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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow Is Liverwurst Healthy? Iron, Cholesterol, and Nutrition Facts

Is Liverwurst Healthy? Iron, Cholesterol, and Nutrition Facts

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 10, 2023
10 min read 1242 Views 0 Comments
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Liverwurst is a type of sausage that is made from beef or pork liver. Some people eat this food in sandwiches, but is it healthy? We detail the ingredients in liverwurst, potential health benefits, disadvantages, nutrition facts, and a healthy sausage recipe you can make at home.

is liverwurst healthy

Are you eager to try liver sausage on your balanced diet?

Some people love eating organ meat or high-fat foods. This is because they promote satiety and spice up dull-tasting meals. One popular food is liverwurst, as it can turn into a pate spread or be used in sandwiches, toasted bread, green salads, and other delicious recipes. 

You might be wondering if this type of sausage is actually healthy. There are both benefits and disadvantages to consuming fat-rich foods, but should you eat liverwurst at all? 

Just keep on reading to discover more nutritional facts about liverwurst. 

Is Liverwurst Healthy?

Organ meats like liverwurst contain important nutrients for a healthy immune system, but you shouldn’t eat this food every day. Liverwurst may have saturated fat and high cholesterol, which could damage your natural heart functions when eating excessively.

Research discovered that unhealthy fats have been linked to cardiovascular disease. You’re weakening high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in your body while fueling the bad cholesterol (LDL). This negative change can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and premature coronary artery disease.

What Is Liverwurst? 

Liverwurst is a type of liver sausage that is made from either pork or beef liver. Some of the main ingredients comprise meat, organ meat, and fat. Branded liverwurst might contain black pepper and traces of onion powder to enhance the flavor and appearance. 

One common way of making liverwurst is to throw your desired organ meats and spices into a blender. Then, you boil the meat in a muslin casing. Once everything is cooked and properly prepared, the sausage is ready to use in both cold and hot recipes that are flavorsome. 

Some people like to turn liver sausage into braunschweiger – a recipe that is more smoked than other sausages. Braunschweiger can be eaten as an entrée, or the cooked slices can be served over thick pasta dishes or a range of green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce. 

You can also turn these cooked sausages into a thick spread. Ground meats usually make a great source of pate for bread and crackers. A popular option includes spreading the pate over pumpernickel bread, adding Swiss cheese, and sprinkling some seasonings over the top. 

What is liverwurst made of? 

Liverwurst is made of finely ground pork, pork liver, pork fat, and seasonings. These ingredients contain essential amino acids and protein. Some people also use beef, veal, sheep, or goat livers, depending on where they buy their fresh meats in the market.

This type of cooked sausage is only made from liver-based meats. The liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can have on your balanced diet. Just one serving can help you meet your daily recommended amount of all essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. 

Most people choose either beef or pork liver when gaining health benefits. Other ingredients include black pepper, powdered dry milk, diced onion, and paprika. Brands usually add preservatives to liverwurst to maintain the texture, appearance, smell, and taste. 

Of course, this might sound scary, but damaging your heart only derives from eating too much processed meat. Liverwurst is one of those foods you have to consume in moderation. You might have sausage on special occasions or on days you want to treat yourself on a diet. 

Liverwurst does have some health benefits that may support your health in small amounts. For example, the high iron content can strengthen red blood cells, while vitamin B12 boosts your energy, prevents anemia, supports bone health, and reduces the risk of macular degeneration.

5 Benefits of Liverwurst 

Liverwurst could have some advantages when eaten in moderation. Just remember to monitor how much sausage you have throughout the week if you want to stay healthy. 

Here are 5 potential benefits of eating liverwurst: 

#1 Good for muscle growth 

Liver sausages are a great source of protein and essential amino acids. Your body needs protein to encourage muscle growth and build lean muscle mass. For those who want to lose fat and build muscle, it’s important to get at least 50 grams of protein a day from your diet. 

#2 Boosts energy levels 

You get the most energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Since liverwurst contains two of these important nutrients, you can regularly exercise without feeling tired. Higher energy levels are great for people who need that extra motivation to perform more physical activity. 

#3 Improves your immune system 

Vitamin B12 can support both your immune and nervous systems. This water-soluble vitamin plays an important role in oxygen transport, which boosts the body’s defense system. People even take vitamin B12 shots to protect their bodies against diseases, viruses, and infections. 

#4 Protects your eyes 

Liverwurst contains zinc and vitamin A – two nutrients that support good eye health. Zinc creates a pigment called melanin, which slows age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A soothes eye inflammation and decreases the risk of damaging eye infections as you age. 

#5 Supports nerve function 

Certain B vitamins in liverwurst can encourage a healthy nervous system. These essential minerals will balance nerve metabolism and repair any cell damage. Your body needs strong nerve responses to breathe properly, feel emotions, and control complex movements.

3 Side Effects of Liverwurst 

Liverwurst, compared to other organ meats, won’t always have nutritional benefits. You should consider these disadvantages before adding liver sausage to your diet. 

Below are three side effects of consuming liverwurst: 

#1 Increases LDL cholesterol 

Several liverwurst nutrition facts state that the high fat content can increase your LDL “bad” cholesterol. Too much low-density lipoprotein may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. You should avoid adding liverwurst to your daily meals if you wish to protect your heart.

#2 Promotes weight gain 

Liverwurst is a high-calorie food that promotes weight gain and obesity. Plus, saturated fats will encourage your body to produce more visceral fat. This type of fat wraps around your important organs and increases blood pressure spikes and blood sugar in those with diabetes.

#3 Encourages high blood pressure

High-sodium foods usually increase your blood pressure over time. This is because your body holds onto excess water in the bloodstream. To keep your heart healthy in the long term, avoid consuming too much salt and stick to low-salt foods like shellfish, avocado, and salmon. 

Nutrition Facts of Liverwurst

You should learn more about liverwurst before purchasing this product. People who want to lose stubborn weight or follow a balanced diet need to monitor their macro intake. 

Here is the nutritional information for 100 grams of liverwurst

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)326
Net Carbs (g)2.2
Fiber (g)0
Sugar (g)– 
Fats (Total)28.5
Protein (g)14.1
Cholesterol (mg)158

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173870/nutrients 

High in calories 

Liverwurst contains a high number of calories in just one serving. Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain and other heart-related problems. For those who are aiming to lose weight, maintain a calorie deficit and eat low-calorie foods like eggs and chicken breasts.

High in proteins 

Foods high in protein are great for muscle growth and recovery. You can eat liverwurst if you want to fuel your muscles after weight training or general exercise. Protein is also great for reducing hunger cravings, maintaining a healthy weight, and strengthening your bones.

High in fats 

This food contains too many saturated fats for your health. Eating liverwurst once in a while is safe, but too much can damage your heart. Saturated fat encourages cholesterol to build up in your arteries and limits blood flow, which increases the risk of heart attacks or strokes. 

Low in carbs and sugars 

One great thing about liverwurst is that it is low in carbs and sugars. Some people might eat this food on a ketogenic diet to stay in ketosis. All in all, it’s fine to eat small amounts of this cooked sausage now and then to spice up a diet, but the amount should be greatly moderated.

High cholesterol 

High-cholesterol foods like liverwurst may not be good for your health. This is because they increase bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood vessels. Once your arteries become too restricted, blood can’t flow properly throughout the body and may not feed your heart efficiently. 

Liverwurst vs. Braunschweiger 

Here is a comparison between liverwurst and braunschweiger, another type of sausage made from pork or beef liver: 

LiverwurstBraunschweiger 
BenefitsLiverwurst is a low-carb sausage that can suit a high-fat or ketogenic diet You can eat this meat to fuel muscle growth and recovery Braunschweiger can be smoked and hold more flavor than other sausages This food is a great source of protein and healthy fats 
ProsHigh protein content Low in sugars Supports muscle growth Good for the eyes Boosts immunity Rich in vitamin B12 Good source of protein Stronger flavors Supports bone health Boosts cell metabolism 
ConsContains saturated fat High in cholesterol Could cause weight gain Not suitable for people who have high blood pressure Promotes poor blood sugar control High in cholesterol and sodiumNot suitable for weight lossContains unhealthy fatsIncreases LDL cholesterol Promotes heart disease risk factors 

Healthy Liverwurst Recipe 

You can make your own liverwurst sausage at home using primary organ meat and essential fatty acids. This ensures there are no preservatives added during the cooking process.

Here are the ingredients and directions for a healthy liverwurst recipe: 

Ingredients 

  • 1lb fresh pork liver 
  • ¾lb lean pork butt 
  • ¼lb pork fat 
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp powdered dry milk
  • 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 1½ tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp finely ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp mace
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom

Directions

  1. Put the liver, pork butt, and pork fat through a grinder. 
  2. Once they’re ground together, sprinkle the onion, powdered dry milk, white pepper, salt, paprika, sugar, marjoram, coriander, mace, allspice, and cardamom over the meat. 
  3. Mix this with your hands to ensure everything is well incorporated.
  4. Put the mixture through the grinder again. 
  5. Place the mixture into the muscle casing and make sure it’s firm. 
  6. Stitch open one end or firmly secure it with a wire twist tie.
  7. Then, put the liverwurst into a large pot, add water so it’s 2–3 inches above the liverwurst, and bring the water to a boil. 
  8. You can place a weight on top to keep the sausage below water. 
  9. After the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 3 hours. 
  10. Drain the water and replace it with an equal quantity of ice water. 
  11. Let the liverwurst sit in this cold water until it has cooled down. 
  12. Finally, put the liverwurst in your refrigerator and chill overnight. 
  13. Remove the muslin casing.

For more recipes and a healthier lifestyle, we recommend checking the top apps for nutrition. Most nutrition apps contain recipes and different kinds of calculators to help you reach your weight loss goals.

FAQs 

Is liverwurst good for diabetes?

People with diabetes should limit high-fat cuts of meat. This is because they’re high in saturated fats and could increase the bad cholesterol in your body. Instead, choose lean sources of meat, including skinless chicken breast, turkey slices, pork tenderloin, lean beef, and shellfish.

Is liverwurst high in iron?

Yes, liverwurst is a great source of iron. Consuming adequate amounts of iron is essential for growth and development, as well as boosting your energy levels throughout the day. People with an iron deficiency need plenty of this nutrient to prevent extreme fatigue and headaches.

Is liverwurst high in cholesterol?

A 100-gram portion of liverwurst contains a high amount of cholesterol. This is not good for people who have high blood pressure or heart problems. Foods with too much cholesterol may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease.

Is liverwurst good or bad for weight loss?

Liverwurst may be bad for weight loss because it is high in calories. Going over your recommended daily calorie intake could lead to future weight gain. If you wish to drop a few pounds on your balanced diet, avoid eating liverwurst and stick to lean meat options.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Consuming cooked sausage or liverwurst spread may not be the best idea for losing weight or building a balanced diet. This is because organ meats contain a high amount of trans fats and sodium – two components that damage your heart when eaten excessively.

You should opt for chicken sausages or even turkey sausage to stay healthy. They are lower in bad fats, which could offer more benefits. Consuming ground organ meats daily will only encourage fat cell production while feeding your arteries plaque and causing atherosclerosis.

Aim to eat more protein, unsaturated fat, dietary fiber, and vitamins. Most of these nutrients come from lean meats and high-fat fish like sea bass. If you are looking for these products in a grocery store, always read the nutritional label before purchasing them.

Conclusion

Liverwurst can be a great source of fats, amino acids, and vitamins, but it isn’t healthy to eat every single day. While you can have liver sausage on special occasions or when you want to treat yourself, opt for other lean meats like chicken, turkey legs, rabbit, and ground turkey.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 10, 2023
10 min read 1242 Views 0 Comments
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