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Chorizo vs Italian sausage - In-Depth Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 31, 2024
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Italian sausage raw
vs
Chorizo

Summary

Italian sausage is higher in selenium and has low sugar, sodium, and saturated fat content. On the other hand, chorizo is higher in Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, zinc, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B1 and has a lower glycemic index.

Introduction

Today, we will compare Italian sausages and chorizo and highlight the main differences focusing on nutritional values.

What's The Actual Difference?

Chorizo and Italian sausage have a lot in common, but they also have many differences.

Italian sausages can be cured or uncured and consist of at least 85% of pork meat. Chorizo is cured meat; it is a Spanish cured and smoked pork or beef sausage.

Italian sausages and chorizo also have different seasonings. Chorizo usually is seasoned with chili pepper, paprika, oregano, and salt, while Italia sausages are seasoned with fennel, onions, garlic, and corn syrup.

Production

One of the essential steps in making good sausages is weighing the meat and spice ingredients. Salt is essential for making the meat easier to handle and taste good.

Chorizo meat is typically crushed, salted, spice-seasoned, and pressed into the intestines in the shape of a shell before being hung in a meat cellar to keep it cool.

Nutrition

You can find nutritional infographics that visually show the differences between Italian sausages and chorizo. The food varieties used in this article are Italian sausages made from pork and chorizo made from pork and beef.

Macronutrients

Italian sausage is higher in water, so chorizo may seem to have a more solid texture. Chorizo is higher in fats and protein. Please, check the infographic below and read the more detailed information in the corresponding sections. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Water +60.4%
Contains more Protein +69.1%
Contains more Fats +22.2%
Contains more Carbs +186.2%
Contains more Other +45.7%
14% 31% 51% 3%
Protein: 14.25 g
Fats: 31.33 g
Carbs: 0.65 g
Water: 51.08 g
Other: 2.69 g
24% 38% 2% 32% 4%
Protein: 24.1 g
Fats: 38.27 g
Carbs: 1.86 g
Water: 31.85 g
Other: 3.92 g
Contains more Water +60.4%
Contains more Protein +69.1%
Contains more Fats +22.2%
Contains more Carbs +186.2%
Contains more Other +45.7%

Fats

Chorizo contains more fats than Italian sausages. It has 38.27g of fat per 100g, while Italian sausage contains 31g of fat per 100g. In particular, Italian sausages have less saturated fats, but chorizo has more mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Chorizo, in addition, falls in the range of the top 4% of foods as a source of fat.

Cholesterol

Chorizo and Italian sausages are high in cholesterol. Chorizo provides 89mg per 100g, while Italian sausages have 76mg of cholesterol. Chorizo falls in the range of the top 16% of foods as a source of cholesterol. So if you have any cardiovascular issues, consume it in moderation.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -21.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +16.5%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +28.3%
38% 48% 14%
Saturated Fat: 11.27 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 14.34 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.03 g
40% 51% 10%
Saturated Fat: 14.38 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 18.4 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.46 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -21.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +16.5%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +28.3%

Protein

Chorizo contains more protein than Italian sausages. Chorizo provides 24.1g, whereas Italian sausages have 14.25 protein per 100g.

Calories

Both Italian sausages and chorizo are considered high-calorie food. The number of calories in chorizo is higher than in Italian sausages. It provides 455 calories per 100g, whereas Italian sausage contains 346 calories per 100g.

Minerals

Chorizo contains more potassium, zinc, magnesium, and iron than Italian sausages.

On the other hand, Italian sausages have more calcium and less sodium.

Both have equal amounts of phosphorus and copper.

Slightly note: chorizos are high in sodium, so to avoid sodium's harmful effects on your health, consume them in moderation.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +125%
Contains less Sodium -40.8%
Contains more Manganese +45%
Contains more Selenium +17.5%
Contains more Iron +34.7%
Contains more Magnesium +28.6%
Contains more Potassium +57.3%
Contains more Zinc +90.5%
Equal in Phosphorus - 150
Equal in Copper - 0.08
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 6% 45% 10% 61% 23% 96% 49% 27% 8% 136%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 3% 60% 13% 65% 36% 162% 93% 27% 6% 116%
Contains more Calcium +125%
Contains less Sodium -40.8%
Contains more Manganese +45%
Contains more Selenium +17.5%
Contains more Iron +34.7%
Contains more Magnesium +28.6%
Contains more Potassium +57.3%
Contains more Zinc +90.5%
Equal in Phosphorus - 150
Equal in Copper - 0.08

Vitamins

Chorizo contains significantly higher Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 concentrations.

Besides, chorizo falls in the range of the top 14% of foods as a source of Vitamin B1.

On the other hand, chorizo contains more Vitamin C and folate.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
10
Chorizo
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Folate +300%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +10.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +78.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +57.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +119.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +76.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +119.8%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 7% 142% 39% 61% 31% 70% 6% 114% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 5% 45% 0% 158% 70% 97% 68% 123% 2% 251% 53% 4%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Folate +300%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +10.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +78.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +57.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +119.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +76.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +119.8%

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of Italian sausages and chorizo is equal; it is 28. Both foods are considered low glycemic index food.

Health Benefits of Eating Red Meat

Iron is a mineral that our bodies require to produce hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. Iron is abundant in all types of red meat, including Italian sausages and chorizo. Red meat is also high in Vitamin B12, which helps keep nerves and red blood cells healthy, and zinc, which aids immune system function [1].

Side Effects

Red meat contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals; however, it is also rich in sodium and saturated fats.

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Chorizo tends to have a higher fat content due to its pork base and the addition of spices and flavorings. Higher consumption of saturated fats is associated with an increased risk of heart disease [2].

Italian sausage may have a lower fat content depending on the specific recipe and preparation method, which could potentially make it a slightly better choice for cardiovascular health.

Both chorizo and Italian sausage can contain significant amounts of sodium, which is a concern for cardiovascular health. High sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease [3].

Choosing low-sodium versions or moderating portion sizes can help mitigate the impact of sodium content. It should be noted that the recommended daily sodium intake for adults is 2.3 g.

Both chorizo and Italian sausage can be prepared in various ways, including grilling, frying, or baking. Cooking methods that minimize added fats, such as grilling or baking, can help reduce the overall calorie and fat content of the dish, potentially making it more heart-healthy.

In summary, while both chorizo and Italian sausage can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, it's essential to be mindful of portion sizes and preparation methods to minimize their impact on cardiovascular health. Choosing leaner cuts, moderating portion sizes, and incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help mitigate the potential negative effects of these delicious sausages on heart health.

Diabetes

According to research, there is a link between eating red meat and developing type 2 diabetes. Red meat, mainly processed meats, is high in heme iron, raising blood sugar levels. According to one study, women who consume red meat frequently have a nearly one-third higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who consume less red meat [4].

Red Meat Allergy

Red meat allergy is a typical food allergy that affects people of all ages. Those allergic to cat serum albumin may develop an allergy to red meat, which cross-reacts with albumin found in pork.

A red meat allergy causes hives, vomiting, stomach cramps, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. These symptoms usually last three to six hours after eating red meat [5].

Herb Allergy

Fennel seed, used to flavor Italian sausages, can cause an allergic reaction. Allergies to spices and herbs are typically characterized by local reactions in the mouth, resulting in itchy mucous membranes and swelling of the lips and tongue. Dizziness, hives, and throat swelling are common symptoms [6].

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 31, 2024
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan

Infographic

Italian sausage raw vs Chorizo infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Italian sausage raw Chorizo
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Italian sausage raw Chorizo Opinion
Net carbs 0.65g 1.86g Chorizo
Protein 14.25g 24.1g Chorizo
Fats 31.33g 38.27g Chorizo
Carbs 0.65g 1.86g Chorizo
Calories 346kcal 455kcal Chorizo
Calcium 18mg 8mg Italian sausage raw
Iron 1.18mg 1.59mg Chorizo
Magnesium 14mg 18mg Chorizo
Phosphorus 142mg 150mg Chorizo
Potassium 253mg 398mg Chorizo
Sodium 731mg 1235mg Italian sausage raw
Zinc 1.79mg 3.41mg Chorizo
Copper 0.08mg 0.08mg
Manganese 0.058mg 0.04mg Italian sausage raw
Selenium 24.8µg 21.1µg Italian sausage raw
Vitamin E 0.22mg Chorizo
Vitamin D 61IU Chorizo
Vitamin D 1.5µg Chorizo
Vitamin C 2mg 0mg Italian sausage raw
Vitamin B1 0.568mg 0.63mg Chorizo
Vitamin B2 0.168mg 0.3mg Chorizo
Vitamin B3 3.25mg 5.131mg Chorizo
Vitamin B5 0.51mg 1.12mg Chorizo
Vitamin B6 0.3mg 0.53mg Chorizo
Folate 8µg 2µg Italian sausage raw
Vitamin B12 0.91µg 2µg Chorizo
Choline 96.7mg Chorizo
Vitamin K 1.6µg Chorizo
Tryptophan 0.114mg 0.278mg Chorizo
Threonine 0.563mg 1.473mg Chorizo
Isoleucine 0.52mg 2.206mg Chorizo
Leucine 0.956mg 1.708mg Chorizo
Lysine 1.083mg 2.414mg Chorizo
Methionine 0.346mg 0.47mg Chorizo
Phenylalanine 0.477mg 1.149mg Chorizo
Valine 0.572mg 0.914mg Chorizo
Histidine 0.411mg 0.721mg Chorizo
Cholesterol 76mg 88mg Italian sausage raw
Saturated Fat 11.27g 14.38g Italian sausage raw
Monounsaturated Fat 14.34g 18.4g Chorizo
Polyunsaturated fat 4.03g 3.46g Italian sausage raw

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Italian sausage raw Chorizo
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
36%
Italian sausage raw
67%
Chorizo
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
46%
Italian sausage raw
58%
Chorizo

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Italian sausage raw
Italian sausage raw is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Italian sausage raw
Italian sausage raw contains less Sodium (difference - 504mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Italian sausage raw
Italian sausage raw is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 12mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Italian sausage raw
Italian sausage raw is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 3.11g)
Which food is cheaper?
Chorizo
Chorizo is cheaper (difference - $2.2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Chorizo
Chorizo is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Chorizo
Chorizo is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (28)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Italian sausage raw - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171631/nutrients
  2. Chorizo - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173859/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.