When it comes to grilling season, bratwurst is a favorite for many people.
Originating in Germany, Bratwurst is one of the most popular sausages in the world with its coarse texture and bold, smoky flavors with hints of herbs and garlic.
As with anything delicious, you’re probably wondering whether Bratwurst is healthy or not. We were thinking the same so wanted to find out how many calories are in a Bratwurst.
This is a common query with those looking to watch their calorie intake and maintain a healthy diet, but also enjoy some of their favorite foods.
The answer, of course, depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the bratwurst and any additional toppings or condiments that are added.
Some people may be surprised by the calorie count, while others may find it to be a relatively low-calorie option.
Read on as we share with you how many calories are in a Bratwurst from research and information from various nutrition experts.
What Is Bratwurst?
Bratwurst is a type of sausage that originated in Germany. However, its exact origin is still up for debate, historians believe it originated around 700 years ago in either the Hüringen and or Franconia regions of Germany.
This popular sausage can be made from ground pork, beef, turkey, or chicken, and is typically flavored with a blend of spices such as salt, pepper, nutmeg, and caraway.
Bratwurst is a popular food item, often grilled or pan-fried and is typically served as a main dish or as a tasty snack on its own.
A common food item found that festivals and events, particularly those in Germany or with a German or Bavarian theme, you can enjoy Bratwurst with a variety of condiments and toppings, such as mustard, sauerkraut, onions, and peppers.
The number of calories a Bratwurst sausage has tends to be determined by the meat used to make it. For example, if the Bratwurst is made with turkey or chicken, it will contain fewer calories than those made with beef meat.
Generally speaking, a turkey or chicken bratwurst contains approximately 70 to 180 calories and typically has a low protein content.
Bratwursts that are made with red meat, like pork or beef, tend to hold more calories. Typically, these will have around 290 calories, substantially more than chicken or turkey Bratwurst sausages.
Of course, what you add to your Bratwurst will affect its calorie content. Say you add a topping of cheddar cheese; this will see the calorie count increase.
For instance, just one serving size of Beer Brat or Johnsonville Cheddar cheese contains 260 calories alone.
It is also important to note that these calorie counts do not include the bread bun or other condiments, such as mustard or ketchup.
Most Bratwurst sausages are enjoyed with mustard and served between two buns. This alone can add around 100 to 150 added calories amounting to over 400 calories altogether in a single serving.
Add these in and you could see the calorie content rise quickly toward the recommended 2,000 calorie intake of an adult.
In general, a single serving size of cooked beef or pork Bratwurst (approximately 85 grams) contains around 283 calories. 223 of these 283 calories are total fat calories, too, showing how Bratwurst sausages tend to have a high-fat content.
Altogether, a typical pork or beef Bratwurst sausage will contain 8.5 grams of saturated fat and 25 grams of total fat.
Nutritionists and expert guidelines state that men should not have any more than 30 grams of saturated fat a day and for women, this is 20 grams. Just a few Bratwurst sausages and you can exceed your daily allowance easily.
Bratwurst also has a high sodium content. Just a single serving contains around 710 mg of sodium. This equates to approximately a quarter of the recommended daily intake of sodium.
These sausages also have very low levels of potassium. Therefore, they can be a good option for those on a diet that restricts potassium intake.
Moreover, there is a zero sugar content and essentially no carbohydrates in Bratwurst but around 60 or so milligrams of cholesterol.
As well as the meat used to make Bratwurst, the cooking method, how many grams of meat used, and the type of bun affects the final number of calories.
But, perhaps surprisingly, this high-calorie foody favorite can help you get some important protein with one serving containing around 12 grams of protein. This helps preserve and build muscle mass in your body.
Bratwurst – Are There Any Health Benefits?
Bratwurst is not regarded as a healthy food item due to its high calorie and sodium content. That being said, non-red meat Bratwurst eaten without a bun is a much healthier option and can be just as tasty.
Nutritionists have even found that Bratwurst can have certain health benefits, such as:
- Helps to maintain and build muscle – A single Bratwurst sausage contains significant daily values of protein, which can aid in mending and developing new muscles.
- High chlorine content – A compound responsible for constructing cell membranes, particularly for the heart and brain, Choline has potential benefits in reducing depression and pain. It is also associated with acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that transmits signals between neurons.
- Abundant in selenium – Selenium is a mineral that enhances the immune system and aids in the management of thyroid function, arthritis, and asthma.
- Contains B vitamins – These are required to break down carbohydrates and fats into energy. A single serving of Bratwurst provides a substantial amount of these vitamins found in beef and pork, making it a rich source of B Vitamins. Specifically, Bratwurst contains B6, B12, niacin, and riboflavin vitamins.
- Low carbohydrate levels – An 85 gram Bratwurst contains 2.4 grams of crabs, ideal for a low-carb diet.
- Helps bones grow strong – Bratwurst is abundant in phosphorus, which can strengthen bones and help kidney function.
Bratwurst may not be the healthiest treat out there but it sure is delicious.
When eaten in moderation, Bratwurst can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet, but due to its high calorie and sodium content, it should not be consumed regularly.
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