Beef Jerky

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Is beef jerky a decent source of protein or is there a reason to stay away from it. I find that it is a favorite snack of mine lately and just wanted opinions on beef jerky and dieting.

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  • wolfchild59
    wolfchild59 Posts: 2,608 Member
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    It's typically really high in sodium and many brands/flavors have higher sugar amounts than I'd want in a regular "protein" source snack. There are some lower sodium options there if you look hard enough. I personally love jerky and would probably go through bags of it st a time if not for the sodium and sugar. :D

    It does serve a good purpose as a more protein heavy snack when refrigeration isn't an option though. Road trips are when I tend to still default to it more often.
  • jeffevans931
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    I love it too, but it's VERY high in sodium!
  • Meatsies
    Meatsies Posts: 351 Member
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    My mom makes it pretty frequently for my dad & brother. It might be worthwhile investing in a dehydrator to make your own...that way, you could control the calories you put into the meat via the marinade.
  • johnnsmith803
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    I dont think calories are an issue because the packages seem pretty reasonable. But the sodium does give me pause. Doesnt sodium just mainly make you retain water?
  • rc630
    rc630 Posts: 310 Member
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    From what I understand, unless you have a medical condition for which sodium can be detrimental, the only problem with high sodium would be water retention/bloating

    I eat beef jerky as a snack all the time; I think one or two servings a day is a perfectly reasonable snack. Just be aware that most of the smaller bags are 3.25 servings.
  • joyfulteach
    joyfulteach Posts: 419 Member
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    I like the jack links original 100 calorie packs.
  • birdlover97111
    birdlover97111 Posts: 346 Member
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    I dont think calories are an issue because the packages seem pretty reasonable. But the sodium does give me pause. Doesnt sodium just mainly make you retain water?

    I love beef jerky, too....Unfortunately for me, it not only makes me retain water, but it also triggers gout.....*ouch*....Not worth it...
  • GalaxyDuck
    GalaxyDuck Posts: 406 Member
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    If you make your own beef jerky with a dehydrator like another poster suggested, you get to control the sodium levels AND seasonings. All it requires is the dehydrator, marinade and any cut of beef (even steaks), sliced. And time. It takes 6-10 hours for 5 trays, depending on how thick your slices are.

    Awesome.
  • johnnsmith803
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    I will try this.
  • harebearva
    harebearva Posts: 216 Member
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    There's a company called Protos inc. that puts out a line of jerkey and meat sticks made with beef and ostrich. It tastes great and for what it is has fairly low sodium, A 1.5 ounce meat stick for instance has 80 calories with 14g protein 1.5g of fat, 2 carbs, 300mg sodium and low sugar. The natural flavor in fact has no sugar. They cost about the same as the big slim jims. They're a little pricey but you can find them for around $1.25 ea online.
  • suzij27
    suzij27 Posts: 199 Member
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    I eat some a few times a week to help up my protein intake. I find it to be a satisfying snack because it take a while to chew it and it is salty. As long as I’m balancing it out with low sodium foods the rest of the day, I don’t notice bloating/water retention.

    I’d rather eat it than most of the protein powders I’ve tried. Yuck! 😋
  • CycleMomOf3
    CycleMomOf3 Posts: 336 Member
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    I enjoy it for a mid-afternoon snack. My diet is generally pretty low in sodium anyway, so the sodium doesn't really bother me much. My go-to is Tillamook zero-sugar teriyaki (though the regular zero-sugar one is good too).
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,988 Member
    edited September 2021
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    @johnnsmith803 wrote: Is beef jerky a decent source of protein"

    Yes.

    @johnnsmith803 also wrote: "or is there a reason to stay away from it."

    Yes, if the jerky you choose has an excess of salt/nitrates, sugar or anything else that can be "bad" for you and you eat "too much" of the stuff.

    BUT, generally, the amount of jerky you'd eat really shouldn't matter in terms of potential negative health effects from the additives.

    Personally, my favorite is Chinese beef jerky which is marinated in soy sauce, high ABV grain alcohol and sugar and baked to a soft/chewy texture (and not dried to the consistency of shoe leather).

    It's usually sold from behind the counter at some Chinese meat markets in cities w/a large Cantonese population, which means you usually have to ask for it.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,735 Member
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    Thread was awakened from 2012 by a probable spammer whose post has now been disappeared by being spam-flagged enough times.

    For those actually still on MFP, I'd note that salt/sodium is part of what *preserves* jerky, makes it shelf-stable. If you choose low sodium types, and in anything other than single serve packaging, be sure to check the packaging for any instructions about storage once it's opened.
  • ehju0901
    ehju0901 Posts: 373 Member
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    harebearva wrote: »
    There's a company called Protos inc. that puts out a line of jerkey and meat sticks made with beef and ostrich. It tastes great and for what it is has fairly low sodium, A 1.5 ounce meat stick for instance has 80 calories with 14g protein 1.5g of fat, 2 carbs, 300mg sodium and low sugar. The natural flavor in fact has no sugar. They cost about the same as the big slim jims. They're a little pricey but you can find them for around $1.25 ea online.

    I'm hoping to try this out. I'm intrigued!
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 889 Member
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    I love jerky and keep it on hand a lot. It's high in sodium so if you have a health-related reason to keep your sodium intake low, that's all I'd worry about. If not, munch away! My fav to keep around are Duke's smoked shorty sausages, they have lots of different flavors.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,806 Member
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    And to add to this reawakened zombie, comparatively new tech has come out since original posts.

    The Ninja Foodi + drying rack (purchased separately) can dehydrate homemade jerky in a fraction of the time of those giant wagon wheel dehydrators. Easier to clean, too (though still somewhat of a nuisance).

    You can make your own, smaller batches, giving you more control over sodium.

    I find pineapple juice and/or molasses to be good flavorings to experiment with, along with funky ground peppercorn mixes.