Are you a fan of beef summer sausage?
It’s a popular snack that’s often enjoyed on-the-go or as a light meal. But is it actually healthy?
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about the nutritional value of this meaty treat. On one hand, it’s a great source of protein. On the other hand, it’s high in salt and can contain ingredients that have been linked to health concerns.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the facts and help you determine whether beef summer sausage deserves a place in your diet. So grab a snack (maybe not the sausage just yet) and let’s dive in!
Is Beef Summer Sausage Healthy?
Beef summer sausage is a type of cured meat that’s made from ground beef, spices, and salt. It’s often enjoyed as a snack or light meal, but is it actually healthy?
First, let’s talk about the good stuff. Beef summer sausage is a great source of protein. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build and repair tissues in the body. It also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can prevent overeating and promote weight management.
However, beef summer sausage is also high in salt. Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It’s important to keep your salt intake in check and limit your consumption of salty foods like beef summer sausage.
Another potential concern with beef summer sausage is the use of nitrites. Nitrites are a type of preservative that are commonly used in cured meats like summer sausage. However, there have been concerns about the potential health risks associated with nitrites, including an increased risk of cancer.
It’s worth noting that the USDA strictly regulates the use of nitrites in food products to prevent these risks from becoming a real concern. However, if you’re still worried about nitrites, there are nitrite-free options available on the market.
When it comes to choosing a healthy beef summer sausage, look for options that are made from grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is leaner and contains more beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). These nutrients have been linked to a range of health benefits, including improved heart health and reduced inflammation.
What Is Beef Summer Sausage?
Beef summer sausage is a type of cured meat that’s traditionally made from a blend of beef and pork, although all-beef varieties are also available. It’s fermented, dried or smoked, and seasoned with a variety of spices like mustard seeds, black pepper, and garlic salt. The fermentation process lowers the pH of the sausage, which slows bacterial growth and gives it a tangy taste.
The name “summer sausage” comes from the fact that this type of sausage was originally developed in Europe prior to refrigeration technology. It was designed to be preserved using several types of preservation methods at once, allowing people to make a sausage that would keep from spoiling without refrigeration during the summer months. Summer sausage is still considered a shelf-stable food item that can be kept without refrigeration until opened.
Beef summer sausage is often enjoyed as a snack or light meal, and is commonly served thinly sliced on charcuterie boards or paired with cheese and crackers. While it’s a good source of protein, it’s also high in salt and may contain nitrites as a preservative. To make healthier choices, look for options made from grass-fed beef and limit your consumption of salty foods like beef summer sausage.
Nutritional Value Of Beef Summer Sausage
Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of beef summer sausage. One serving of Hillshire Farm Beef Summer Sausage contains 1g total carbs, 1g net carbs, 16g fat, 10g protein, and 180 calories. It’s important to note that the % Daily Value (DV) listed on the package is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
As mentioned earlier, beef summer sausage is a good source of protein with 10g per serving. It also contains a moderate amount of fat with 16g per serving. However, it’s important to note that not all fats are created equal. Beef summer sausage is high in saturated fat, which can increase levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body and contribute to heart disease.
Additionally, beef summer sausage contains a small amount of carbohydrates with only 1g total carbs and 1g net carbs per serving. This makes it a good option for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
Protein Content Of Beef Summer Sausage
One of the biggest selling points of beef summer sausage is its high protein content. Protein is a macronutrient that plays a critical role in building and repairing tissues in the body. It also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can prevent overeating and promote weight management.
According to the USDA, 100g of Hillshire Farm beef summer sausage contains 19.6g of protein. This is about the same as 0.7 chicken breasts or 1.4 cups (382g) of black beans. This high protein content makes beef summer sausage a great snack or meal option for those looking to increase their protein intake.
It’s important to note that while beef summer sausage is high in protein, it’s also high in calories and fat. One serving of beef summer sausage (about 2 ounces) contains around 140 calories and 12g of fat. This means that it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Health Concerns Associated With Beef Summer Sausage
While beef summer sausage can be a good source of protein, it’s important to be aware of potential health concerns associated with its consumption. One major concern is the high salt content in beef summer sausage, which can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Additionally, the use of nitrites as a preservative in beef summer sausage has raised concerns about potential cancer risks. While the USDA regulates the use of nitrites in food products, some people may still choose to avoid them.
It’s also important to note that beef summer sausage is a processed meat, which has been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer. This is thought to be due to the processing methods used, such as curing or preserving with nitrates and nitrites.
To minimize health risks associated with beef summer sausage, it’s recommended to choose grass-fed beef options that are lower in fat and contain beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and CLA. It’s also important to consume beef summer sausage in moderation and balance it with other healthy foods in your diet.
Sodium Content In Beef Summer Sausage
One important factor to consider when evaluating the healthiness of beef summer sausage is its sodium content. According to the USDA, a serving of summer sausage contains about 351mg of sodium. While sodium is an essential nutrient that helps regulate fluid balance in the body, consuming too much can lead to negative health effects like high blood pressure.
It’s important to keep in mind that the recommended daily intake of sodium for adults is 2,300mg or less. Consuming just one serving of beef summer sausage can account for a significant portion of your daily sodium intake.
If you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, it’s best to limit your consumption of processed meats like beef summer sausage. Instead, opt for fresh, whole foods that are naturally low in sodium.
Ingredients In Beef Summer Sausage To Watch Out For
While beef summer sausage can be a good source of protein, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients that may not be as healthy. One ingredient to watch out for is salt. Beef summer sausage typically contains a lot of salt, which can lead to negative health effects if consumed in excess. High salt intake has been linked to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Another ingredient to be aware of is nitrites. Nitrites are commonly used in cured meats like beef summer sausage to preserve the meat and enhance its flavor. However, there have been concerns about the potential health risks associated with nitrites, including an increased risk of cancer. While the USDA strictly regulates the use of nitrites in food products, it’s still important to be aware of their presence in beef summer sausage.
Other ingredients to watch out for include dextrose and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Dextrose is a type of sugar that’s often added to processed foods like beef summer sausage. While it’s generally considered safe in small amounts, consuming too much sugar can lead to negative health effects like weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease. MSG is a flavor enhancer that’s also commonly added to processed foods. Some people may be sensitive to MSG and experience symptoms like headaches or nausea.
When choosing a beef summer sausage, it’s important to read the label carefully and choose options that contain minimal amounts of these potentially harmful ingredients. Opting for grass-fed beef options can also provide additional health benefits, as grass-fed beef contains more beneficial nutrients than conventionally raised beef.