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Pepperoni vs Chorizo - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Pepperoni
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Chorizo

Introduction

We will discuss a detailed comparison and the main differences in the nutrition of chorizo and pepperoni.

Externally, chorizo and pepperoni both have a red color to them. Nevertheless, the taste is different. The main difference between chorizo and pepperoni begins with preparation. Chorizo is a type of Spanish cured and smoked pork sausage, and pepperoni is a type of American salami. Chorizo is made from pork, while pepperoni is made from pork and beef.

Varieties

There are two different types of chorizo sausage; Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo. Both are dark-red and spicy. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh pork and chilies. Spanish chorizo is made with cured chopped pork and Spanish paprika. Pepperoni also has two different types, traditional American and cooked. Both are made from pork and beef, usually 30% beef and 70% pork.

Uses

Chorizo is used in a sandwich, pizzas, grilled, fried, simmered in liquid. It can be used as a partial replacement for ground beef or pork. Pepperoni also can be used as the filling of the pepperoni roll, or in pizzas and kinds of pasta. Cured meats like pepperoni make a great starting point for homemade pasta sauces.

Pizza

Pepperoni is a loved American food staple. In the United States is most commonly used to make pepperoni pizza. The pepperoni pizza is usually bigger in diameter while chorizo pizza.  Chorizo is more complex than pepperoni because it has different versions. However, Spanish chorizo is the most similar to pepperoni. They can sometimes be used interchangeably because they use pork and similar spices.  The pepperoni pizza and chorizo pizza have similar recipes, moreover, they can be used together in Pepperoni-Chorizo Pizza [1] [2]. 

Nutrition

To understand the differences in the nutrition of pepperoni and chorizo we created a nutrition infographic, have a look below.

Macronutrients

Comparing these two products, we can see that pepperoni contains more fats including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, on the other hand, chorizo contains more protein, carbs, water, and less cholesterol. Both have no fiber and sugars [3]. 

Calories

The amount of food energy of chorizo and pepperoni sausages is equal to- 965 kJ. Overall, the calories of pepperoni and chorizo are quite similar. Nevertheless, the calories level of pepperoni is a bit higher, than in chorizo. It contains 504 calories per 100g, whereas chorizo contains 455 calories per 100g [4]. 

Minerals

Chorizo is richer in iron, potassium, and zinc. The level of sodium is 21% lesser in chorizo than in pepperoni. In any case, pepperoni is richer in calcium and copper. The amount of calcium is 2 times higher in pepperoni. Both completely lack magnesium and phosphorus [5]. 

Potassium

Your body cannot produce potassium naturally. It is a very important mineral, which can help with normal water balance, blood pressure, and muscle contractions. Chorizo contains more potassium, than pepperoni. The amount of potassium in chorizo is 398 mg per 100 g, while pepperoni contains 279 mg per 100 g [5]. 

Vitamins

Chorizo contains significantly higher concentrations of vitamin B1, as opposed to pepperoni, making it a great source for those with vitamin B1 deficiencies.  It is also high in Vitamin B12, Vitamins B2 and B6, and Vitamin D. On the other hand, pepperoni is higher in Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Folate. Chorizo and pepperoni are equal in Vitamin B3 and contain no Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C [5] [6]. 

Glycemic Index

Overall, the glycemic index of a food is a value based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. The glycemic index of pepperoni and chorizo is equal, it is 28. Both are considered low glycemic index food.

Acidity

The acidity of foods is portrayed by the potential renal acid load (PRAL), which shows the acid production of the food, inside the organism. The acidity level of pepperoni is about 8.8, while chorizo has 8.4. Both are acidic.

Production

Traditional American pepperoni is a dry, smoked, and air-dried sausage, although sometimes it can also be cooked. During production, to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms salt and sodium nitrate are then added as curing agents. The pepperoni sausage is soft, with a bright red color, which comes from paprika and cayenne pepper [7]. 

Traditional chorizo is made with chopped pork meat, seasoned with paprika and garlic. The chorizo sausage is soft, smoky, earthy, sweet with a gentle tang [8].

Health Impact

Ketogenic (Keto) Diet

The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high-fat diet which includes foods with high protein. If you are on this diet, it is good to have meat and this includes fatty meat such as pork belly, lamb, and poultry. Pepperoni contains fewer carbs than chorizo, has a higher fat level, and is a good source of protein. If you’re on this diet, eating pepperoni and chorizo is not an issue, but in any case, try to combine it with a natural source of healthy fats [9]․ 

Dukan diet

This is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Simply put, this diet allows eating meat, including pork, beef, lamb, and any other red meat. Pork is allowed in the Attack Phase because you can eat only protein in this phase. In this case, pepperoni and chorizo are allowed in this diet [10]. 

Beneficial Vitamins 

Pepperoni and chorizo are rich in B vitamins, especially Vitamin B1 (thiamin). According to studies, your body needs B vitamins to provide energy for the proper functioning of your brain, nerves, muscles, skin, and every cell in your body. It also helps prevent heart, nerves, and digestive system diseases [11]. Pepperoni and chorizo are also a good source of Vitamin B3 (niacin), which may help to lower LDL cholesterol and prevent heart disease [12]. 

Side Effects

Pepperoni and chorizo are rich in several vitamins and minerals; nevertheless, they are also rich in sodium and saturated fats. That means, they should be avoided as part of some diets. Try to avoid pepperoni, if you are on low calories and low fats diets, and try to avoid chorizo if you are on a low-carb diet [13].

Allergy

Overall, two reasons cause allergy to pepperoni and chorizo. One of them is an allergy to red meat, and the other is an allergy to one of the ingredients in them.

Red meat allergy

Red meat allergy is common in some parts of the world including any age group and race. People can have this allergy if they are sensitive to cat serum albumin that cross-reacts with albumin in pork. The majority of these cases relate to specific IgE to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal), an oligosaccharide of non-primate mammals. Symptoms are most common, including urticaria, vomiting, and stomach cramps, in rare cases, anaphylaxis [14].

Paprika allergy

Paprikas are a spice, made of a combination of dried peppers, including both sweet and hot peppers. Paprika allergy symptoms are rare but severe paprika allergies can result in anaphylaxis, so it is important to get tested if you typically have food allergies. Common symptoms include wheezing, hives, dizziness, and swelling of the throat [15]. 

Summary

Chorizo is relatively richer in Vitamins. The amount of Vitamins B12 and B1 are 2 times higher in chorizo than in pepperoni. It also has lower levels of sodium and saturated fats. On the other hand, pepperoni contains more Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and folate.

References

  1. https://books.google.am/books?id=brdM8-ahRg4C&pg=SA72-PA68&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211601X13000151
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889157596900319
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30795111/
  5. https://sci-hub.se/10.1016/j.profoo.2013.04.014
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0309174001002303
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814604001918
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/chorizo
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1871403X07000816
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26024402/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27488863/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18375237/
  13. https://sci-hub.se/10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.02.007 
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6488443/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4954633/ 
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 25, 2021

Infographic

Pepperoni vs Chorizo infographic
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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 +137.5%
Contains more Copper +13.8%
Contains more Iron +19.5%
Contains more Potassium +45.3%
Contains more Zinc +39.8%
Contains less Sodium -21.9%
Equal in Magnesium - 18
Equal in Phosphorus - 150
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 50% 6% 25% 13% 31% 67% 68% 207%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 60% 3% 36% 13% 27% 93% 65% 162%
Contains more Calcium +137.5%
Contains more Copper +13.8%
Contains more Iron +19.5%
Contains more Potassium +45.3%
Contains more Zinc +39.8%
Contains less Sodium -21.9%
Equal in Magnesium - 18
Equal in Phosphorus - 150

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 E +368.2%
Contains more Vitamin K +262.5%
Contains more Folate +150%
Contains more Vitamin D +15.4%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +132.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +16.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +20.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +46.4%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +53.8%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 5.131
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 0% 21% 39% 68% 60% 94% 56% 84% 163% 15% 4%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 0% 5% 45% 158% 70% 97% 68% 123% 251% 4% 2%
Contains more Vitamin E +368.2%
Contains more Vitamin K +262.5%
Contains more Folate +150%
Contains more Vitamin D +15.4%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +132.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +16.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +20.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +46.4%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +53.8%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 5.131

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
50
Pepperoni
68
Chorizo
Mineral Summary Score
58
Pepperoni
57
Chorizo

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
116%
Pepperoni
145%
Chorizo
Carbohydrates
1%
Pepperoni
2%
Chorizo
Fats
214%
Pepperoni
177%
Chorizo

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.
Pepperoni Chorizo
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pepperoni Chorizo
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

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Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Chorizo
Chorizo is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 9mg)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Chorizo
Chorizo contains less Sodium (difference - 347mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Chorizo
Chorizo is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 3.328g)
Which food is cheaper?
Chorizo
Chorizo is cheaper (difference - $3)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Chorizo
Chorizo is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (28)
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.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pepperoni Chorizo Opinion
Calories 504 455 Pepperoni
Protein 19.25 24.1 Chorizo
Fats 46.28 38.27 Pepperoni
Vitamin C 0 0
Carbs 1.18 1.86 Chorizo
Cholesterol 97 88 Chorizo
Vitamin D 52 61 Chorizo
Iron 1.33 1.59 Chorizo
Calcium 19 8 Pepperoni
Potassium 274 398 Chorizo
Magnesium 18 18
Sugar 0 0
Fiber 0 0
Copper 0.091 0.08 Pepperoni
Zinc 2.44 3.41 Chorizo
Starch
Phosphorus 158 150 Pepperoni
Sodium 1582 1235 Chorizo
Vitamin A 0 0
Vitamin E 1.03 0.22 Pepperoni
Vitamin D 1.3 1.5 Chorizo
Vitamin B1 0.271 0.63 Chorizo
Vitamin B2 0.257 0.3 Chorizo
Vitamin B3 4.987 5.131 Chorizo
Vitamin B5 0.93 1.12 Chorizo
Vitamin B6 0.362 0.53 Chorizo
Vitamin B12 1.3 2 Chorizo
Vitamin K 5.8 1.6 Pepperoni
Folate 5 2 Pepperoni
Trans Fat 1.527 Chorizo
Saturated Fat 17.708 14.38 Chorizo
Monounsaturated Fat 20.77 18.4 Pepperoni
Polyunsaturated fat 4.458 3.46 Pepperoni
Tryptophan 0.23 0.278 Chorizo
Threonine 0.869 1.473 Chorizo
Isoleucine 0.901 2.206 Chorizo
Leucine 1.575 1.708 Chorizo
Lysine 1.652 2.414 Chorizo
Methionine 0.511 0.47 Pepperoni
Phenylalanine 0.778 1.149 Chorizo
Valine 0.987 0.914 Pepperoni
Histidine 0.688 0.721 Chorizo
Fructose 0 Pepperoni

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. Pepperoni - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174575/nutrients
  2. Chorizo - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173859/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.