Are you a fan of sausage but trying to make healthier choices?
You may be wondering if turkey sausage contains pork or not.
The good news is that turkey sausage is typically made from ground turkey and other ingredients like spices and preservatives, without any pork.
But what are the nutritional differences between pork sausage and turkey sausage? And is turkey sausage really a healthier option?
In this article, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more, so you can make an informed decision about which type of sausage to include in your diet.
Does Turkey Sausage Have Pork?
As mentioned earlier, turkey sausage does not contain pork. It is made using ground turkey and other ingredients like spices and preservatives, which may vary depending on the brand. This makes it a great option for those who are looking for a healthier alternative to pork sausage.
What Is Turkey Sausage Made Of?
Turkey sausage is typically made using ground turkey, which is a leaner meat compared to pork. The meat is then mixed with a variety of spices and seasonings, such as garlic, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne, to provide the classic breakfast sausage taste. Other ingredients may include some form of fat, like oil or butter, to add flavor and moisture to the sausage. Some brands may also use preservatives to extend the shelf life of the product. Honey is a natural source of sweetness that can be added to balance out the spices and act as a preservative and meat tenderizer. Overall, turkey sausage is a healthier alternative to pork sausage due to its lower fat content and high protein content. Making it at home can also be cost-effective and allow for more control over the ingredients used.
Nutritional Differences Between Pork Sausage And Turkey Sausage
When comparing the nutritional content of pork sausage and turkey sausage, it’s clear that turkey sausage is the better choice. Pork sausage contains a significant amount of calories and fat, with 290-455 calories and 23-38 grams of fat per link. On the other hand, turkey and chicken sausage have only 140-160 calories and 7-10 grams of fat for the same serving size. This means that turkey sausage has significantly fewer calories and less fat than pork sausage.
Another important difference between pork sausage and turkey sausage is their saturated fat content. Turkey sausage is lower in saturated fat compared to pork sausage, which makes it a healthier option for individuals who are conscious about their heart health. Pork sausage contains 10-14 grams of saturated fat per serving, while turkey sausage has only 0.6 grams of saturated fat per serving.
In terms of cholesterol, both types of sausages contain a similar amount. However, turkey sausage has more polyunsaturated fats compared to pork sausage. This makes it a better option for individuals with heart concerns as polyunsaturated fats have been shown to help control appetite and promote weight loss.
Health Benefits Of Turkey Sausage
Turkey sausage is a great source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles. A serving of turkey sausage can contain up to 11 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for those who are looking to increase their protein intake. High-quality protein provides the amino acids that muscles need to repair and rebuild, allowing you to get stronger over time.
In addition to its high protein content, turkey sausage is also lower in calories, fat, and sodium than pork sausage. This makes it a great option for those who are looking to reduce their calorie and fat intake without sacrificing taste. Turkey sausage also contains a higher percentage of the dietary reference intake (DRI) for many vitamins than pork sausage, including Vitamin B and Vitamin C. These vitamins are essential for energy production and maintaining proper bodily functions.
Turkey sausage is also lower in saturated fat than most breakfast meats, making it a healthier option for athletes who have morning workouts or practices. High-fat foods like pork sausage sit in the stomach longer, take several hours to digest, and leave you feeling bloated and sluggish. Turkey sausage’s lower fat content allows for quicker digestion and less discomfort during physical activity.
However, it’s worth noting that even the healthiest turkey sausage has quite a bit of sodium content, so those who are meticulous about their sodium intake may need to limit their consumption of turkey sausage. Additionally, while turkey sausage is a good source of riboflavin, it lacks Vitamin C. If you have a deficit in Vitamin C, you will need to take supplementary vitamins as turkey sausage alone will not be enough.
Considerations For Choosing Sausage
When it comes to choosing sausage, there are a few important factors to consider. Firstly, take a look at the ingredients list. A good sausage should have a simple list of ingredients that includes meat, vegetables and natural casing. It’s also important to compare brands and opt for a sausage with the highest percentage of meat – aim for at least 80% beef, pork, lamb or chicken.
Another important consideration is the sodium content. Sodium (salt) can be detrimental to heart health, so it’s best to consume less of it. Look for sausages with less than 500mg sodium per 100g, which can be hard to find. For context, the maximum daily recommended intake of sodium is 2000mg, so it’s best to stick to just one or two sausages per person.
Saturated fat content is also a key factor to consider for the sake of your heart health. Look for sausages with less than 5g saturated fat per serve. Fatty meats send the saturated fat content soaring, so choose sausages made from leaner cuts of meat.
It’s also important to ensure that the sausage is fresh when you purchase it. Always check the sell-by date and make sure you’re buying fully-packaged, tightly sealed sausage that’s either frozen or refrigerated. Fresh uncooked sausage should be soft and pinkish in color.
For those who prefer to make their own sausage, using quality equipment and supplies can ensure that you have control over the ingredients and processes used. This can result in better tasting and healthier sausage that is tailored to your preferences. Additionally, using a lean cut of meat and adding fat as needed can help achieve optimal texture and flavor while still keeping the sausage healthy.
Delicious Recipes To Try With Turkey Sausage
If you’re looking for some delicious and healthy ways to incorporate turkey sausage into your meals, we’ve got you covered. Here are some recipes to try out:
1. Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup: This soup is a perfect blend of flavors and nutrition. With the mild and buttery taste of beans, the protein kick of turkey sausage, and the superfood that is kale, this soup is a healthy meal that will leave you feeling satisfied.
2. One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Sausage Pasta: This recipe is a twist on traditional mac and cheese. It’s made with diced tomatoes and onions, which add some hidden veggies to the dish. Plus, it’s a one-pot meal that can be made in just 30 minutes.
3. Smoked Turkey Sausage Sheet Pan Meal: This sheet pan meal is a dinner in itself but can be extended by serving it with a green side salad, rice or quinoa, buttered noodles, or a simple fruit salad.
4. Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Pasta: This simple pasta dish is loaded with garlic, turkey sausage, broccoli, and Parmesan cheese. It’s a healthy weeknight dinner that is quick and easy to prepare.
5. Italian Sausages and Peppers with Rotini: If you enjoy the classic flavor combination of peppers, onions, and sausage as much as we do, this slow-cooker recipe is for you. It uses turkey sausage instead of pork sausage to keep the calories in check.
These recipes are just a few examples of the many ways you can use turkey sausage in your cooking. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a hearty soup for a cold winter day, there’s a recipe out there that will fit your needs. So next time you’re at the grocery store, grab some turkey sausage and get cooking!