Is a sausage biscuit healthy?

A sausage biscuit is a popular breakfast food, especially in the southern United States. It consists of a freshly baked biscuit, sliced open and filled with a sausage patty and sometimes cheese or egg. Sausage biscuits are quick, convenient, delicious, and filling. However, with America facing rising obesity rates and related health problems like heart disease and diabetes, many people wonder: is eating a sausage biscuit actually a healthy choice?

Nutritional Profile of a Sausage Biscuit

To determine if sausage biscuits are healthy, we need to look at their nutritional profile. Here is the typical nutrition for one sausage biscuit:

Calories 400-550
Total Fat 25-35g
Saturated Fat 10-15g
Trans Fat 1-2g
Cholesterol 145-220mg
Sodium 650-850mg
Carbohydrates 30-45g
Sugar 2-5g
Protein 15-25g

As we can see, a single sausage biscuit contains a lot of calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. A typical recommendation is for an average adult to consume 2000 calories, 65g or less of fat, 20g or less of saturated fat, 300mg or less of cholesterol, and 2400mg or less of sodium per day. One sausage biscuit provides 20-35% of your daily calorie needs, around half your maximum daily fat intake, over half your daily saturated fat limit, half to nearly all your daily cholesterol limit, and over a quarter of your daily sodium limit. Clearly, consuming an entire sausage biscuit at once is not great in terms of the major nutritional markers.

Unhealthy Ingredients

To understand why sausage biscuits are so high in things like fat, cholesterol, and sodium, we need to look at what exactly goes into making them.

The Biscuit

A basic biscuit is made from flour, butter or shortening, milk, leavening (baking powder or baking soda), salt, and sometimes sugar. The main issue nutrition-wise here is that biscuits are dense, carb-heavy, and high in fat due to being made with butter/shortening. A single biscuit can contain up to 15g of fat, 360mg of sodium, 30g of carbs, and 350 calories. Biscuits made with shortening are lower in saturated fat compared to ones made with butter, but they contain unhealthy trans fats instead. Overall, biscuits are a high calorie, high fat bread product.

The Sausage Patty

The sausage patty in a biscuit sandwich tends to be made from a processed meat like pork or turkey. To make processed sausage, whole cuts of meat are combined with salt, preservatives like nitrates/nitrites, and flavorings before being ground up. This processing results in sausage patties containing high levels of sodium (to enhance flavor), cholesterol, and saturated fat. A 2-ounce sausage patty can provide up to 370mg of sodium, 24g of fat, and 8g of saturated fat. Many fast food breakfast sandwiches use cheese and egg in their sausage patties too, further increasing the saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium content.

Cheese and Other Additions

While the biscuit and sausage make up the main parts of a sausage biscuit, some versions add other high-fat, high-sodium ingredients like cheese, bacon, or gravy. American cheese in particular piles on more saturated fat and sodium. Ultimately, these additions just tip the nutritional scales even more in the wrong direction.

Potential Benefits

Based on their nutritional profiles, sausage biscuits would seem to be unhealthy choices, especially for frequent or daily consumption. However, they may offer some potential benefits that could make them reasonable options in moderation.


The sausage patty provides a good amount of protein, with 15-25g per biscuit. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer after eating and can assist with building muscles when paired with exercise. So the protein can be beneficial if you are looking to curb hunger or recover from a workout.


With 400-550 calories each, sausage biscuits can provide a quick energy boost to start the day. This can be advantageous if you have a labor intensive job, workout in the mornings, or otherwise need extra fuel after waking up. It’s a lot of dense calories at once however, so the energy spike may not last long.


As a pre-made, ready to eat breakfast, sausage biscuits require minimal prep work compared to cooking a full meal yourself. You can grab them conveniently from a fast food restaurant or just heat and assemble frozen ones at home. This saves you time in the morning if you tend to be rushed. The convenience factor makes them an easy option for on-the-go breakfasts.


Sausage biscuits tend to be fairly cheap, especially from fast food places. The low cost makes them appealing for those looking for an affordable yet filling and tasty breakfast option. When healthy breakfast foods like avocado toast or acai bowls can be expensive in comparison, the low price of sausage biscuits is a big part of their continued popularity.

Healthier Alternatives

If you enjoy sausage biscuits but want to make healthier choices, there are some simple ways to modify them to improve their nutritional value. Here are some options:

Turkey or Chicken Sausage

Substituting the pork sausage patty for one made from lean turkey or chicken can reduce the fat, saturated fat and sodium levels. Look for “breakfast sausage” varieties without a lot of added seasonings for the closest texture and flavor.

Vegetable Scramble

Replace the sausage patty with a veggie scramble made from eggs, peppers, onions, spinach, mushrooms, and a small amount of cheese. This alternative is much lower in fat and sodium.

Whole Wheat Biscuit

Choosing a biscuit made with 100% whole wheat flour increases the fiber and nutrient content compared to a classic white flour biscuit. The whole wheat option will be a little denser but still tasty.

Egg White Biscuit Sandwich

Another way to trim fat and calories is to ditch the sausage patty and substitute an egg white fried or scrambled on the biscuit. An egg white has about 17 calories compared to roughly 70 for a whole egg.

Portobello Mushroom Cap

For a vegetarian and vegan friendly take, use a sliced, roasted portobello mushroom cap in place of meat. Roast the mushrooms with a small amount of olive oil and seasoning for a juicy, meaty texture.

The Verdict

So, is a sausage biscuit healthy? Unfortunately, based on the high amounts of calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium found in a typical recipe, sausage biscuits would not be considered a healthy choice by most nutrition standards. The processed meat, cheese, white flour biscuits, and greasy preparation methods result in sandwiches far exceeding recommended limits for items like fat and sodium in a single serving.

However, sausage biscuits may be reasonable options in moderation or if modified to use leaner, healthier ingredients. Some potential benefits like protein, quick energy, convenience, and low cost also make biscuit breakfast sandwiches an attractive option once in awhile. Just be mindful of portion sizes and ingredients if you want to minimize negative impacts to your cholesterol, blood pressure, and waistline.

Overall, occasional sausage biscuits are fine for many people, but they should not be a daily indulgence, especially for individuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity concerns. Always pair them with other nutritious foods and be active to balance out the extra calories. With a few tweaks and smart dietary habits, you can still enjoy the iconic sausage biscuit flavor without sabotaging your health. Moderation, variation, and customization based on your own needs make sausage biscuits a better breakfast choice while still satisfying your cravings.

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