If you compare pork sausage vs. turkey sausage, turkey sausage is the healthier option.
This is because turkey sausage is low in saturated fat, low in calories, and high in protein. Pork sausage has some nutritional benefits but should be consumed in moderation.
This is because pork sausage has high fat and sodium content.
Whether you prefer turkey or pork sausage also depends on your taste. As turkey sausages contain less fat and high sodium, they may also help to lose weight.
Also, there are several methods through which both these sausages can be prepared.
Pork Sausage vs. Turkey Sausage
Turkey sausage is usually made of ground turkey breast and thighs. It is laden with fat and seasoning such as salt, pepper, spices, and herbs to give it flavor.
It is available in different portions ranging from mini-sized sausage to twelve-inch-long sausage rings. Turkey sausages taste much like chicken sausages and sometimes contain preservatives, depending on the brand you buy.
These delicious sausages are usually eaten for breakfast, along with omelets, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and syrup. However, these sausages can also be used in other types of food, such as pizza, pasta, and sandwiches.
Pork sausage is ground pork mixed with salt, fat, and other seasonings.
It can also contain preservatives and, in some cases, fillers. The minced pork is usually extracted from the pig’s leg or shoulder band and then seasoned. It is then tugged into thin casings.
Pork sausages can be eaten grilled, fried, or smoked. They can also be heavily preserved or cured and can be eaten cold. Usually, pan-frying pork sausages are preferred over grilling them. But, this also depends on the individual’s preferred taste.
Pork sausages are a popular breakfast staple.
Turkey sausages are known to be a healthier option than pork sausages. This is because 2 ounces of turkey sausage will have 100-111 calories, 350-400 grams sodium, and approximately 5-7 grams of fat (1).
Comparatively, the same amount of pork sausage will have 160 plus calories, 360-400 milligrams of sodium, and 15-25 grams of fat (2).
Turkey sausage is the healthier option because turkey is leaner than pork. Hence the calories and fat content are lesser. Pork sausage is known to be juicier as it contains a higher salt and fat content.
Turkey sausage also tastes similar to chicken, as turkey is softer than pork. This sausage has a mild taste. Pork sausage usually has a more robust flavor comparatively.
Turkey is leaner and has less fat content, so it is not smoked when cooked.
Pork sausages can be smoked easily. Turkey sausage is also usually costlier than pork sausage.
Both these types of sausages can be prepared in different ways. Methods to cook them include boiling, frying, deep frying, broiling and baking.
Benefits of Consuming Turkey Sausage
There are some nutritional advantages of consuming turkey sausage.
- Turkey sausage is lower in saturated fats as compared to pork sausage. Too much saturated fat in your diet can cause high cholesterol, which is highly unhealthy. High cholesterol can hamper one’s blood flow and oxygen transportation throughout the body. The American Heart Association recommends that less than six percent of your daily calories should be from saturated fat (3). If you are on a two thousand calorie diet, then your fat intake should only be thirteen percent. As a single serving of turkey sausage contains approximately one to two servings of fat, it can be included in your daily diet.
- Turkey sausage also has a lower sodium content compared to pork sausage. Most turkey sausage brands usually contain three hundred to five hundred grams of sodium in a serving. Consuming more sodium than recommended daily can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart, and even heart failure (4).
- Turkey sausage also adds high levels of protein to your diet without adding too many calories. This makes turkey sausage a good food choice, as a high-protein breakfast has many advantages. It helps in weight management as you consume lesser calories throughout the day.
- Even though turkey sausage is low in fat-soluble vitamins and vitamin C, it contains large amounts of B vitamins (5). One turkey sausage serving has fifty percent of the required b-12 and thirty-plus percent of niacin. It also has a plus percent of riboflavin and B-6.
- Having turkey sausage for breakfast is a great way to reduce your daily calorie amount (6). Turkey is leaner than other breakfast meats. It also contains lesser calories, fat, and cholesterol. It’s also easy to prepare and pair with other breakfast food items. Turkey sausage is also available in multiple flavors at grocery stores.
How to Cook Turkey or Pork Sausage
You can buy two types of sausages.
These are raw sausages and pre-cooked sausages. Raw links need to be cooked carefully until they are safe to eat. Under-cooked sausages can make you sick and can also cause food poisoning. Pre-cured sausages are usually heavily cured, dried, or smoked; hence they can be eaten without cooking.
Raw red meat sausage needs to be cooked to 160 degrees F. This refers to red meats such as veal beef or pork. Raw chicken or turkey sausage must be cooked to at least 160-degree F.
Methods of Cooking
- One way of preparing pork or turkey sausage is by boiling them. Place the links in a bowl of boiling water and let them simmer for a few minutes. If the sausages are pre-cooked, you can place them for five to ten minutes. The links are raw; you will need to boil them for thirty minutes.
- Another great way of cooking pork or turkey sausages is by baking them. Baking makes the sausages crispy and nicely browned. To bake your links, begin by preheating your oven to 365-degree F. Place the sausages in a pan and place them in the oven.
If the sausages are small, bake them for 15 to 20 minutes. If they are large, bake them for 35 to 40 minutes. Flip them halfway; the sausages are done from both sides and are nice and juicy.
- You can also prepare turkey and pork sausages by broiling or grilling them. Both these cooking methods use direct heat and are high-temperature cooking techniques. When grilling, the heat source is below the links, while it’s above the sausages in broiling.
- To grill the sausages, place them on a heated grill for ten minutes and flip over halfway. To broil the sausage, place the sausages on a broiler pan and cook for five minutes on either side.
- However, cooking in such high temperatures can also have some harmful effects (7). It can lead to compounds in the sausages, such as heterocyclic amines. These compounds increase the risk of diseases such as cancer or diabetes.
- Pan frying or stir-frying is another popular method to prepare sausages. This involves placing the link in a skillet or pan and placing it overheat. In stir-frying, you must keep stirring the sausages, while in pan-frying, you don’t. For these techniques, the pan needs to be preheated and oiled. You have to keep cooking the sausages until they turn firm and golden. Both pan frying and stir-frying must also be brisk as they involve high temperatures.
If the links are placed on the pan for too long harmful compounds can form. When frying, use oils that contain micro-nutrients and are healthy. These oils should also be stable in high temperatures. This includes avocado oil, olive oil, butter, and coconut oil.
- Deep frying is also used for cooking sausages. However, links that are deep-fried contain more calories than others. To deep fry sausages, you can coat them in breadcrumbs and egg batter. Preparing sausages through this method also increases the chances of harmful compound formation as high temperatures are involved.
- Always remember it’s essential to cook sausages before eating them. Even if the links are pre-cooked, it’s still important to cook them thoroughly. The healthiest way to cook sausages is by baking them or boiling them. Also, if your sausages get charred while cooking, it’s better not to eat them as they can contain harmful compounds.
Despite the differences, both pork and turkey sausage can be decent breakfast foods. They are easy to prepare and contain nutrients such as protein and good fats.
Both these sausages can be used as breakfast foods. You can have them, with eggs, pancakes, and toast, amongst other things. They can also be used in items like pizzas, sandwiches, etc.
However, when comparing pork sausage to turkey sausage, turkey sausage is the healthier option as it contains less sodium, calories, and fat. It is also higher in protein. Turkey sausages also taste similar to chicken and can be included in your daily diet.
Protein helps you stay full longer and boosts your mood thus making turkey sausage a great breakfast food.
Choosing pork sausage vs. turkey sausage depends on your taste entirely. But, turkey sausage is the known healthier option and can be eaten more frequently than pork sausage without compromising one’s health.