Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Are Pizza Rolls Bad For You?



Short answer

Pizza rolls are bad for you. Pizza rolls are marketed as an oven baked or microwaveable snack and are branded by Totino’s, a General Mills company. Pizza rolls contain excessive preservatives, lots of sodium, and are a high-calorie food. Plus, there is a high probability of burning the roof of your mouth while biting into the steamy inner pizza roll.



Long answer

Pizza rolls are bad for you. Like its namesake, pizza rolls lack nutritional value, and therefore are a waste of calories.  Ingredients vary depending on which flavor of pizza rolls are consumed (cheese, pepperoni, sausage, combination, supreme); however, all varieties contain ingredients that are potentially harmful. Six cheese pizza rolls pack a whopping 270 calories and 8 grams of fat. That makes pizza rolls a high calorie, high fat snack with little to no nutrients. This snack does boast six grams of protein, but at the high cost of 370 mg of sodium and 30 grams of carbohydrates. That assumes you are only eating six of these tasty devils.

In addition to the sodium, calories, fat, and carbohydrates packed into only six small rolls, a myriad of suspicious ingredients loom in small print on the back of the package. The list of ingredients suggests unnatural additives, food processing, and preservatives.

The first ingredient listed is enriched four, which means this flour has been highly processed, bleached, and treated with synthetic ingredients, the culprit for the high carbohydrate level in the pizza roll, but also the reason for the tasty crust. A diet high in enriched flour can lead to obesity and heart disease.

Pepperoni pizza rolls contain the preservatives BHA and BHT, carcinogens commonly used in processed foods to extend shelf life. While the FDA approves BHA and BHT, there is still a large body of evidence that suggests too much of the preservatives can impact sleep, appetite, and may negatively impact behavior, in addition to harming the liver and kidneys when consumed in large amounts. BHA and BHT, in excess, have also been linked to cancer. These reasons, and others, are why BHA and BHT are banned in Europe.

In addition to BHA and BHT, pizza rolls also contain sodium nitrate (that’s the culprit for the high sodium content). Sodium nitrate is also a preservative, and consumed in excess is linked to dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Worse yet, excessive sodium nitrate has also been liked to esophageal, stomach, and bladder cancers.

Pizza rolls contain several other preservatives, including TBHQ, which also has its own controversy, and is banned in Canada. Titanium dioxide, an artificial color, is also found in pizza rolls, and some research studies have linked titanium dioxide to neurological dysfunction.

Perhaps the most disturbing ingredient is the Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, another additive used as a stabilizer. Though the amount present is small, prolonged consumption of aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s.

The long list of preservatives serves as a reminder that there is nothing natural about a pizza roll.

The list of ingredients shows some imitation cheeses, but no real cheese is contained in this tasty, but unhealthy snack. To subdue a pizza craving, the best alternative is to make a homemade pizza from scratch using healthier ingredients. There is nothing better than knowing exactly what is going into your food. 

Pizza rolls may also be harmful because they are eaten hot and can leave a nasty burn on the roof of the mouth. Luckily, the manufacturers warn consumers of that burn hazard, with a careful caution boldly printed on the back of the bag.

Pizza Rolls should be consumed in limited quantity and not on a regular basis. If the craving for a quick pizza snack is too difficult to resist, try Annie’s Pizza Poppers. That alternative still has high sodium, calories, and fat, but does not contain high quantities of questionable preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, MSG, or TBHQ.

Possible long-term side effects

  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • hormonal abnormalities
  • kidney stones
  • cancer
  • neurological problems

Ingredients to be aware of

Thank you for your feedback!

View Sources | Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 01-05-2017

Thank you for your feedback!

View Sources
Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 01-05-2017

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