Liverwurst is a traditional meat sausage made generally made using pork or beef liver. Organ meats are one of the most nutritious foods on earth! But is liverwurst keto approved?
Just like most cured meats, liverwurst is also keto-friendly because of its low carb content. A 100g serving of liverwurst contains just 3g net carbs.
Liverwurst is fully cooked before buying and you can get it pre-sliced or in the spreadable form.
In this article, we’ll find out whether you can have liverwurst on the keto diet. I’ll also discuss how Braunschweiger fits into the low-carb diet!
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What is Liverwurst?
Liverwurst on a fresh slice of bread with mayo and lettuce sounds delish! But what exactly goes into making this sausage?
Liverwurst is generally made from a pig’s or calf’s liver. It is enriched with a unique spice blend specific to each region! This deli meat is available in both sliced and spreadable forms.
In reality, there are thousands of liverwurst varieties available around the globe! They can have way more organ meats than just liver (e.g. beef heart).
Liverwurst along with rye bread, onion, and mustard is a go-to American recipe for a quick open sandwich.
Most organ meats are packed with nutrition, and liverwurst is no exception! It contains a healthy dose of micronutrients and loads of healthy fats.
Here’s the micro-nutrient profile of liverwurst:
Vitamins (% Daily Value)
- Vitamin B12: 837%
- Vitamin A: 469%
- Vitamin B6: 19%
- Choline: 47%
- Riboflavin (B2): 117%
- Pantothenic Acid (B5): 59%
- Thiamin (B1): 21%
- Folate: 11%
- Niacin (B3): 52%
- Selenium: 105%
- Iron: 62%
- Sodium: 42%
- Copper: 27%
- Zinc: 26%
- Phosphorus: 13%
- Manganese: 7%
- Potassium: 4%
- Magnesium: 3%
- Calcium: 1%
(DV is a percentage amount of a nutrient contributing to your daily diet. 100% DV is the total daily recommended intake of a particular nutrient.)
Clearly, liverwurst is a nutrient-dense food covering all your micronutrients intake.
The most basic spices in liverwurst are salt, black pepper, and onion powder. But some premium recipes also include additional spices like coriander, marjoram, mustard seeds, nutmeg, etc.
Liverwurst is a smooth and good-looking meat product that hides the real organs! You only get to see the end product which is neat and tempting!
So you get all the nutrition without having to ingest those weird-textured organs!
But what if you hoped on the keto wagon? Do the same rules apply here?
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Is Liverwurst Keto?
Liverwurst is keto-friendly since it has just 3g net carbs per 100g serving. It is a nutrient-dense meat product with an excellent fats-to-carbs ratio.
However, keep in mind that all cold cuts and cured meats fall into the “dirty keto” category. These are highly processed and contain a high amount of preservatives and chemical additives.
Most of these additives are unhealthy. Having liverwurst will not directly impact ketosis, but it can lead to health complications in the long run.
Moderation is the name of the game my dear friend! You can have most packaged foods available in the market only if you limit your consumption!
Ignoring the “processed” side of liverwurst, it has a good macro-nutrient profile indeed.
Here are the nutrition stats for a 100g serving of Liverwurst:
- Calories: 325 kcal
- Fat: 28g
- Protein: 14.5g
- Carbs: 3g
- Fiber: 0
- Net Carbs: 3g
Clearly, it provides a lot of healthy fats for a minimal amount of carbs!
A keto diet recommends staying under 25g of net carbs per day. It means you can easily accommodate one serving of Liverwurst and still fly under the radar!
Note that some brands also contain sugar, which is a strict red sign for keto! Sugar can instantly spike your blood sugar and throw you out of ketosis even if you are eating within your carb limit!
Manufacturers also use “binders” to make the meat stick together. They are often in the form of sugar, which also helps inflate the quantity of meat.
So it’s always a good idea to read nutrition labels before buying.
Look for grass-fed beef liver and grass-fed beef trimmings wherever possible!
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Is Braunschweiger Keto?
Braunschweiger is similar to liverwurst in many ways! It’s a traditional sausage made out of pork liver (sometimes beef too!)
In United States and Canada, Braunschweiger is almost always smoked, which is what differentiates it from the liverwurst.
According to USDA, a meat sausage can be called Braunschweiger only if it contains at least 30% liver. The majority of those sold in the US consist of 40% pork (or beef) liver, 30% pork jowl, 20% pork trimming and the rest is bacon trimmings.
It’s an amazing sandwich spread that tastes heavenly with cheese, mustard, tomato, and onions! While it’s not as soft as Pate, Braunschweiger is still an excellent filling for wraps and sandwiches.
Let’s look at it’s nutrition profile to see whether it’s keto-compliant:
- Calories: 200 kcal
- Fat: 14g
- Protein: 18g
- Carbs: 0
- Fiber: 0
- Net Carbs: 0
Since braunschweiger has negligible net carbs (almost 0), it is a 100% keto-friendly sausage. Always read nutrition labels as some brands can add binders that contain carbs.
Similar to most organ meats, braunschweiger is packed with most essential micronutrients!
It contains 1.5 times the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A. It’s not like those carotenoids that you get from vegetarian sources (like red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and carrots). These carotenoids have to be converted to retinol for proper utilization.
On the other hand, the Vitamin A present in a braunschweiger is readily available for absorption!
Liver meat is also rich in pantothenic acid, iron, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and selenium.
As we all know, there are always two sides to a coin! Deli meats like liverwurst and braunschweiger are very high in cholesterol and sodium. You’ll be fine as long as you enjoy them in moderation!
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So is liverwurst keto? Hell Yeah!
Liverwurst and braunschweiger are not only low carb, but they have good amounts of fat as well!
Their high fat-to-carbs ratio makes them a good fit for the low-carb diet. Since they are highly processed and high in sodium, don’t go overboard with their consumption!