What Are the Benefits of Beef Jerky?
It's easy to give in to our hunger, especially when it's peak afternoon but it's not time for dinner yet. You don't want to grab just anything from the pantry or the refrigerator, because, as your parents likely told you as a child, you'll spoil your dinner. In other words, something unhealthy might not have the best benefits for your body, your energy, and your overall wellbeing. But when that 3 or 4 p.m. hunger strikes, carbs are usually more convenient than a healthy snack. That doesn't have to be the case. Beef jerky is actually a very healthy snack you can keep close at hand and a much better option than junk food. If you're practicing a keto or paleo, or low-carb diet, you're staying away from carbohydrates and focusing on protein, so beef jerky could be a good choice for you.
Jerky can be a low-fat snacking option, and there are many jerky brands to choose from at the store. There are a lot of things that make beef jerky healthy, but the fact that it's a huge source of protein is one of them. As the USDA notes, jerky is a shelf-stable snack because most of the moisture is removed from the meat. When it's stored in a vacuum-sealed bag, beef jerky's shelf life can be up to two years. Check out the How Long Does Beef Jerky Last blog post to learn more.
Is Beef Jerky Good for Weight Loss?
It's true that you need to pay attention to the kind of beef jerky you're picking up at the store. You don't have to pick up the typical gas-station jerky that's loaded with nitrites and other additives. There's no official verdict on whether nitrates are safe, but many people balk at the idea of these preservatives in their jerky. It's important to look for low-sodium beef jerky, because a high sodium content is what would make jerky a less-than-healthy snack.
What are the Health Risks with Eating Beef Jerky?
Per Healthline, a one ounce serving of jerky contains 9.4 grams of protein, a fat content of 7.3 grams, and 4 grams of calcium. Unhealthier versions of beef jerky (such as the brands you'll find at the gas station) can contain MSG, a type of sodium that's added to processed food. High sodium content can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major factor in heart disease and stroke.
Added sodium isn't exactly what you want to be putting into your body if you have a family history of high blood pressure or are already struggling with that. Your immune system also takes a hit when you Other additives, such as nitrites or added sugar, are also found in that gas-station jerky and processed meat. When you're selecting your jerky, another thing to look at is the saturated fat content on the package; saturated fat can negatively affect cholesterol levels.
Grass-fed beef jerky is the better way to go when it comes to your healthy-eating goals. As a dietitian will tell you, the fewer additives the better. This Eat This, Not That! article outlines, with the help of a dietitian's advice, which brands are healthier than others. Here are the factors that went into selecting the jerky with the best health benefits: sodium, sugar, protein, beef source, and ingredients. Jerky brands that have synthetic nitrites, MSG, or other artificial ingredients are not included on this list of healthy options.
Is Beef Jerky a Good Pre Workout Snack?
Beef jerky is a good workout snack if you ensure that it's a low-sodium option. You don't want to be filling your body up with a lot of salt before your workout. As Shape reported, sodium depletes your body of the fluids it needs for optimal exercise. Jerky is a solid source of protein, which is a great thing to have in your body before a workout, but make sure you pair it with a large glass of water.
Should I Eat Beef Jerky After Working Out?
Beef jerky can be a great post-workout snack. First off, beef jerky has a long shelf life, so it's something you can keep around in a vacuum-sealed bag. If you're tired of your usual protein bars, or you want to switch it up, beef jerky is a great source of post-workout protein. Venison jerky is a leaner option but contains the same nutritional benefits as beef jerky. A high-quality jerky with natural ingredients such as salt, vinegar, and citrus juices is a great source of protein to help your body recover after you've put it through a tough exercise routine.
Check out the How Long Does Beef Jerky Last blog pot to learn more!
Why is Protein Critical to a Healthy Diet?
Protein is a crucial component to a healthy diet and a healthy body. Protein is a string of amino acids, which is otherwise referred to as building blocks. When you build back those amino acids in your body. Protein is a "macronutrient," which means your body needs large amounts of it to succeed and thrive. Your body needs these amino acids to repair tissue, especially after you put strain on that tissue during a run or heavy weight-lifting hour. The essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Meat, eggs, quinoa, and soy contain all nine of these essential amino acids; this is why they are protein powerhouses and great foods to help you recover after you put your body through physical stress.
Protein builds lean muscle, reduces muscle lost, and can curb your appetite. When you eat a lean snack of healthy beef jerky for example, you're going to feel more full than if you had a snack of crackers. Add some jerky, some almond butter, or maybe some cheese to those crackers, and you're going to get that protein punch your body needs. Eat up!
Red Truck is an American Beef Jerky Company proudly serving you with the highest-quality meats around. We have a wide range of products including Wild Game Meat Sticks, Beef Jerky Bites, Alligator Beef Jerky, Venison Meat Sticks, and Maple Jerky, Enjoy!