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Is Beef Jerky Healthy As a Snack?

Undoubtedly, it is high in protein. However, when stacked up against other meat-based foods, beef jerky does not necessarily require refrigeration. In this light, it becomes convenient and an on-the-go snack. Coupled with the fact that it is extremely delicious, it is no surprise why it is gaining significant popularity, especially among the keto community. But just how healthy is it? Is it just another snack that has gained considerable reputation unjustly? This article answers.

Beef jerky is a simple and historic snack that dates back before the first settlers arrived to the USA. In its simplest definition, it is meat typically beef, cut into smaller elongated dried strips. The National Center for Home Food Preservation posts that jerky can be made from any meat, provided it is lean.

Making beef jerky entails having meat, salt, natural drying methods, and at times various spices to give it a competitive edge in a growing industry. With low fat content, beef jerky is deemed lean meat. Fat is often difficult to dry; that is why it is trimmed off way prior to the actual drying process.

High levels of jerky protein combined with a low caloric count will always be prevalent in beef jerky. Regarded as one of the most important nutrients among those who hit the gym, proteins are beneficial. For instance, they are rich in amino acids that do not only repair and rebuild the muscles, but also allow individuals to recover after vigorous activities. Therefore, if one is looking for a quick on-to-go snack that may keep them filled for some time, then jerky will do the trick. In fact, when compared to taking down a single protein bar, jerky offers more satisfaction and nutrients per calorie.

Just a single ounce of jerky contains 12-15 grams of protein. Additionally, it is also a high-protein low-fat snack-a significant plus. Judging by the fact that it has extremely low-fat content, the snack often has little calories. Some flavored popular beef jerky, for instance, contain between 80-100 calories for just a 1-ounce portion of jerky.

In different lines, all types of meat, including beef jerky, provide a significant dose of zinc and iron, all of which are incredibly essential elements that boost the development of the immune system. Zinc, for instance, contributes towards the rapid healing of fresh wounds. In a similar vein, iron ensures efficient production of the necessary red blood cells in the body. Just one beef jerky serving contains about 1.5 milligrams of iron and contributes the daily goal prescribed by doctors of 8 milligrams a day for men and around 18 milligrams daily for women. A similar serving contains nearly 2 milligrams, slightly short of the 11 and 8 milligrams of zinc that both men and women require daily, respectively – another plus.

Perhaps the most important, yet controversial aspect of beef jerky is the in excess of present sodium element. While it is an essential nutrient that the body highly depends on for survival, it is increasingly overindulged. This is attributed to the fact that it is packaged and preserved. Even more precise, to keep beef jerky dehydrated for long and maintain its tenderized tasty beefy flavor, it has to be packed with a considerable amount of salt. Its important to hydrate and drink enough water when consuming high sodium food products.

Jerky is a great on-to-go snack; high in protein and extremely low on fat. Not only does it help one recover from vigorous activities, but it also contains a variety of other nutrients that are essential to the body.

Critics, however, tend to be picky. Undoubtedly, the sodium content is reasonably high. However, with considerable management and disciplining oneself to at least a serving a day while engaging in consistent physical activities, then it ceases to become a contentious issue. Similarly, most jerky brands have, for decades, stopped incorporating sodium nitrate and MSG in their products, which then dwarfs the grave concerns.

If faced with a sudden need for a snack, or feel like nibbling on something when engaged – just consider beef jerky.

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