A Registered Dietitian Weighs In
Beef jerky has gone through a renaissance in the past few years.
No longer relegated to the “in case of emergency” option only, this high protein staple has become a healthy option for modern snackers. One only has to look at the snack aisle to see the popularity of jerky. With new packaging, bold health claims, and a variety of flavors, beef jerky has enjoyed a full makeover.
Despite this transformation, some people have lingering doubts. And we don’t blame them. For too long, commercial jerky—that preservative-filled, additive-laden junk food—gave jerky, in general, a bad name. We’re here to say that all jerky is not the same.
To prove that point, we’ve partnered with registered dietitian, Gabrielle McGrath, MS, RD, LDN of Baze, to provide an expert opinion on all things beef jerky nutrition.
But first, we wanted to know what makes for a healthy snack.
What to Look For in a Healthy Snack Food
“When it comes to snacking, you want something that will satisfy your taste buds but also your hunger and energy levels. Therefore, protein and fiber-rich snacks are ideal. Both of these nutrients provide you with long-lasting energy.”
Makes a lot of sense.
One important thing to keep in mind is that “flavor and preference are key because a snack or meal will never satisfy you if you do not enjoy it.” That’s certainly the approach we take with our beef jerky. Our goal is to provide a jerky that has equal parts tasty and healthy.
We wanted to know, what are Gabrielle’s favorite protein-rich snacks?
- Nut Butter
- Trail Mix
- Cottage Cheese
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Jerky (!!)
Nice! Jerky made the list.
Jerky definitely checks the box when it comes to protein, but what other benefits does it offer?
Why is Beef Jerky a Healthy Snack
“The nutritional composition of beef jerky provides several dietary benefits. During the curing process, moisture and fat are removed from the meat making it an excellent source of protein without the heavy fat composition, leaving only 1-3% fat.”
That’s not all.
Gabrielle shares the following beef jerky benefits:
- Hunger-satisfying protein after a workout
- A healthy snack for the work desk or children’s lunch box
- Light, easy-to-pack snacks for a hike, skiing, camping, or road trip
- No prep, no mess
Why Choosing the Right Beef Jerky is Important
With all those great reasons, what’s not to love? So you’re ready to head to the store and pick up the next jerky you find? Mmm, not so fast.
“Many beef jerky companies you may be familiar with fill their products with sodium, nitrites, MSG, and artificial ingredients in order to preserve and mass produce it, which reduces the nutritional benefits.”
Which begs the question, what are the attributes or qualities to keep an eye out for when purchasing beef jerky?
What to Look for in Healthy Jerky
The overall goal is to find a clean, sustainable, and healthy beef jerky. According to Gabrielle, here are some specifics:
- No synthetic nitrites, MSG, or other synthetic or artificial ingredients
- Sodium: Keep to 450 mg or less per serving. Excessive sodium can lead to bloating and negative effects on heart health.
- Sugar: As close to 0g of added sugar as possible; at least less than 5 g per serving.
- Beef source: The best healthy jerky brands use grass-fed, organic, and hormone-free beef.
Why People’s Choice is the Best Jerky
Gabrielle conducted a thorough nutrient analysis of our jerky and found our top flavors to contain the following essential nutrients:
Good Source, containing >10% of your daily needs:
- Phosphorus: 15%
- Vitamin B6: 14.8%
- Iron: 11.3%
- Choline: 11.1%
Excellent Source, containing >20% of your daily need:
- Vitamin B12: 29% DV: Supports energy production, cognitive performance, nervous system health, cardiovascular health, immune health.
- Selenium: 22% DV: Supports immune health, normal detoxification pathways, hair, skin, and nail health, a healthy inflammatory response, and thyroid function.
- Zinc: 30% DV: Supports immune function, skin health and wound healing, early fetal development during pregnancy, and necessary for protein and DNA synthesis and gene expression and cell proliferation.
Sounds like a win-win to us. Not only do you get to enjoy a tasty snack, but you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs.
That’s not all.
Packed with High Quality, Lean Protein
“With my busy, active lifestyle I am often looking for ways to fuel myself while on-the-go. Therefore, my snacks are often non-perishable and protein-rich so that I can ensure I am meeting my protein needs for the day. It prevents me from snacking on cardboard carbs that are not satisfying and leave me even more hungry.”
Did you know our jerky is packed with more protein per ounce than any other jerky on the market? Our Old Fashioned Original has 16g of protein per 1 oz. serving!
Our approach to beef jerky is simple. We let the “beef” in beef jerky, really shine. “The ingredients are insanely minimal and clean. Most often, they are simply beef, salt, and spices.”
So why People’s Choice Beef Jerky?
Take it away, Gabrielle.
“It is incredibly nutrient-dense and convenient for my on-the-go lifestyle. Their jerky has minimal and clean ingredients, and a high protein content. Not to mention, I get to support a family-owned, small business.”
What are you waiting for? Pick up a batch of jerky today!
More About Gabrielle McGrath: Gabrielle is a registered dietitian nutritionist on the Baze business development team and has been working in the nutrition industry for 6 years now. She has a passion for putting an end to food restrictions due to poor body images, helping end food disparities for all, and shifting our country’s focus from disease treatment to disease prevention with the help of personalized nutrition. Outside of work, you can find Gabrielle doing yoga, biking, hiking, or at the beach.
More About Baze Nutrition: Baze is the first blood-based, at-home nutritional testing kit offering high-quality subscription supplements and personalized food recommendations. Baze measures micronutrient levels regularly to ensure sustainable improvement in nutritional imbalances and overall health. Once Baze analyzes users' samples, the company delivers personalized, smart vitamin supplements and healthy, nutrient-dense food recommendations to customers based on their results.
Get your nutrient levels tested today! For a limited-time-only, use code PCBEEFJERKY to get 25% Off a Baze Nutrient Test Kit.