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Italian sausage vs Bratwurst - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on August 27, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Italian sausage
vs
Bratwurst

Summary

Bratwursts contain more Vitamin B12, Vitamin B5 and B2, potassium, zinc, and lower saturated fats. On the other hand, Italian sausages have more Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, and B6, iron, and calcium; they are also lower in cholesterol and sugar.

Introduction

The reality is that we all love sausage. All sausages are from the same family, so how can we prefer one over another? This article aims to compare Italian sausage and bratwurst, their nutritional values, and their impact on our health. Bratwursts are a type of German sausage which are made with pork or beef. Italian sausages are a type of pork sausage.

What’s The Actual Difference?

All sausages are meat products made from beef, pork, or chicken and are mixed with spices and salt. It is also essential to distinguish between cured sausage, smoked sausage, and fresh sausage.

The most significant difference between Italian sausages and bratwursts is that Italian sausages are commonly referred to as a style of pork sausage. Besides, they also differ from each other in spices. Particularly, Italian sausages are often noted for flavoring with fennel seed.

Production

Weighing the meat and spice ingredients is one of the essential steps in preparing good sausages. The meat of Italian sausage is mixed with a curing solution to improve the taste and increase the shelf life. Salt is essential for making the meat easier to handle and for making it taste good.

Usually, the meat of bratwurst is crushed, salted, seasoned with spices, and pressed into the intestines in the form of a shell; then, they hang it in a meat cellar to keep it cool.

Nutrition

At the bottom of this page, you can find the nutritional infographics that visually show the differences between bratwurst and Italian sausages. The food varieties used in this article are bratwurst, beef, and pork, smoked and Sausage, Italian, pork, raw.

Macronutrients

Italian sausages contain more fats, more protein, and less cholesterol. On the other hand, bratwursts contain more carbs. Both products have no fiber and sugars.

Fats

Italian sausages contain three times more polyunsaturated fat than bratwurst. They contain 4.03g of polyunsaturated fat, while bratwursts contain 1.58g. On the other hand, bratwursts are lower in saturated fats.

Calories

The number of calories in Italian sausages is a bit higher than in bratwurst. They contain 346 calories per 100g, whereas bratwursts contain 297 calories per 100g. It is important to note that both products are considered high-calorie food.

Minerals

Let’s have a look at the mineral content of these products. Bratwursts are more affluent in potassium and zinc.

On the other hand, Italian sausages have more iron and calcium than brats.

The level of sodium is 13.8% less in Italian sausages. Bratwursts and Italian sausages are equal in magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +157.1%
Contains more Iron +18%
Contains less Sodium -13.8%
Contains more Potassium +11.9%
Contains more Zinc +38%
Equal in Magnesium - 15
Equal in Phosphorus - 130
Equal in Copper - 0.08
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 6% 45% 10% 61% 23% 96% 49% 27%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 3% 38% 11% 56% 25% 111% 68% 27%
Contains more Calcium +157.1%
Contains more Iron +18%
Contains less Sodium -13.8%
Contains more Potassium +11.9%
Contains more Zinc +38%
Equal in Magnesium - 15
Equal in Phosphorus - 130
Equal in Copper - 0.08

Vitamins

Generally, bratwursts contain significantly higher concentrations of Vitamin B12. They are also high in Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B2. Moreover, bratwurst covers your daily need for Vitamin B12.

On the other hand, Italian sausages are higher in Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B1.

These products have an equal level of Vitamin B3.

Bratwursts and Italian sausages lack Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +49.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +50%
Contains more Folate +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +26.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +193.4%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 3.11
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 7% 142% 39% 61% 31% 70% 6% 114% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 96% 50% 59% 42% 47% 3% 334% 0%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +49.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +50%
Contains more Folate +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +26.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +193.4%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 3.11

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of a food is a value based on how quickly a food can cause an increase in blood glucose levels. The glycemic index of bratwursts and sausages is equal; it is 28. Both are considered low glycemic index food.

Acidity

The acidity level of bratwursts is about 4.4, while Italian sausages have an acidity level equal to 6.3. Both are acidic.

Health Benefits

Benefits of Eating Red Meat

Red meat is rich in iron, which is easily absorbed by our bodies. Besides, red meat provides protein that can help build bones and muscles. Red meat also is a good source of Vitamin B12, which helps to keep nerve and red blood cells healthy, and zinc, which keeps the immune system working correctly. In addition, bratwurst may cover the daily intake of Vitamin B12. For adults it is 2.4 micrograms, and bratwurst contains 2.67 mg of Vitamin B12 per 100 g [1].

Other Health Benefits

Italian sausages and bratwursts offer several essential nutrients beneficial for the body. They both are good sources of protein. 100 g of each of these products contains 12-14 g protein, 12% of the daily recommended intake for adults. Protein is a critical nutrient that helps to develop and repair strong muscles. Also, it helps to reduce the loss of muscle mass that often occurs with age [2].

Ketogenic (Keto) Diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet. This diet includes foods with high protein. It is recommended to eat meat during this diet, including fatty meats such as pork and beef. Bratwursts contain fewer carbs than Italian sausages and are a good source of protein. Italian sausages are more affluent in fats. If you’re on this diet, try to combine these products with a natural source of healthy fats [3].

Side Effects

Italian sausages and bratwursts are rich in several vitamins and minerals; nevertheless, they are also rich in sodium and saturated fats. That means daily consumption of these products can harm your health. In this section of the article, we will discuss the side effects of Italian sausages and bratwursts.

Cardiovascular Health

The daily recommended intake of sodium is 2.3 g. In particular, too much sodium can be bad for your health. Studies show that sodium intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure, a significant cause of heart disease [4].

Besides, red meat can be high in saturated fats, which can clog arteries. Both Italian sausages and bratwurst are high in sodium and saturated fats.

With these facts in mind, try to control the consumption of these sausages [5].

Diabetes

Research shows a link between eating red meat, mainly processed meats, and type 2 diabetes due to its high heme iron content.

One study shows that women who often eat red meat have an almost one-third higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who eat less red meat [6].

Red Meat Allergy

Red meat allergy is a common allergy type, including any age group and race. People can have an allergic reaction to red meat if they are sensitive to cat serum albumin that cross-reacts with albumin in pork. Also, those who are allergic to alpha-gal should avoid all meat types.

Symptoms of red meat allergy include urticaria, vomiting, and stomach cramps, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. Usually, these symptoms last three to six hours after eating red meat [7].

Herb Allergy

Allergies to spices and herbs usually include:

  • Local reactions in the mouth.
  • Causing itchy mucous membranes.
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue.

Italian sausages are flavored with fennel seed, which can cause an allergic reaction. Common symptoms include dizziness, hives, and swelling of the throat [8].

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20374748/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26643369/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31805451/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0033062006000831
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20089734/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30229313/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6488443/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18873139/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: August 27, 2021

Infographic

Italian sausage vs Bratwurst infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Italian sausage Bratwurst
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Italian sausage Bratwurst Opinion
Net carbs 0.65g 2g Bratwurst
Protein 14.25g 12.2g Italian sausage
Fats 31.33g 26.34g Italian sausage
Carbs 0.65g 2g Bratwurst
Calories 346kcal 297kcal Italian sausage
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar g 0g Italian sausage
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 18mg 7mg Italian sausage
Iron 1.18mg 1mg Italian sausage
Magnesium 14mg 15mg Bratwurst
Phosphorus 142mg 130mg Italian sausage
Potassium 253mg 283mg Bratwurst
Sodium 731mg 848mg Italian sausage
Zinc 1.79mg 2.47mg Bratwurst
Copper 0.08mg 0.08mg
Vitamin A 0IU 0IU
Vitamin E mg mg
Vitamin D IU IU
Vitamin D µg µg
Vitamin C 2mg 0mg Italian sausage
Vitamin B1 0.568mg 0.38mg Italian sausage
Vitamin B2 0.168mg 0.213mg Bratwurst
Vitamin B3 3.25mg 3.11mg Italian sausage
Vitamin B5 0.51mg 0.69mg Bratwurst
Vitamin B6 0.3mg 0.2mg Italian sausage
Folate 8µg 4µg Italian sausage
Vitamin B12 0.91µg 2.67µg Bratwurst
Vitamin K µg µg
Tryptophan 0.114mg 0.107mg Italian sausage
Threonine 0.563mg 0.465mg Italian sausage
Isoleucine 0.52mg 0.485mg Italian sausage
Leucine 0.956mg 0.81mg Italian sausage
Lysine 1.083mg 0.903mg Italian sausage
Methionine 0.346mg 0.364mg Bratwurst
Phenylalanine 0.477mg 0.405mg Italian sausage
Valine 0.572mg 0.464mg Italian sausage
Histidine 0.411mg 0.395mg Italian sausage
Cholesterol 76mg 78mg Italian sausage
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 11.27g 6.08g Bratwurst
Monounsaturated Fat 14.34g 8g Italian sausage
Polyunsaturated fat 4.03g 1.58g Italian sausage

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Italian sausage Bratwurst
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
39
Italian sausage
52
Bratwurst
Mineral Summary Score
39
Italian sausage
42
Bratwurst

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
86%
Italian sausage
73%
Bratwurst
Carbohydrates
1%
Italian sausage
2%
Bratwurst
Fats
145%
Italian sausage
122%
Bratwurst

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Italian sausage
Italian sausage is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Italian sausage
Italian sausage contains less Sodium (difference - 117mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Italian sausage
Italian sausage is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 2mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Italian sausage
Italian sausage is cheaper (difference - $0.8)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Bratwurst
Bratwurst is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 5.19g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (28)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Italian sausage - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171631/nutrients
  2. Bratwurst - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172956/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.