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There are many misconceptions about beef jerky nutrition. Recently, when I told my brother about this website, his first comment was, “Why beef jerky? Isn’t that stuff bad for you?” Quite to the contrary, beef jerky is pretty darn good for you!
Some folks, like my brother, think jerky is unhealthy dried meat loaded with preservatives. In some cases, as with most store brand jerky, that might be true — but it doesn’t have to be. In the pages that follow, I hope to dispel the myths and explain the truth about beef jerky nutrition.
For starters, all natural jerky is popular because it tastes great and conveniently goes anywhere without refrigeration or special storage needs. As a low calorie, low carbohydrate, low fat snack, jerky packs a big high-protein nutritional wallop!
Let’s dig a little deeper into each area of beef jerky nutrition…
Jerky Is High in Protein and Doesn’t Raise Insulin
High quality protein is responsible for the growth, repair and maintenance of various body tissues. Protein, therefore, is indispensable to the human body and should be considered essential to a well-balanced diet. As a high protein food, beef jerky contains the amino acids that serve as fundamental building blocks of the body.
In very simple terms, insulin is a hormone that signals your body to begin storing excess calories as fat. High protein food items, such as beef jerky, don’t cause an insulin response in in the body; this is desirable when trying to lose weight or burn fat.
Jerky Is a Lean, Mean, Low Fat Machine
A lot of people automatically associate fatwith all meat products without considering that many forms of meat are very lean and healthy. This is especially true with all natural and organic jerky because of the way in which it is made and the high-quality meat that is used.
Beef jerky is, by necessity, naturally low-fat since all fat has to be trimmed off the meat in order for the drying process to work. Jerky made from venison (deer, elk, moose, etc) is even lower in fat content since that type of meat is free of marbled fat.
Jerky is Low Calorie Too!
At only 60-80 calories in a typical 1 ounce serving, jerky is a perfect food choice or snack for anyone trying to maintain a low calorie diet. Depending on the marinade and spices used in making the jerky, calories can be kept to a minimum and beef jerky nutrition at a maximum.
What About High Sodium? Is Jerky Safe?
Jerky is a very nutritious snack when you’re buying a good quality product that isn’t loaded with high-sodium ingredients, such as MSG and sodium nitrite. If you have high blood pressure (even if you don’t), you owe it to yourself to demand premium jerky made from all-natural ingredients which reduce the total sodium content. Our wholesale and buy-direct sources are free of these harmful ingredients and other unhealthy chemical additives.
Grass Fed Cattle Results in Better Beef Jerky Nutrition
You may have heard something about grass-fed beef and other cattle, but do you really understand what that means? Many times cattle are grass-fed for only 80% of their lives and then they are moved to feed lots for “finishing” which involves pumping them full of growth hormones. Because the cattle typically get sick in these feed lots, they also require antibiotics and other drugs to treat them for worms and a myriad of other illnesses. This practice makes for some pretty poor beef jerky nutrition.
It makes sense to buy jerky that comes only from 100% grass-fed cattle. This kind of jerky has no preservatives and is made from lean, healthy, and delicious beef. Research shows that, unlike grain-fed products, grass-fed beef contains the same healthy omega-3 fats found in fish.
Is Organic Beef Jerky Nutritionally Better than “All Natural” or “Grass Fed”?
Most people equate the term “organic” with more beef jerky nutrition, but this is not always the case. Labeling jerky as “organic” is simply a guarantee of what it does not contain; namely all those ingredients a biochemist can barely pronounce. But if you’re not careful, organic jerky can still be deficient in nutrients or loaded with extra sugar and “bad” fat due to deceptive marketing practices and poor labeling standards.
The Organic label carries more significance when you are dealing with reputable companies who produce jerky from 100% grass-fed animals. In this case, Organic jerky is actually a step above “All Natural”. The nutritional value of the meat is essentially the same, but you have the further assurance that the additional ingredients used in making the jerky are also free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Smart Consumers Demand Quality and Convenience
All this talk about all natural, organic, and beef jerky nutritionmight sound like a lot of lip service, but take note. There has been a definite consumer shift in recent years toward healthier and more convenient snacks that appeal to our fast-paced on-the-go lifestyles.
The jerky available here at All-Natural-Beef-Jerky.com is 97% fat-free, with only 60 calories and 1 gram of fat per 1oz (28-gram) serving. Our jerky is also an outstanding source of protein with a full 10 grams of protein in every 1 oz serving. Can you think of another quick, easy, delicious snack that boasts all that nutrition!
What’s Wrong with Store-Brand Beef Jerky Nutrition?
When I set out to create this page, I actually went around to various local stores such as Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, Target and more to see what they had to offer. Sadly, I couldn’t find a single product that wasn’t pumped full of MSG, sodium nitrite, erythorbate, and other artificial ingredients.
All the stores I visited are selling major name brands such as Jack Link’s, Pemmican, Slim Jim, Oberto, or their own “private label” brand. Incidentally, most of the private label jerky is made by Mirab USA Inc. which recently had to recall 28,000 pounds of jerky due to traces of an anti-parasitic drug discovered during a random sampling by the USDA.
To understand the difference between natural beef jerky and what the “other guys” sell, it makes sense to consider one of the largest retailers of beef jerky in the world.
Let’s Sum it All Up… Here’s Why You Should Eat 100% Natural (or Organic) Jerky
- Beef jerky is very nutritious (if you eat all natural jerky)
- Jerky is High in Protein
- Jerky is a Low Calorie snack
- Jerky is a Low Carbohydrate snack
- Jerky is a Low Fat snack
- An ideal food choice for high-protein/low-carb diets
- It tastes great and there are enough flavors to satisfy any palette.
- Convenient – it goes anywhere, anytime.
- No special storage or refrigeration needs.
- Great for folks who love the outdoors such as hikers, bikers, campers, hunters, fishermen, etc.
So, whether you’re looking for the ideal snack for you outdoor adventure, or the perfect treat when you’re on the road, jerky is the solution that tastes great and satisfies every time. No matter if you require a high protein food, or something low in calories and fat, look no further than beef jerky – nutrition for the active healthy lifestyle!