When consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, beef jerky is an excellent snack food that is low calorie, high in protein, and a good source of minerals including zinc, iron, and choline.
Selecting the right jerky is important, however, as some commercial jerky products are high in sodium and full of sugar.
Beef Jerky Nutrition
Beef Jerky is a nutritious and healthy snack. A one ounce serving of beef jerky contains the following (1):
- Calories: 80
- Carbohydrates (g): 6
- Cholesterol (mg): 45
- Protein (g): 11
- Fat (g): 1.5
- Saturated Fat (g): 0
- Sugar (g): 4
- Sodium (mg): 470
Vitamins and Minerals
- Zinc: 21% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B12: 12 % of the DV
- Phosphorus: 9% of the DV
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Iron: 8% of the DV
- Copper: 7% of the DV
- Choline: 6% of the DV
- Selenium: 5% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- Thiamine: 4% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 3% of the DV
- Niacin: 3% of the DV
Why is Beef Jerky a Healthy Snack
During the cooking process, moisture and fat are removed from the meat making it nutrient dense. It is an excellent source of protein without the heavy fat composition, leaving only 1-3% fat.
Here are some additional benefits:
- Hunger-satisfying protein after a workout (2)
- Nutrient dense and full of protein to aid in weight loss
- 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
When it comes to high protein snacks, beef jerky is an excellent option. But all beef jerky is not created equal.
Many beef jerky companies fill their products with sodium, nitrites, MSG, and artificial ingredients in order to preserve and mass produce it, which reduces the nutritional benefits.
Excessive sodium can be harmful to those that have poor heart health, high blood pressure, and have a high stroke risk. The American Heart Association suggests less than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day. (3) Those that are on a diet that restrict sodium intake should monitor their beef jerky consumption.
Additionally, some jerky brands are highly processed. Beef jerky should be kept simple—meat, seasoning, and simple processing. The less processing the better.
It’s important to choose the right jerky from a trusted source. A company that makes simple, clean jerky. This way you can avoid some of the health drawbacks of mass-produced jerky.
What to Look for in Healthy Jerky
The overall goal is to find a clean, sustainable, and healthy beef jerky.
- No synthetic nitrites, MSG, or other synthetic or artificial ingredients
- Sodium Levels: Keep to 450mg 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 5g per serving. (4)
- Beef source: The best healthy jerky brands use grass-fed, organic, and hormone-free beef. The better the quality of the meat, the higher the amount of nutrients such as the heart healthy omega-3s and anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Why People’s Choice is the Best Jerky
See how People’s Choice Beef Jerky snacks up in the healthy jerky world. Here are the stats for our Old Fashioned Original Beef Jerky.
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
Packed with High Quality, Lean Protein
For those with a busy, active lifestyle, finding a snack to stay fueled while on the go can be a challenge. That’s where beef jerky comes in. It is non-perishable and protein-rich and can help you meet your protein needs for the day. It will help you avoid snacking on carbs.
Did you know our jerky is packed with more protein per ounce than any other jerky on the market? Our Old Fashioned Original has 16 grams 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.
Beef jerky has gone through a renaissance in the past few years. It has broken free from its gas station snack stereotype. Junk food no more!
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.
Don't take our word for it. Registered Dietitian, Gabrielle McGrath, details why she stands behind People's Choice Beef Jerky. (5)
We offer several options that define simple, minimally-processed food. All-natural ingredients and a simple, handmade process yield an old-fashioned jerky in the purest form. Options include jerky that is High in Protein, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, and Carb-Free. Reach for a healthier beef jerky, reach for People’s Choice Beef Jerky.