and more. Although no one usually consumes 300g of either, considering an average slice of 15g. Already two slices constitute more than 10% of the daily sodium intake. Mortadella contains higher amounts of sodium compared to bologna sausage.

We can see here the mineral charts.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +63.6%
Contains more Iron +81.8%
Contains more Magnesium +27.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +43.3%
Contains more Potassium +72.4%
Contains less Sodium -27.2%
Contains more Copper +33.3%
Equal in Zinc - 2.03
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 6% 53% 8% 42% 15% 163% 58% 20%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 4% 29% 10% 60% 25% 119% 56% 27%
Contains more Calcium +63.6%
Contains more Iron +81.8%
Contains more Magnesium +27.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +43.3%
Contains more Potassium +72.4%
Contains less Sodium -27.2%
Contains more Copper +33.3%
Equal in Zinc - 2.03

Vitamin content

Bologna sausage has a richer vitamin profile compared to mortadella. Bologna is richer in vitamins D, B1, B3, B5, and B6. In comparison, mortadella is richer in vitamins B2 and B12.

We can see here the vitamin charts.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin B2 +97352.2%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +59.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +433.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +18.2%
Contains more Vitamin D +40%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +339.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +45.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +63.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +107.7%
Contains more Folate +66.7%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 5% 30% 0% 30% 35308% 51% 27% 30% 3% 185% 4%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 6% 42% 0% 131% 37% 74% 44% 63% 4% 117% 1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +97352.2%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +59.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +433.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +18.2%
Contains more Vitamin D +40%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +339.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +45.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +63.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +107.7%
Contains more Folate +66.7%

Diet and weight loss

Bologna sausage and mortadella are not very recommended to be consumed during weight-loss diets. This is mainly due to their high amounts of fats and sodium. Although they are rich in proteins, their fat, trans fat, and cholesterol levels are elevated. In addition to that, the sodium levels in both, mainly in mortadella, are off the charts.

Vegan

Bologna sausage and mortadella are excluded from the vegan diet. However, some vegan alternatives for bologna sausage are available. The vegan bologna is usually made out of tofu cheese and other spices.

Keto

Bologna sausage and mortadella can be eaten on a keto diet. They are low in carbs and glycemic index, and they are mostly made of protein and fats when it comes to their macronutrient composition. However, it is important to mention that the sodium content should be taken in consideration while consuming these foods. In addition to that, mortadella and bologna sausage are usually associated with different condiments and toppings like mustard, mayo, ketchup, pickles, and cheeses. These all increase the levels of salt and sometimes carbs.

Health impacts

Cardiovascular health and Diabetes

Processed meat similar to red meat has negative effects on the cardiovascular system and overall metabolic system. It is important to mention that processed meat such as bologna sausage and mortadella has worse effects on the cardiovascular health and metabolic system than red meat itself. Consuming processed meat is associated with negative effects on cardiovascular health and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The main effectors of these problems are fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sodium, and nitrites. (1)

The nitrite levels present in bologna sausage and mortadella are a big risk factor for metabolic disorders. Nitrites and their metabolites are associated with different metabolic disorders such as type 1 diabetes in children, endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes in adults. Nitrites are usually added as preservatives in processed meats. (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Cancer

Often mortadella and bologna sausage is smoked with charcoal which increases polycyclic hydrocarbons, one of the leading causes of developing various types of cancer. Thus, it is important to refrain from consuming smoked meat due to its association with increased cancer risks. (7)

Healthier alternatives

Vegan alternatives are present for bologna sausage, which is not based on processing meat; however, it is based on tofu. Tofu, a derivative of soya beans, is filled with phytoestrogens, which have pros and cons.

In addition, as a concern to public health, the meat industry is trying to find ways to reduce the nitrate, sodium, and fat levels present in processed meat, such as bologna sausage and mortadella. Improvements are being made in turning these foods healthier and reducing their cons in everyday diets. (8) (9)

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20479151/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7955990/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16413411/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18793627/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11485378/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7020544/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21688801/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29197766/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24334039/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: August 26, 2021

Infographic

Mortadella vs Bologna sausage infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Mortadella Bologna sausage
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Mortadella Bologna sausage Opinion
Net carbs 3.05g 0.73g Mortadella
Protein 16.37g 15.3g Mortadella
Fats 25.39g 19.87g Mortadella
Carbs 3.05g 0.73g Mortadella
Calories 311kcal 247kcal Mortadella
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 0g 0g
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 18mg 11mg Mortadella
Iron 1.4mg 0.77mg Mortadella
Magnesium 11mg 14mg Bologna sausage
Phosphorus 97mg 139mg Bologna sausage
Potassium 163mg 281mg Bologna sausage
Sodium 1246mg 907mg Bologna sausage
Zinc 2.1mg 2.03mg Mortadella
Copper 0.06mg 0.08mg Bologna sausage
Vitamin A 0IU 0IU
Vitamin E 0.22mg 0.26mg Bologna sausage
Vitamin D 41IU 56IU Bologna sausage
Vitamin D 1µg 1.4µg Bologna sausage
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.119mg 0.523mg Bologna sausage
Vitamin B2 153mg 0.157mg Mortadella
Vitamin B3 2.673mg 3.9mg Bologna sausage
Vitamin B5 0.44mg 0.72mg Bologna sausage
Vitamin B6 0.13mg 0.27mg Bologna sausage
Folate 3µg 5µg Bologna sausage
Vitamin B12 1.48µg 0.93µg Mortadella
Vitamin K 1.6µg 0.3µg Mortadella
Tryptophan 0.152mg 0.149mg Mortadella
Threonine 0.633mg 0.641mg Bologna sausage
Isoleucine 0.708mg 0.663mg Mortadella
Leucine 1.213mg 1.168mg Mortadella
Lysine 1.262mg 1.204mg Mortadella
Methionine 0.394mg 0.412mg Bologna sausage
Phenylalanine 0.598mg 0.585mg Mortadella
Valine 0.735mg 0.737mg Bologna sausage
Histidine 0.52mg 0.482mg Mortadella
Cholesterol 56mg 59mg Mortadella
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 9.51g 6.839g Bologna sausage
Monounsaturated Fat 11.38g 9.732g Mortadella
Polyunsaturated fat 3.12g 2.107g Mortadella

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Mortadella Bologna sausage
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
2972
Mortadella
43
Bologna sausage
Mineral Summary Score
45
Mortadella
41
Bologna sausage

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
98%
Mortadella
92%
Bologna sausage
Carbohydrates
3%
Mortadella
1%
Bologna sausage
Fats
117%
Mortadella
92%
Bologna sausage

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Mortadella
Mortadella is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 3mg)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage contains less Sodium (difference - 339mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.671g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage is lower in glycemic index (difference - 28)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
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.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Mortadella - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174573/nutrients
  2. Bologna sausage - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173856/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.