Foodstruct
Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart

Italian sausage vs Bratwurst - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Italian sausage
vs
Bratwurst

Introduction

The reality is that we all love sausage. They all 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 types of sausages are meat products, which are made from beef, pork, or chicken and are mixed with spices and salt. It is also important to distinguish between cured sausage, smoked sausage, and fresh sausage.

The biggest 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 most important steps in the preparation of good sausages. The meat of Italian sausage is mixed with a curing solution to improve the taste and increase the shelf life. The salt is important 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 3 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 richer 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.

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.

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. 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 properly. Besides, red meat provides protein that can help build bones and muscles. 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 key nutrients beneficial for the body. They both are good sources of protein. 100 g of each of these products contains 12-14 g protein, which is 12% of the daily recommended intake for adults. Protein is a key 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. During this diet, it is recommended to eat meat, 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 richer 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 have a bad impact on 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, which is a major 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 amount of consumption of these sausages [5].

Diabetes

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

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

Summary

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

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
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: August 27, 2021

Infographic

Italian sausage vs Bratwurst infographic
Copy infographic link

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 Iron +18%
Contains more Calcium +157.1%
Contains less Sodium -13.8%
Contains more Potassium +11.9%
Contains more Zinc +38%
Equal in Magnesium - 15
Equal in Copper - 0.08
Equal in Phosphorus - 130
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 45% 6% 23% 10% 27% 49% 61% 96%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 38% 3% 25% 11% 27% 68% 56% 111%
Contains more Iron +18%
Contains more Calcium +157.1%
Contains less Sodium -13.8%
Contains more Potassium +11.9%
Contains more Zinc +38%
Equal in Magnesium - 15
Equal in Copper - 0.08
Equal in Phosphorus - 130

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 C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 7% 0% 0% 0% 142% 39% 61% 31% 70% 114% 0% 6%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 0% 0% 0% 96% 50% 59% 42% 47% 334% 0% 3%
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 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 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 Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Italian sausage
Italian sausage is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 2mg)
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 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.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

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

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.