how bad is beef jerky for you

Consuming beef jerky in moderation is key since processed and red meats can increase the risk of health complications. Beef jerky often has high sodium content to preserve the meat. Excess sodium may lead to bloating and weight gain. American Heart Association.

Beef jerky is the perfect salty road trip snack. It comes in a variety of flavors (homemade teriyaki jerky, anyone?) and has a long shelf life. Its also a popular work-from-home snack because of its high protein and low carb content.

Beef jerky is a protein powerhouse, with over 6 grams of protein per serving to fill you up without weighing you down. Its made from lean cuts of beef that have been dried and cured, and they are usually marinated in seasonings beforehand. These lean cuts are low in fat and carbs. One large piece of beef jerky has about 82 calories, 2.2 grams of carbs, 5.1 grams of fat and 6.6 grams of protein.

In addition to being a good source of lean protein, beef jerky is rich in iron, folate, calcium and vitamins A and C. Because its been preserved, beef jerky is a convenient on-the-go snack and can easily be tossed in a work bag for snacking emergencies.

In short, though beef jerky is a healthy snack, its best consumed in moderation. Most of your diet should come from whole, unprocessed foods.

What’s more, beef jerky has a long shelf life and is very portable, which makes it a great option for travel, backpacking, and other situations in which you have limited access to fresh food and need a protein hit.

Beef jerky is made from lean cuts of beef that are marinated with various sauces, spices, and other additives. It then undergoes various processing methods, such as curing, smoking, and drying, before its packaged for sale (1).

Furthermore, beef jerky is highly processed. Numerous studies have shown a connection between diets high in processed and cured red meats like beef jerky and a higher risk of cancers, such as gastrointestinal cancers (8).

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can achieve similar results using an oven at a low temperature — approximately 140–170°F (60–75°C) for 4–5 hours.

Is Beef Jerky Good for You?

While beef jerky is chock-full of health benefits, it has its share of downsides as well. Because of the curing process, its high in sodium with 443 milligrams in one serving (about 18% of the recommended daily total).

The American Cancer Society recommends limiting your intake of red and processed meats like beef jerky. Thats because the World Health Organization has concluded that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day (about 2 to 3 large pieces of jerky) increases your risk for colon cancer by 18%. Eating that much red meat every day can also up your risk for pancreatic and prostate cancers.

The bottom line: Yes, beef jerky can be part of your healthy diet, but it isnt an everyday food.

How to Find Healthy Beef Jerky

The best way to find healthier beef jerky options is to be a food label expert. First, look for no added nitrites or nitrates; those are the preservatives that prevent bacteria growth but have been linked to certain types of cancer. Next, look for grass-fed, organic beef; this will give you more vitamins and minerals without the extra antibiotics and fillers.

If youre up for a project, try making your own beef jerky so you know exactly what ingredients are being used. No time to make your own from scratch? Try these healthy brands of store-bought jerky.

Consuming beef jerky in moderation is key since processed and red meats can increase the risk of health complications. Beef jerky often has high sodium content to preserve the meat. Excess sodium may lead to bloating and weight gain. American Heart Association.

FAQ

Is it OK to eat beef jerky everyday?

The American Cancer Society recommends limiting your intake of red and processed meats like beef jerky. That’s because the World Health Organization has concluded that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day (about 2 to 3 large pieces of jerky) increases your risk for colon cancer by 18%.

Is beef jerky healthier than chips?

Both beef jerky and chips are both salty, savory, and delicious snacks. Beef jerky, however, is a much healthier option than chips with less calories, less fat, less carbs, and more protein. When trying to eat a healthy lifestyle, making small changes can have a big impact.

Is beef jerky a good snack for weight loss?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests choosing lower-calorie foods to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. In addition to being high in protein and low in calories, beef jerky is also low in fat. Because beef jerky is not fattening, it can be considered a good weight-loss snack.

What is the bad ingredient in beef jerky?

Old-school jerky tends to be made with nitrates, which are chemicals that give processed and cured meats color, and have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. The controversial ingredient MSG (monosodium glutamate) is also found in some brands of jerky, Dunn says.

Related Posts