And a growing list of companies—like Aidells, Al Fresco, Applegate, Brat Hans, Trader Joe’s, and Wellshire—don’t use sodium nitrite to cure their sausages. (Nitrites may raise the risk of colorectal cancer by forming N-nitroso compounds in the gut.)
The bad news: there’s no way to tell if you’re getting less nitrites from the naturally occurring nitrates in the celery juice powder that replaces sodium nitrite in many “no nitrates or nitrites added” sausages.
Then there’s sodium, which typically ranges from 400 to 1,000 milligrams per link.
Our only two recommendations—Trader Joe’s Sun-Dried Tomato and Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage— only won because each link is small (2.4 oz.). Ounce for ounce, Al Fresco Chipotle Chorizo and Spinach & Feta and Brat Hans Sweet Apple, Organic Apple, and Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausages are in the same ballpark, but their larger (3 oz.) size puts their sodium (400 to 440 mg) over our limit.
Other relevant links:
- Lower-sodium chicken-patties. See: Chicken Done Right
- Panera’s hidden healthier menu. See: Healthy off-menu chicken dishes at this restaurant chain
- Here is what some brands are doing to make their nuggets healthier. See: Should You Upgrade Your Chicken Nuggets?