Are you a fan of venison summer sausage?
This popular snack is often served with crackers or mustard and is commonly used as a base for sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.
But is it actually good for you? With concerns about the high levels of salt and meat in this type of sausage, it’s important to take a closer look at the health benefits and potential risks.
In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional value of deer summer sausage and whether it’s a healthy alternative to traditional beef and pork sausage.
So grab a slice of sausage and let’s dive in!
Is Deer Summer Sausage Good For You?
Deer summer sausage is a type of cured sausage made from ground venison. It is typically seasoned with garlic, salt, and spices such as black pepper and coriander. The meat is combined with a mixture of fat, typically pork fat, and then the sausage is smoked and cured.
One of the main benefits of deer summer sausage is its high protein content. Venison is richer in protein than any other red meat, which promotes muscle growth and satiates your appetite. Additionally, deer summer sausage is low in fat compared to traditional beef and pork sausage.
However, concerns have been raised about the high levels of salt and meat in this type of sausage. Excessive consumption of salt can harm your heart, and processed meats have been linked to cancer due to the presence of sodium nitrite.
The USDA strictly limits the levels of curing agents used in summer sausages to ensure that this is not a serious issue. However, it’s important to consume deer summer sausage in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
What Is Deer Summer Sausage?
Deer summer sausage, also known as venison summer sausage, is a large diameter cured sausage that is a staple in the Midwest. It can be made from a combination of pork, beef, venison, or other wild game. Traditionally, deer summer sausage is stuffed in a peelable fibrous casing and has a distinct tanginess that comes from fermented cultures or additions like encapsulated citric acid.
The art of sausage making has been used for many centuries as a preservation form to make less desirable cuts of meat more flavorful and to help preserve meats without refrigeration. In northern countries, this semi-dry sausage had a long shelf life and was made for use in the summer months, hence the term “Summer sausage” was born.
Deer summer sausage is typically smoked and cured, giving it a unique and delicious flavor. It can be served as a sliceable sausage at parties or gatherings, or used in sandwiches and appetizers. There are many variations of deer summer sausage available, including traditional versions that use salt to preserve the meat, as well as modern versions that use cures and fermentation enhancers such as sweeteners, non-fat dry milk, and Fermento.
While deer summer sausage is high in protein and low in fat compared to traditional beef and pork sausage, it’s important to consume it in moderation due to concerns about high levels of salt and processed meat. The USDA strictly limits the levels of curing agents used in summer sausages to ensure that they are safe for consumption. Overall, deer summer sausage can be a delicious addition to a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.
Nutritional Value Of Deer Summer Sausage
A 138g serving of deer summer sausage contains 413 calories, 36g of fat, and 15g of protein. The carbohydrate content is relatively low, with only 5.9g per serving, of which 2.8g is sugar and 0g is dietary fiber. The sausage also contains 14g of saturated fat and 79mg of cholesterol per serving.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, deer summer sausage is a good source of iron, with a serving providing 1.78mg or about 10% of the daily recommended intake for adult men and women. It also contains small amounts of vitamin A (26.22mcg), vitamin C (21.0mg), and vitamin D (0.97mcg). The sausage is also rich in calcium, with a serving providing almost 30mg or about 3% of the daily recommended intake.
It’s important to note that these nutritional values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and may vary depending on individual factors such as age, gender, physical activity level, and medical history. Additionally, the high levels of salt and processed meat in deer summer sausage may pose health risks if consumed excessively.
Health Benefits Of Deer Summer Sausage
Deer summer sausage can provide numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. As mentioned earlier, the high protein content in venison can promote muscle growth and satiate your appetite. This can be particularly beneficial for those looking to build muscle or maintain a healthy weight.
Furthermore, deer summer sausage is low in saturated fat compared to traditional beef and pork sausage. Saturated fat can contribute to high cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. By choosing deer summer sausage instead of other types of sausage, you can reduce your intake of harmful saturated fat.
In addition, deer summer sausage contains important nutrients such as iron and zinc. Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells, while zinc plays a crucial role in immune function and wound healing.
It’s important to note that excessive consumption of any type of sausage, including deer summer sausage, can have negative health effects. The high levels of salt and processed meat in this type of sausage can contribute to high blood pressure and an increased risk of cancer.
Potential Risks Of Consuming Deer Summer Sausage
Despite the benefits of deer summer sausage, there are some potential risks associated with consuming this type of sausage. One of the main concerns is the risk of bacterial contamination. Uncooked meats, such as summer sausage, can become contaminated with harmful bacteria during processing, transportation, or storage. This poses a particular risk to pregnant women, who should avoid eating any type of undercooked, high-risk foods.
Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria bacteria can grow rapidly in warm temperatures, so it’s best to avoid eating deer summer sausage during pregnancy. If you do eat it, ensure it is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F or higher. It’s also important to refrigerate any leftovers properly.
Another concern is the high levels of salt and meat in deer summer sausage. Excessive consumption of salt can harm your heart, and processed meats have been linked to cancer due to the presence of sodium nitrite. The USDA strictly limits the levels of curing agents used in summer sausages to ensure that this is not a serious issue. However, it’s important to consume deer summer sausage in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
How To Incorporate Deer Summer Sausage Into A Healthy Diet
While deer summer sausage can be a delicious addition to your diet, it’s important to consume it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Here are some tips on how to incorporate deer summer sausage into a healthy diet:
1. Pair it with fresh fruits and vegetables: Adding fresh fruits and veggies to your plate can help balance out the saltiness of the sausage while providing important vitamins and minerals.
2. Use it as a protein source in a salad: Chop up some deer summer sausage and add it to a bed of greens for a protein-packed salad.
3. Enjoy it as a snack in moderation: Deer summer sausage can be a satisfying snack, but be sure to watch your portions and pair it with other healthy snacks like nuts or fresh fruit.
4. Cook with it in moderation: While deer summer sausage can add flavor to dishes like pasta or omelets, be mindful of how much you’re using and pair it with other healthy ingredients like veggies or whole grains.