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Is Turkey Sausage Healthy? Nutrition and Calories
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Is Turkey Sausage Healthy? Nutrition and Calories

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 28
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5 min

In this article, we will be looking at the nutritional status of ground turkey sausages. Join us as we explore everything, from how it is made to the nutritional constituents!

is turkey sausage healthy

There is no debating that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what goes into your breakfast menu? Is it waffles, scrambled eggs and toast, pancake and maple syrup, or cereals? Do you prefer bacon and eggs, sausage links, or full-prepared hot dogs?

If your answer includes turkey sausage, you have come to the right place. Likewise, if your answer revolves around processed meat, you have also come to the right place.

Today, we will be looking into the intricacies associated with turkey sausages. Of course, the majority of us already consume variations of breakfast meats.

Let us fill you in on the nutritional facts of turkey sausage.

How Turkey Sausage Is Made

Turkey sausage is made by combining ground turkey meat with a spice mix. The turkey meat is fed into a meat grinder, after which the spice mix is added.

This mixture is then filled into a sausage casing and left to cure for the required time. The licensing stage accounts for the texture and flavor of the turkey, as well as its nutritional ratings.

Is Turkey Sausage Healthy?

Yes, when it comes to turkey sausage being a slice of healthy breakfast meat. Turkey sausages are low in calories and trans fats while maintaining a generous amount of protein and essential vitamins and minerals.

On the other hand, if you are meticulous about sodium intake, it is worth noting that even the healthiest turkey sausage has quite the sodium content. That being the case, making them a part of your daily diet becomes quite taxing.

They also contain less cholesterol and saturated fat than other sausage versions on a positive note.

Turkey Sausage vs. Pork Sausage

Pork sausage remains the most popular breakfast link option. However, what does a serving of the turkey sausage equivalent present in terms of nutritional value?

With both sausages containing virtually the same ingredients – meat, spices, and preservatives, we need to see how one becomes a better option by looking at how the nutritional value scales differently.

For starters, turkey breakfast meats contain less fat (2.3g of saturated fat) than pork sausages (9g of saturated fat). The more saturated fat grams dodged, the better your overall health. This is because consuming high amounts of saturated fat leads to increased cholesterol levels, which results in a higher chance of heart disease.

Turkey sausage also contains better quality protein than pork sausage since it ranks as leaner meat. High-quality protein provides rich amino acids, which play an active role in building and repairing tissues and muscles.

Lastly, turkey sausage is significantly lower in calorie content compared to pork sausage. This is because most calories present in turkey sausage come from its protein content. This translates positively in all weight loss journeys, as you get to stay fuller for longer.

These combinations account for the placement value of turkey sausage rather than traditional pork sausage.

Is turkey sausage healthier than pork sausage?

At the end of the day, turkey sausage and turkey bacon remain the healthier alternative as opposed to pork sausage or regular bacon.

It contains fewer calories, meaning that you can incorporate them into several weight-loss diets.

Similarly, when compared to pork sausages, the turkey versions are a serious nutritional upgrade, as they have significantly less saturated fat while retaining that precious protein content.

Excessive saturated intake leads to the buildup of plaques on the artery walls, and substituting turkey sausage for pork scales down your chances of having heart issues as you grow older.

Furthermore, the reduced sodium content of turkeys makes them the perfect substitute for pork. Albeit sodium is an essential mineral, notable for its role in facilitating muscle and nerve functions, too much of it can increase blood pressure.

What Ingredients Does Turkey Sausage Contain?

At its core, turkey sausages contain ground turkey meat (typically turkey breasts and thighs), fats, and seasoning.

The seasoning is dependent on the level of flavor sought after, as such, you will find spices like red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic, rosemary, etc. in it.

Nutritional facts

Having sung praises about turkey sausage, we still need to explore the nutritional content to get a vivid idea about why turkey sausages are the best sausage links.

Nutritional value per 100g

The nutritional value per 100g serving of turkey sausage is as shown in the table below.

Calories/NutrientAmount
Calories (kcal)169
Net Carbs (g)      0.93
Fats (Total) (g)8.86
Protein (g)16.7
Cholesterol (mg)78

Turkey sausage supplies high amounts of vitamins and minerals per serving. Aside from its rich sodium content, it contains a generous amount of phosphorus, zinc, and potassium, which play active roles in developing a strong skeletal system.

Additionally, it contains large amounts of vitamin B12, B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins play vital roles in improving cell and brain function and energy production.

High in protein

Unlike pork and most red meat, Turkey is a good source of lean protein. Therefore, switching pork products for turkey products is preferred when it comes to a weight loss regimen.

High in fats and calories

As a standalone breakfast menu, turkey sausage contains high fat and calories. Compared to pork sausage, it has fewer calories and saturated fat, placing you far away from several health risks.

High in cholesterol

For anyone struggling with balancing their cholesterol level, 78mg cholesterol rating per 100g of turkey sausage is a lot to handle. High cholesterol leads to many health issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, and chronic heart disease.

In hindsight, if you are fond of eating pork bacon, turkey sausage is a healthy alternative as it contains significantly less cholesterol.

Low in carbohydrates

When we talk about low carbs, we mean having 1–2 grams. So, for example, you get 0.93g of net carb with turkey sausage per 100g serving. This makes it a great addition to your low-carb diet.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

If turkey sausages are your go-to processed meats, you need to ensure they contain fewer unhealthy ingredients. In addition, you should strictly monitor your sodium, cholesterol, and calorie intake, as a combination of these things can quickly put you in danger.

A trip to your dietitian should reveal all you need to know about your dietary requirements. Keep in mind that you need to satisfy this requirement to live a healthy lifestyle.

Check the nutrition label before paying for any food item. Ensure it checks all your nutritional boxes and then proceeds to the checkout. Also, set aside a serving portion to help you maintain your daily intake. All these variables need to be in harmony for you to get the best out of them.

Conclusion

Skipping breakfast is a nasty habit a good number of us have. It plays into how many calories we consume daily, accounting for weight gain instead of losing weight.

If you are looking for high-protein breakfast meats, then chicken sausage and turkey sausage should be your go-to choice. However, if you prefer bacon, eat turkey bacon instead of center-cut bacon.

Overall, turkey sausage contains fewer calories and saturated fat, and with a proper serving size, you can conveniently add protein without going overboard with calories.

Written by
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.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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