Are turkey sausage links good for people with diabetes?
Often, carbohydrates get all the attention when it comes to managing diabetes, but it is also important to make good choices when it comes to high-protein foods like meat and meat substitutes. These foods are high in protein but vary in the amount of total and saturated fat they contain.
The best meat choices are lower in saturated fat, which include fish, lean meats, and poultry without the skin. The following is a more detailed list of the best choices in this food group:
- Vegetarian protein, which includes beans, tofu, veggie burgers, and other soy products
- Eggs, egg whites and egg substitutes
- Low-fat milk, skim milk, light yogurt and non-fat yogurt
- Fish and shellfish
- Poultry such as chicken, turkey, or Cornish hen without the skin (white breast meat is lower in fat than the darker meat in the thigh and leg pieces)
- Lean cuts of beef including round, sirloin, and flank steak; tenderloin; rib, chuck, or rump roast; T-bone, porterhouse, or cubed steak.
- Lean types of pork including ham, Canadian bacon, pork loin, and center loin chops.
Typically, sausage is made from ground meat that has been mixed with spices, fat, and other ingredients like preservatives and salt. The added ingredients are what make it taste different from just regular ground meat, like what we use to make burgers. Sausage, whether it is made from ground turkey or another kind of meat, can vary quite a bit in the amount of fat it has. Sometimes, the added ingredients in sausage increase the carbohydrate content of the product, so be sure to check the nutrition label on the package when you are planning meals.
When choosing processed meats like sausage, sliced deli meats, or hot dogs, opt to buy products that have 3 grams of fat or less per ounce. If you cannot find turkey sausage that meets that guideline, look for one with less than 7 grams of fat per ounce.
Most of the time, choose the protein foods included on the list of best choices above. You can also have turkey sausage if you want, but it may not be the best food for every day. If you can find a lean turkey sausage to add at breakfast, it may be a good way to add protein to your meal. Some other healthy protein options for breakfast include beans, tofu, soy sausages or “veggie” sausage patties, eggs or egg substitutes, ham, or Canadian bacon.
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