Is Turkey Sausage Actually Healthy? A Deep Dive into the Pros and Cons

You’ve certainly heard the phrase before, and it’s not without merit. Research indicates that having breakfast as your main meal of the day can greatly benefit your general health, and that missing breakfast is associated with a decline in mood, memory, and focus. But it’s not just about eating breakfast—it’s about eating a breakfast of the right foods. It has long been believed that turkey sausage is a healthier option to pork sausage for breakfast meat. But how do they differ from one another in terms of nutrition and substance, and can turkey sausage actually be a part of a balanced diet? STACK looks into this.

Hey health enthusiasts! Ever wondered if turkey sausage lives up to its “healthier” reputation? Buckle up because we’re about to dissect this breakfast staple and uncover its true nutritional story.

Turkey Sausage vs. Pork Sausage: A Tale of Two Meats

Let’s start by comparing turkey sausage to its pork counterpart. Both are similar in terms of ingredients, with the main difference being the type of meat used: ground turkey for the former, ground pork for the latter. Spices and preservatives might be thrown into the mix depending on the brand.

A quick peek at the nutritional labels reveals a clear winner: turkey sausage emerges as the lighter option. A typical serving (two links) of Johnsonville Original Recipe Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage packs 150 calories, 13 grams of fat (including 4.5 grams of saturated fat), and a whopping 390mg of sodium. Its turkey counterpart boasts 70 fewer calories, 8.5 fewer grams of fat (with 3.5 fewer grams of saturated fat), and a similar amount of sodium and cholesterol.

This trend holds true across various brands Turkey sausage consistently boasts lower calorie and saturated fat content, making it a more appealing choice for health-conscious individuals. However, remember, just because one option is “better” doesn’t automatically make it “healthy.”

The Protein Powerhouse: Turkey Sausage and Your Muscles

One of turkey sausage’s biggest strengths is its impressive protein content. A single serving of Applegate Peppered Turkey Breakfast Sausage, for instance, delivers a whopping 11 grams of protein. This high-quality protein provides the amino acids your muscles crave for repair and rebuilding, ultimately helping you become a stronger, fitter version of yourself.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Protein also plays a crucial role in keeping you feeling fuller for longer, preventing those mid-morning hunger pangs that can derail your healthy eating plans. And, if you’re looking for an alternative energy source, protein has got your back!

Studies have shown the magic of a high-protein breakfast. One study published in the journal “Obesity” found that adolescents who consumed a high-protein breakfast (35 grams of protein) lost more weight compared to those who had a normal-protein breakfast (13 grams of protein). The high-protein breakfast group also experienced reduced daily calorie intake and hunger levels, preventing unwanted fat accumulation.

Another study presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s Experimental Biology conference compared various breakfast options with different protein levels, including turkey sausage and egg bowls, cereal with milk, and pancakes with syrup. All meals had similar calorie, fat, and fiber content. The researchers discovered that the turkey sausage and egg bowl, boasting the highest protein content, left participants feeling less hungry and consuming fewer calories at lunch. These high-protein breakfasts also excelled at stabilizing blood glucose levels compared to their lower-protein counterparts.

So, if you’re looking for a convenient way to boost your protein intake and reap the benefits of a high-protein breakfast, turkey sausage is a solid option.

Saturated Fat: Less is More

Another feather in turkey sausage’s cap is its significantly lower saturated fat content compared to most other breakfast meats. Remember, excessive saturated fat intake can wreak havoc on your cholesterol levels, potentially impacting blood flow and oxygen transportation throughout your body. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily saturated fat intake to 6% of your total calories. For a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this translates to a maximum of 13 grams of saturated fat per day. Since most turkey sausages contain only 1-2 grams of saturated fat per serving, incorporating them into your diet is a manageable way to stay within the recommended limits.

This lower fat content also makes turkey sausage a friendlier choice for athletes who engage in morning workouts or practices. High-fat foods like pork sausage tend to linger in your stomach for longer, taking several hours to digest and leaving you feeling bloated and sluggish – not exactly the ideal state for an active individual.

The Sodium Conundrum: A Balancing Act

While turkey sausage shines in the protein and saturated fat departments, it’s not without its drawbacks. The major culprit? Sodium. Regardless of the brand you choose, expect to encounter a hefty 300-500mg of sodium per serving. This is a cause for concern, considering studies reveal that a whopping 9 out of 10 Americans exceed their recommended daily sodium intake. The recommended daily limit for sodium is 1,500mg, yet the average American consumes more than double that amount.

Excessive sodium intake can lead to a cascade of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, and a plethora of other problems. Health experts estimate that if Americans could reduce their daily sodium intake to the recommended levels, it could potentially prevent up to 92,000 deaths annually.

While athletes who engage in high-intensity workouts for several hours a day might get away with consuming more sodium, individuals with moderate exercise routines (an hour or less per day) typically don’t sweat enough to warrant a high-sodium diet.

Ingredient Scrutiny: Unmasking Hidden Nasties

When it comes to turkey sausage, scrutinizing the ingredient list is crucial. If you’re aiming to steer clear of preservatives, opt for products like Applegate Peppered Turkey Breakfast Sausage, which boasts a简洁的配料表,仅包含火鸡、水和香料。另一方面,像 Johnsonville 火鸡全熟早餐香肠这样的产品包含 11 种配料(除了火鸡、水和香料),需要谨慎选择。


So, Is Turkey Sausage Healthy? The Verdict is In!

Compared to its pork counterpart, turkey sausage emerges as the clear winner, boasting lower calorie and saturated fat content while retaining its valuable protein punch. However, when viewed in isolation, the verdict becomes less clear-cut.

Turkey sausage offers a convenient way to boost your breakfast protein intake without overloading on calories, and the benefits of a high-protein breakfast are undeniable. However, if you struggle to control your sodium intake, incorporating turkey sausage into your daily diet might prove challenging.

Ultimately, the decision boils down to your overall dietary patterns and personal preferences. If you choose turkey sausage, make sure to仔细阅读配料表. As always, the shorter, the better!

The Difference Between Pork Sausage And Turkey Sausage

Let’s start by seeing the difference between pork sausage and turkey sausage. The two are fairly similar in terms of ingredients; ground turkey is simply used to make turkey sausage rather than ground pork. The rest of the ingredients are mostly spices and possibly some preservatives depending on the brand. Johnsonville is one of America’s leading purveyors of breakfast sausage. Let’s see how their pork sausage and turkey sausage compare in terms of nutrition.

Johnsonville Original Recipe Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage has 150 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 4 grams of carbs per serving (2 links). 30 mg of cholesterol, 390 mg of sodium, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. A serving of the turkey sausage equivalent contains 70 fewer calories, 8. 5 fewer grams of fat and 3. 5 fewer grams of saturated fat. It contains roughly the same amount of sodium, cholesterol and protein. Therefore, there is unquestionably a noticeable nutritional difference between turkey and pork sausage, and this difference isn’t exclusive to the Johnsonville brand. Applegate, for instance, a company that specializes in natural and organic meats, has a comparable difference in their pork sausage and turkey sausage. Turkey sausage is typically going to represent a serious nutritional upgrade over pork sausage. However, just because one product is better than another doesn’t necessarily mean its healthy.

Perhaps the biggest asset of turkey sausage is its high protein content. A serving of Applegate Peppered Turkey Breakfast Sausage, for example, contains 11 grams of protein. Good quality protein can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time throughout the day in addition to providing the amino acids your muscles require to rebuild and repair themselves, which will make you stronger over time. The body can also use protein as a source of energy. The benefits of consuming a high-protein breakfast are immense.

A study published in the journal Obesity found that a high-protein breakfast (defined as containing 35 grams of protein) aided adolescents in weight loss more than a normal-protein breakfast (defined as containing 13 grams of protein). The high-protein breakfast led to the prevention of fat mass gains, reductions in daily food intake and reductions in daily hunger. A study presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s Experimental Biology conference compared common breakfasts with varying amounts of protein. The options included a commercially prepared turkey sausage and egg bowl, cereal and milk, and pancakes with syrup. All meals were similar in calories, fat and fiber. Researchers found that the turkey sausage and egg bowl breakfasts (which contained the most protein of any option) led participants to feel less hungry and consume less calories at lunch. The higher protein breakfasts also stabilized blood glucose levels better than the lower-protein meals. Turkey sausage is a convenient way to add protein to your morning meal, which is certainly a valuable attribute.

That turkey sausage is significantly lower in saturated fat than most breakfast meats is also an advantage. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fat considerably raises your risk of high cholesterol, which can impair oxygen and blood flow throughout the body. The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 6% of your daily calories come from saturated fat. For a 2,000-calories-a-day diet, that translates to a limit of 13 grams of saturated fat each day. Including turkey sausages in your daily diet is manageable because they typically only have one or two grams of saturated fat per serving. Because high-fat foods, like pork sausage, sit in the stomach longer, take longer to digest, and leave you feeling bloated and lethargic, turkey sausage’s lower fat content is also a major benefit for athletes who have morning workouts or practices.

Perhaps the biggest concern with turkey sausage is the relatively high sodium content. No matter what brand you pick, you’re going to be looking at roughly 300-500mg of sodium per serving. Studies show 9 in 10 Americans consume too much sodium. The average American consumes more than twice the daily recommended intake of sodium (1,500 mg). Over-consuming sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke and a wide range of other issues. According to health officials, up to 92,000 fewer deaths could occur each year if Americans reduced their daily sodium intake to the recommended range. While athletes who exercise for several hours a day at a high intensity can eat more, people who exercise for an hour or less a day usually don’t sweat enough to need a high-sodium diet.

You also have to be careful with the ingredients when it comes to turkey sausage. A product like Applegate Peppered Turkey Breakfast Sausage (which has just three ingredients besides turkey, water, and spices) is a better choice if you want to avoid preservatives than a product like Johnsonville Turkey Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage (which has eleven ingredients besides turkey, water, and spices). Also, you should be wary of flavored options because labels like “Maple” frequently indicate higher levels of added sugar or sweeteners.

What is turkey sausage good for?


Is turkey kielbasa healthier than regular kielbasa?

Yes you can. Look at the numbers: Pork sausage has 290-455 calories and 23-38 grams of fat per link. Turkey and chicken sausage have 140-160 calories and 7-10 grams of fat for the same amount. That’s hundreds of calories and fat grams dodged per link.

Is turkey kielbasa processed meat?

Any sausage is by definition processed. Some might be less processed than others, but processed they all are.

Is Hillshire Farm turkey kielbasa healthy?

Hillhire Farm sausage is a processed meat product that is typically high in fat, sodium, and calories. While it can be a tasty addition to meals, it is generally not considered a health food.

Is turkey kielbasa high in cholesterol?

Hot dogs, sausage, and bacon use the fattiest cuts of red meat, and therefore tend to be high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Bacon and sausage made with turkey or chicken might seem healthier, and they are somewhat lower in cholesterol than the red meat versions, but they’re not cholesterol-free.

Is Turkey kielbasa healthy?

Healthier Choice: Turkey kielbasa is a leaner meat option compared to traditional pork kielbasa, making it ideal for those looking to maintain a balanced diet. Convenience: Baking the kielbasa in the oven allows you to set it and forget it. No need for constant monitoring or flipping.

What are the health benefits of ground turkey?

Ground turkey has multiple benefits. It is a good source of minerals, and B vitamins, rich in proteins, low in fat and it is lower in calories than common turkey.

Is kielbasa healthy?

Full of Nutrients And Minerals Potassium, selenium, Vitamin A, iron, Vitamin B12, and many more nutrients are found in pork meat. Look at kielbasa nutrition charts and you’ll see that when cured, these vital amines and minerals still remain in the kielbasa.

Where can I buy Turkey kielbasa?

The turkey kielbasa that we use has simple ingredients (turkey, water, spices, paprika, garlic powder and collagen casing). Be sure to read the ingredient list and make sure there are no added fillers, sugar or junk. I usually pick up 2 or 3 at Whole Foods, which is where I have found it at the best price.

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