Is Beef Jerky Good For You?
The question whether or not beef jerky is good for you has been asked many times. There are numerous opinions about it. Some say that it isn’t good for your health at all. Others say that it helps with weight loss and improves your overall well being. Still others claim that it is a great way to get in shape without having to eat unhealthy foods like fast food every day!
There are many reasons why some people believe that beef jerky is bad for them. One reason could be because of its high fat content. Another reason might be due to the fact that it contains sodium and other additives which can cause problems for those suffering from hypertension or heart disease.
Finally, there are those who think that beef jerky is just plain unhealthy and shouldn’t even be consumed.
If you’re one of these people, then you’ll probably want to read this article before making any decisions about whether or not beef jerky is good for you. If you don’t care what others think, then go ahead and enjoy yourself!
What Are the Health Benefits Of Is Beef Jerky?
Before we start discussing the health benefits of beef jerky, let’s first take a look at the pros and cons of eating it.
Beef jerky is low in carbohydrates and sugar. This means that it is not going to impact your blood sugar levels, which can cause cravings for heavier foods later on. It is also a good source of lean protein.
If you’re trying to eat low fat or low carb, beef jerky can definitely help you out.
It’s a great snack if you’re on the run. Whether you’re going for a hike, going to the movies, or even just taking a long bus ride, beef jerky can keep your stomach from grumbling and help you from getting hungry.
Most people find that it’s very tasty. It’s true that some types of beef jerky are better tasting than others, but most people seem to like the taste of this popular snack. Most people recommend spicy teriyaki flavored beef jerky!
As delicious as beef jerky is, it’s very high in fat. Even the low fat varieties have a high fat content. For this reason, most nutritionists recommend eating it in limited quantities.
It’s probably best to eat just a small packet a day and not the whole bag in one sitting!
It also contains a lot of sodium. This is mainly due to the curing process, which makes the meat taste better when cooked. The curing process involves pumping the meat with salt.
This is necessary to make it safe to eat and improve its flavor, but it can cause problems if you have high blood pressure or other heart related issues.
There are also questions about how “natural” most commercial beef jerky products really are. Most brands add various preservatives and other ingredients to their products so that they can save money on the expensive beef. As a result, you may be getting less “beef” per bag than the packaging claims.
Does It Help With Weight Loss?
While beef jerky will not help you lose weight on its own, it is still a low calorie food. Since it’s high in protein, it can help you feel full if you eat it as a snack between meals. This can help you from eating heavier foods with more calories, which will contribute to weight loss. In addition, beef jerky does not have any carbs or sugars, which are the main things that cause people to gain weight.
However, it is very important to watch the quantity of beef jerky that you eat. Since most brands contain a lot of fat and sodium, you don’t want to be consuming them in excess.
As long as you’re eating it in moderation, a diet including beef jerky as a snack can help you lose weight. Just make sure to avoid the overly salted and artificially flavored brands, and look for all natural low fat varieties.
How Many Calories Are In Beef Jerky?
The number of calories in any particular food depends on many factors. The main ones are the brand, the type of jerky, and the size of the package. For example, a 1 ounce serving of the “low fat” Cattleman’s Beef Jerky has just 40 calories. However a 1 ounce serving of the “original” style of the same brand has 100 calories. This is a massive difference!
Even different varieties of the “original” style can have a big difference in calories. For example, an 1 ounce serving of the “original thick cut” style has 170 calories. While the “original thin cut” style has just 60 calories.
This is still only about two thirds of a small chips bag!
The calories in the table below are listed as per 1 ounce (28 gram) serving sizes. I’ve included a few different types of jerky to show the range of calories. Just remember, these numbers are just for the meat itself.
It doesn’t include anything that you might eat with it, such as the fat in the marinade or any junk food you might eat afterwards due to a snack craving!
Item Calories Serving Size Cattleman’s Low Fat Jerky (1 oz) 40 1 packet Cattleman’s Original Jerky (1 oz) 100 1 packet Jack Link’s Peppered Jerky (1 oz) 60 1 packet Jack Link’s Teriyaki Jerky (1 oz) 60 1 packet Jack Link’s Jalapeno Jerky (1 oz) 50 1 packet Jack Link’s Hint of Lime Jerky (1 oz) 50 1 packet Jack Link’s Mesquite Jerky (1 oz) 60 1 packet
Is It Good For You?
There are many different cuts of meat that can be made into jerky. While the most common ones are from beef and pork, you can also find chicken, turkey, elk, and even fish varieties in stores. The main ingredients in beef jerky are the meat itself along with salt. If you’re lucky, there may be a little water and sugar in there too!
There are some extra ingredients that are commonly added to improve the taste and appearance. These include things like soy sauce, molasses, garlic powder, and liquid smoke. While many of these ingredients do not have a significant impact on your diet, there are still some that you should watch out for.
Soy sauce and liquid smoke are very high in sodium. You probably know how important it is to keep your sodium levels under control, but for every other day of the year! On game day, you need to throw all caution to the wind!
Molasses can cause a drop in blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities. This is more of a concern if you’re diabetic, but it can still have an impact on anyone’s diet. If you have problems with low blood sugar, you should limit your consumption of molasses.
The sugar in the jerky is often in the form of corn syrup. You know how fattening carbohydrates can be, so make sure you share your jerky with friends instead of eating it all yourself!
Carbohydrates in jerky do contain fiber, which is an important part of any diet. However, unlike other forms of carbohydrates such as pasta or rice, jerky contains little to no whole grains. It’s best to eat jerky as an addition to your diet, rather than as a substitute for more nutritious foods!
The calories in jerky can add up quickly. While most of the time you should be avoiding fatty foods, on game day you need to throw all caution to the wind!
Most of the fat in beef jerky is either monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated fats. These are all healthy types of fat that can be an important part of a balanced diet.
However, you should still be careful about how much jerky you eat on game day. Too much of anything can have negative consequences! You can still enjoy the occasional snack without worrying about your diet, as long as you don’t overindulge at any one sitting.
If you need more ideas for low-fat, high-protein snacks on game day, check out one of my earlier articles!
Try some of these great new recipes:
Steak Kabobs – These healthy kabobs are perfect for a summer afternoon! They’re easy to make, and they’ll get your family and friends coming back for more!
Gramma Janes Meatloaf – This delicious meatloaf is sure to become a family favorite! You might even find yourself making it when there’s no game on just because it tastes so good!
Crockpot Chili – This simple chili recipe is easy to make and tastes a lot better than canned chili! It’s the perfect meal to warm you up on a cool fall afternoon.
Meatball Subs – These hearty subs will fill you up before the big game! They’re great for tailgating or enjoying at home with friends and family!
Make sure you only eat healthy foods on game day!
While it’s important to enjoy your food, you don’t want to over-indulge in high-calorie foods on game day! While it may be tempting to eat a big burger with some hot fries, you’re better off sticking to a lean meat and garden salad.
It only takes a small amount of calories to fuel your body for exercise. Most professional athletes actually have fairly strict diets because they know that what they put into their bodies can directly affect their performance.
While you’re not likely to participate in a professional sports league any time soon, you can still make healthy eating choices. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel if you lay off the fatty foods and eat healthier!
Make sure you only exercise on game day!
Even if you’re an avid fitness buff, there’s really no need to exercise on game day! Most professional athletes only work out for a few hours a day at most. The reason they’re in such great shape is because they get to take days off and relax.
If you overdo it on game day, you may be too worn out to enjoy the big event. You want to be alert and ready for anything on game day! Save the exercise for another day and make it fun by challenging your friends to an old-fashioned race, or play a sport involving both teams.
Don’t forget to hydrate!
Sources & references used in this article:
Physical and chemical characteristics and acceptability of home style beef jerky by P Konieczny, J Stangierski, J Kijowski – Meat science, 2007 – Elsevier
The physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of pork jerky in comparison to beef jerky by HS Yang, YH Hwang, ST Joo, GB Park – Meat science, 2009 – Elsevier
Effects of electron beam irradiation on the microbial growth and quality of beef jerky during storage by HJ Kim, HH Chun, HJ Song, KB Song – Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 2010 – Elsevier
Viability of Escherichia coli O157: H7 in ground and formed beef jerky prepared at levels of 5 and 20% fat and dried at 52, 57, 63, or 68 C in a home-style dehydrator by NG Faith, NS Le Coutour, MB Alvarenga… – International Journal of …, 1998 – Elsevier