Salami vs. Italian sausage — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Salamis are relatively high in vitamins and minerals. They contain 17 times more manganese than Italian sausage. Also, they have more protein and carbs. On the other hand, Italian sausages have more Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin B1, calcium, less sodium, lower sugar, and cholesterol.
Table of contents
- What’s The Actual Difference?
- Health Benefits
- Side Effects
Salami and Italian sausages are often confused because these two types of meat have similar characteristics. However, they are not the same, and today, we will compare them and highlight the main differences.
What’s The Actual Difference?
All sausages are meat products from beef, pork, or chicken mixed with spices and salt. Italian sausages and salamis have a lot in common, but they also have many differences.
The most significant difference between Italian sausages and salamis is that Italian sausages are commonly called pork sausages. In contrast, salamis contain either beef or pork. Besides, Italian sausages are made using ground meat without curing, whereas salamis are cured sausages fermented and air-dried.
Italian sausages are a type of pork sausage, while salamis contain beef or pork. Salami is also native to Italy.
Besides, salami is thicker than Italian sausage. Italian sausage is thinner and smaller.
The taste of salami and Italian sausage is different. Salami is a cured sausage with a more concentrated flavor due to the ingredients. While Italian sausages are often seasoned with fennel seeds, this gives them a unique flavor. It is possible to change the taste of sausage. You can make them spicy or soft, depending on your preference, but you cannot change the taste of the salami.
The nutritional table at the bottom of this page visually shows the differences between salamis and Italian sausages. The food varieties used in this article are salami made from beef and pork and Italian sausage made from pork.
Salamis contain more proteins.
Italian sausages are higher in water, fats, and carbs. Neither of these products has fiber. You can read the detailed information in the corresponding sections below.
Italian sausages contain more overall fats than salamis. In particular, salamis have less saturated fats, but Italian sausages have more mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Fat Type Comparison
The number of calories in Italian sausages is slightly higher than in salamis. They contain 344 calories per 100g, whereas salamis contain 336 calories per 100g.
It is important to note that these two are considered high-calorie foods.
Let’s have a look at the mineral content of these two products. Salami is relatively richer in minerals than Italian sausage. It has 17 times more manganese, and three times more copper, more iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
On the other hand, Italian sausages contain calcium and less sodium.
Generally, Italian sausages are relatively richer in vitamins.
Salamis contain significantly higher concentrations of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B3. They are also high in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6. On the other hand, Italian sausages contain more vitamins A, E, C, folic acid, and B1.
The glycemic index of a food is a value that shows how quickly or slowly a food can cause an increase in blood glucose levels. The glycemic index of salamis and Italian sausages is equal; it is 28. Both sausages are considered low-lycemic index foods.
The acidity level of salamis equals 10.4, while Italian sausages have an acidity level equal to 6.3. Both are acidic.
Benefits of Eating Red Meat
Red meat is rich in iron, which is an essential mineral. Our bodies need iron to make hemoglobin and a protein in red blood cells. Red meat is also 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, red meat provides protein, which helps build healthy bones and muscles (1).
Other Health Benefits
Salamis and Italian sausages offer several essential nutrients that benefit the body. They both are good sources of protein. 100 g of salami contains 21 g of protein, 50% of adults' recommended daily intake reduces muscle mass loss. Protein is a nutrient that helps to develop and repair strong muscles. Also, it may help to reduce the loss of muscle mass that often occurs with age (2).
There are healthier alternatives to these sausages, which are vegan. Vegan alternatives to salami are mainly done with vital wheat gluten. In this case, the fat, cholesterol, and sodium levels are decreased. The manufacturers of vegan sausages and salami try to ensure these qualities meet the standards as much as possible (3).
Ketogenic (Keto) Diet
Eating high-fat and low-carb food, including red meat, pork, and beef, is recommended during the keto diet.
So, you can consume salami and Italian sausage on a keto diet. Both sausages have low carbohydrate and glycemic content, and the macronutrients are mainly comprised of proteins and lipids (3).
Sausages, overall, are rich in several vitamins and minerals; however, they are also rich in sodium and saturated fats. That means daily consumption of Italian sausages and salamis can harm your health. In this section of the article, we will discuss the side effects of these products.
Italian sausages and salamis are not recommended on weight-loss regimens, primarily because of their high fat and salt content.
The daily recommended consumption of sodium for adults is 2.3 g. Overall, too much sodium can be bad for your health. According to research, sodium intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure, a significant cause of heart disease (4).
Furthermore, red meat can be high in saturated fats that may clog arteries. Italian sausages and salamis are high in sodium and saturated fats (5).
With these facts in mind, try to control the amount of these sausages you consume.
According to studies, there is a link between eating red meat and type 2 diabetes. Red meat, mainly processed meats, contains high amounts of heme iron, which can increase your blood sugar level.
One study shows that women who often consume red meat have an almost one-third higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who eat less red meat (6).
The nitrates and nitrites present in processed meats play a role in inhibiting bacterial growth, which increases the shelf life of these foods. However, nitrates are converted to nitrites by anaerobic bacteria. Nitrite has carcinogenic properties that must be considered when consuming processed red meats such as salami and Italian sausages (7).
Red Meat Allergy
Red meat allergy is a common food allergy that includes any age group. Those sensitive to cat serum albumin can have an allergic reaction to red meat that cross-reacts with albumin in pork. Also, people who are allergic to alpha-gal should avoid all meat types.
Symptoms of a red meat allergy include hives, vomiting, stomach cramps, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. These symptoms usually last three to six hours after red meat (8).
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Glycemic Index||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||0µg||10µg|
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0.084g|
|Omega-6 - Linoleic acid||2.104g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.126g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet||Equal|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Salami - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172936/nutrients
- Italian sausage - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174586/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.