Sausage has long been credited for its weight loss benefits with fans of the meaty snack hailing its appetite suppressing capabilities. So is sausage good for weight loss? Well, if you’re a fan of the food, it just might be.
Sausages Around the World
A variety of sausages are commonly consumed worldwide. Even hot dogs are technically considered a type of sausage. The primary ingredient in most sausages is ground or processed meat, though vegan and vegetarian sausages exist too. Some examples of sausages include:
- Bloedworst: a Belgian and Dutch sausage made primarily from animal blood
- Bratwurst: a German sausage usually made from pork or beef
- Chipolata: a thin sausage often served as a breakfast food
- Chorizo: a Spanish pork sausage known for its red color
- Frankfurters (or Vienna sausage)
- Haggis: a sausage made of sheep offal that’s popular in the United Kingdom
- Salami: fermented, air-dried beef or pork sausage
- Saucisson: a dry-cured sausage that is most often found in France
- Skilandis: a Lithuanian sausage made of minced meat and bacon in pig’s stomach
Sausages can be made using just about any type of meat or meat product. Along with these ingredients, sausages traditionally contain herbs and vegetables, like thyme, rosemary, oregano, garlic and onion. They’re also typically high in fat, which keeps them moist as you cook them in their casings. Sausages often contain binders as well.
Sausage Nutrition Facts
Sausages can be made out of essentially any protein. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, beef, pork and veal are the main materials used to make sausage products. However, poultry, mutton and other meats, such as organ meats, are also used. Sausage is even made from game animals, like deer.
The amount of meat in your sausage depends on its type, but many are about 75 percent meat. The remainder should be fat and other ingredients, like eggs, binders and spices. This balance helps to create a moist and flavorful sausage. However, these ingredients vary widely, and the United States Department of Agriculture regulates sausage contents based on their labels. For instance:
- “Fresh Pork Sausages” can contain only pork with a fat content limit of 50 percent.
- “Fresh Beef Sausages” can
contain only beef with a fat content limit of
- “Breakfast Sausages” can be made of any meat or meat product,
with a fat content limit of 50 percent.
- “Italian Sausage Products” can be made of any meat,
with a fat content limit of 35 percent. They can also contain a variety of additional ingredients, like spices and vegetables.
This means that, on average, your sausage must have a minimum of 70 percent meat if it is beef or 50 percent meat if it is pork. Since the two main ingredients in sausages are meat and fat, this essentially means that there are very few carbs in sausages.
Carbs in Sausages
Any carbs in sausages made from meat products come from additional ingredients, like spices, binders and produce. While a bit of seasoning is unlikely to increase overall carb content, many sausages have small amounts of natural flavorings, like fruits, vegetables and even cheese. This can increase their carb content, but fortunately not by much: A pork, beef and cheddar cheese sausage still has only 2.1 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.
The main factor likely to increase the carbs in sausages is the use of binders. Binders give sausages their consistency and prevent them from becoming crumbly. Binders in homemade sausages are often breadcrumbs — obviously, a major source of carbs. But they may also include ingredients like potato flour, lentil flour, soy, vital wheat gluten or even corn syrup.
Whether or not these ingredients impact the carbohydrate content of your sausages depends entirely on the ingredient. Vital wheat gluten is mainly protein, for instance, and could be considered a nutritious, low-carb binder. In contrast, light corn syrup has virtually no nutrients and is high in carbohydrates, with 16.9 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.
While sausages are generally considered to be low-carb foods, ingredients like these mean that you may want to be cautious about adding sausage products to your low-carb diet. On the other hand, if you’re making your own sausages at home, you can avoid such ingredients and create products with the protein, fat and carbohydrate ratios that work best for you.
Low-Carb Diets and Sausages
Low-carbohydrate diets often mandate the consumption of specific ratios of foods. Keto diet rules typically ask people to consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Instead of carbohydrates, people on ketogenic diets primarily consume fat, which makes up 70 to 80 percent of their total diet, with the rest coming from protein.
Eating a lot of fat might sound easy initially, but it can be very challenging if you have so few carbs available to you. However, since you’re allowed more protein than carbs, one strategy is to integrate meats that are high in fat into your diet.
Foods like sausages, which can have a 50-50 ratio of fat to protein, are ideal for low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. The downside to high-fat meat products is that they’re also rich in saturated fat.
Saturated Fat in Sausages
If you’re following a low-carb or ketogenic diet and are eating lots of fat every day, you should make sure that you’re consuming fat from a range of sources, as too much saturated fat can be bad for your health. According to the American Heart Association, this means that most people should consume just 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
One hundred grams of pork, beef and cheddar cheese sausages contain 9.5 grams of saturated fat, which is the majority of a day’s recommended saturated fat intake. Many sausages supply about this amount of saturated fat. Fortunately, there are alternatives — sausages are now being made with products like fish oil and emulsified vegetable oil, which can replace saturated fat content with heart-healthy fats that are better for you.
What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Sausage
Grilling season is officially upon us!
Firing up the grill this summer? While there are plenty of grilling recipes you can make during the warmer months, there are always a few tried-and-true foods to throw on the grill that everyone loves: burgers, hot dogs, and sausages. While having these foods once in a blue moon won’t make a difference for your health, if you’re eating processed meats regularly, you could be experiencing some not-so-great side effects down the line. This is why it’s important to know what happens to your body when you eat sausage on a regular basis.
We turned to the latest research on processed meats and what you should know when you consume them. So before you get that grill going this summer, be sure to read up on what happens to your body when you eat sausage. Then, why not cook up one of these 33 Best Grilling Recipes on the Planet?
Your risk of disease increases.
Most sausage is considered processed meat, and regardless of the type of meat in it, eating any type of processed meat can increase your risk of a few chronic diseases. Yes—even chicken sausage and turkey sausage are on this list.
According to a study published by the University of Zurich, people who eat a higher amount of processed meat regularly will run a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer. It’s all due to the carcinogenic substances (like nitrosamines) from processing.
However, one note to focus on in the study is how the participants ate 40 grams of processed meat a day, which is a lot of processed meat to consume on a regular basis. The study ends by saying that you should eat fewer than 20 grams of processed meat a day.
Along with processed meats, here are 50 Foods That Have Been Linked to Heart Disease.
You’ll get some protein.
All sausage is still considered a source of protein, and having a sufficient amount of protein in your diet is important for your health and even for your weight. Protein is also a macronutrient that helps you to feel fuller for longer, which is why it’s important to eat enough of it in a day. The average sausage link could range between 16 to 20 grams of protein.
However, while sausage does have protein in it, not all sausage would be defined as a lean protein. Mixing in some of the lean proteins into your diet is crucial, like chicken and fish.
You’ll consume a lot of sodium.
Most sausage products are incredibly high in sodium, and eating a diet high in sodium can do enough damage on your health alone. One study published by JAMA showed how a diet higher in sodium can increase the risk of cardiovascular events and heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) says you shouldn’t go over 2,300 milligrams of sodium in a day, with an ideal limit of 1,500 milligrams in order to avoid high blood pressure, which is a crucial factor for your heart health.
According to the USDA, on average, a normal link of sausage (around 4 oz.) can have upwards of 900 milligrams in it after processing. To put this in perspective, 4 oz. of cooked chicken breast has less than 100 milligrams.
Some sausage is high in saturated fat.
Depending on the type of sausage you buy, you may also be consuming a high amount of saturated fat. The USDA says an average link of sausage (which typically contains ground pork, beef, or a combination) may have 13 grams of saturated fat. The AHA would say this is the exact limit of saturated fat you should allow yourself to have in a day if you are following a 2,000 calorie diet. Saturated fat consumption should only account for 5% to 6% of your calories in order to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure low.
Too much saturated fat in a day can cause a myriad of issues. Not only does it contribute to weight gain, but it can also increase your “bad” LDL cholesterol, which results in an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
So if you plan on grilling up some sausages this summer, be mindful of how much you plan on consuming.
Reasons a sausage is good for you!
As it’s Sausage Week 2019, we wanted to celebrate all the health benefits of the traditional British Sausages. As well as being convenient and tasty, there are endless health benefits to eating this mighty meat! Here are just 5 of them:
High in protein
The traditional pork sausage is packed with protein, containing on average 11g each. The benefits of protein are well documented for maintaining and building lean muscle mass and improving tissue health. Whether you are looking to bulk up on muscle mass, or slim down, protein is vital!
Helps keep your blood healthy
Sausages provide high levels of Vitamin B-12 and Iron, both of which are essential for healthy red blood cells and haemoglobin production. On top of this, B-12 helps you metabolise both fats and protein! Each sausage provides around a third of your RDA.
Keeps you looking healthy
If only there was a food which could help your skin, hair and eyes looking healthier? Oh wait, there is! Sausage contain over 40% of your RDA for Niacin, which is essential for helping you look good !
Fends off a hangover
Ever wondered why a cooked breakfast makes you feel so much better after one too many the night before? It’s because sausages contain high levels of Phosphorus- which is important for maintaining kidney function, as well as building strong bones and teeth!
Stops you getting ill
Pork contains plenty of selenium, a nutrient which is vital to your health. It helps with thyroid health, boosts your immune system and can reduce your risk of heart disease. Including some selenium rich foods into your diet is a great way to help maintain good health!