Beef jerky is more popular than ever because of the rise of the keto and paleo diets, as well as a strong consumer emphasis on protein. Since there were just a few well-known, long-standing brands in the sector, there are now many choices, and they can be found not only at petrol stations and grocery stores but also in health food shops and farmer’s markets. However, the nutritional value of this portable food mostly depends on how it is prepared. So, if you’re thinking, “Is beef jerky healthy?” keep on reading!
Nutrition of Beef Jerky
Brands’ nutritional information for beef jerky can vary. However, a 1-ounce serving offers:
- 9 grams of protein
- 116 calories
- 3 grams of carbohydrate
- 7 grams of fat
It also contains 15% of the recommended daily intake for zinc, which helps to maintain the immune system, 11% of phosphorus, a mineral required to make energy and repair cells, and 8% of iron. Iron aids in the body’s transportation of oxygen. Some of the advantages of beef jerky include the fact that it’s a convenient, non-perishable source of protein and that it contains these important minerals.
Risk of Sodium Content
The sodium content in beef jerky is usually rather high. One ounce of food can provide over 20% of the recommended daily salt intake for people. Nine in ten Americans eat too much sodium, which may promote water retention and raise weight gain risk factors like puffiness and bloating. Over time, too much sodium may increase the risk of a number of illnesses, such as kidney stones, an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
That stick of beef jerky is processed red meat, just like sausage, bacon and hot dogs. Researchers examined the connection between the intake of red and processed meat and the chance of developing cancer in 2020. Moreover, numerous epidemiologic studies have shown links between these foods and the risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, it is advised to consume very little processed meat if you do decide to do so. Additionally, if you do want to consume red meat, stick to no more than three pieces each week, or roughly 12 to 18 ounces.
Ingredients of Beef Jerky
The ingredient list is the most crucial consideration when assessing any packaged item, including beef jerky. You might be shocked to find common allergies like soy and barley malt extract (a source of gluten). Additionally, it could include preservatives like sodium nitrite, which raises the chance of developing hardened, clogged arteries and heart disease.
Although you can look for products without nitrites, be aware that they probably still contain a lot of sodium. Otherwise, seek elements that are easily recognisable. And take into account options that are both grass-fed and USDA-Certified Organic. They are created with cultured celery juice powder, organic grass-fed beef, organic spices, sea salt, organic honey, and encapsulated lactic acid starter culture.
Studies conducted in the short term have demonstrated the advantages of switching from red meat to plant protein in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors. So, be aware that there are now many plant-based options available if you prefer jerky but are aiming to consume less meat.
Below are some of the best beef jerky to consider.
Top 3 Beef Jerky
The following five kinds of sugar-free beef jerky are produced. Additionally, they don’t have any additional flavourings like soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce and are gluten-free. They provide excellent snack options to aid in weight loss when included in a healthy, balanced diet.
1. Carne Seca Hatch Green Chile
To make the greatest beef jerky, whole slices of 100% American beef are chopped into thick strips, marinated in distilled white vinegar and an all-natural spice mixture that includes ground Hatch green chiles for at least five hours.
Without subjecting you to excruciating heat levels, the Hatch green chile jerky provides the complete spectrum of complex flavours typically associated with chiles, including rich, earthy, spicy, and flowery flavours. This beef jerky is free of MSG, nitrites, artificial additives, preservatives, soy, wheat, and gluten.
2. Old Fashioned Original
A traditional jerky that is high in protein has been made using a vintage family recipe that dates back to the 1920s.
This jerky is for you if you want something with a unique flavour that is also very straightforward. This real jerky was made by hand in the manner of the past. Each substantial piece has a chewy steak-like texture; this is not moist jerky.
Furthermore, this brand of nutritious beef jerky is very popular. It’s a fantastic alternative for anybody seeking a high-protein, low-carb, sugar-free diet.
3. Old Fashioned Hot and Spicy
Since the 1920s, not much has changed with this handcrafted beef jerky. They revamped a family recipe with high-quality components. This dry jerky is made by hand with attention to quality and is nutritious because it is so straightforward.
Old Fashioned Original-like, but with some more spiciness. Excellent for people seeking a healthy jerky with some spiciness.