It’s a question haunting the minds of many people who are trying to stay in ketosis. They are wondering if it is even worth it to eat beef jerky despite the many nutrients. And while this may be a difficult question to answer, there is one thing I can also say for certain: Beef Jerky is not bad for you.
What Is Beef Jerky?
Let me first begin by explaining what beef jerky actually is. The word jerky itself has its origins in Mexico, where natives referred to dried strips of meat as charqui. The Spanish changed this into the word Charque meaning dried meat. There are two types of beef jerky: sweet and spicy.
You have probably now heard of sweet jerky, but now there’s a version that is spicy as well! It is very popular in Nigeria and Korea, where people enjoy it as a snack with beer. This jerky is made from meat that has undergone a fermentation process. Due to this process, it has a tremendously reduced sugar level.
The second type of jerky is spicy; it adheres to the traditional use of jerky in the United States. Some people enjoy this type because of its intense flavor.
Why Is It Different?
Beef jerky is not exactly bad for you, but there are issues that you need to be aware of before making it part of your diet. The problems that people seem to have with beef jerky all revolve around the fact that it’s high in carbs and saturated fat, which are two things low-carb diets advise against.
When you are on a low-carb diet, you are supposed to have no more than 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. For example, 1 gram of carbohydrates is equal to 4 grams of sugar or 100 calories. So, if you were to have jerky for breakfast, this would give you 200 calories which are well above your daily carbohydrate allowance for low-carb diets.
What Is the Sweetener?
Most people assume that sugar is the only sweetener used in making sweet jerky. On the other hand, it can also be made with honey, molasses, or even artificial sweeteners such as sucralose. This means that those who are on a low-carb diet and trying to stay in ketosis may not enjoy this type of jerky because one serving has up to 14 grams of carbohydrates. While some may argue that this is not bad for ketosis, it will also lead to weight gain and bloating.
What’s wrong with fat? The biggest beef jerky lovers have a high level of fat found in this treat. It is only 4.5% of the total calories, which isn’t very high in comparison to other food items in this category. However, many people in the United States are used to eating beef jerky with much more fat because it is usually seasoned with chili powder, paprika, garlic, and other spices, which are not keto friendly.
So What Does a Keto Snack Look Like?
If you are following a strict Ketogenic diet, the only ingredients you should use to make beef jerky are salt, pepper, and spices like garlic powder, paprika, or onion powder. This will help you reduce the calories without compromising on the taste.
You can also make beef jerky using lean meat; this will help you avoid the saturated fat usually found in this meat snack. As low-carbers know, saturated fats should be avoided at all costs because they keep the body from burning fat.
There’s nothing wrong with eating beef jerky. But if you are on a low-carb diet, make sure to follow these tips to make the best out of your jerky. So the next time you are tempted to have a piece of beef jerky, stick with low-carb treats!
Can You Make Beef Jerky at Home?
Yes, you can easily make your own beef jerky at home. This helps you save money while also making something tasty. You can save more by cutting down on carbs later on when making the jerky.
Preparations for Making Beef Jerky
Preparing the meat is pretty simple; all you need to do is cut the meat into strips. Make sure to thoroughly clean the meat before processing it for jerky. Next, place the strips into a dehydrator which is preheated to 180 degrees for about 6 hours or until done. Alternatively, you can dehydrate these in an oven set to 150 degrees for 6-12 hours.
Is Beef Jerky Healthy?
The general consensus is that beef jerky is not bad for you. It does not have any side effects unless you are allergic to it. However, there’s one big problem with beef jerky, especially the type that is found in some gas stations.
Some people claim that it has more than 50 ingredients. These include MSG or monosodium glutamate, which is known to cause headaches, sweating, and nausea if consumed in large amounts. Some people are severely allergic to MSG, although they won’t know until they have consumed this product before. Other common ingredients found in most beef jerkies are soy sauce, tomato powder, msg, and artificial flavors.
In addition to this, you will also notice that beef jerky is high in sodium; this is another ingredient that should be avoided. If you are trying to lose weight, it is best to avoid products like these because they will make you retain water instead of burning it. This will make your body feel bloated and uncomfortable.
So, there is no need to worry about a possible side effect of beef jerky because there is really nothing wrong with it, apart from the fact that it’s high in carbs and saturated fat. However, when you are on a low-carb diet, you should not have any more than 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates for breakfast. If you add up all the carbs from beef jerky with your low-carb breakfast, this can add up to more than double your carb limit.
Make sure to follow this simple rule, and you will have a piece of steak without all the unhealthy ingredients for between 600 and 800 calories.
FAQs About Beef Jerky
Can I eat beef jerky if I’m on keto?
Beef jerky is not really bad for you; however, most people like it because of its savory taste. You need to know that most brands of beef jerkies are seasoned with MSG, which can trigger headaches and nausea if consumed in large amounts. Other ingredients found in some brands of beef jerkies are added sugars, sodium, and artificial flavors, which you should also avoid if you are on a ketogenic diet.
What is the best way to eat beef jerky?
You can eat it in just about any manner that you want. However, for those who love spicy food, the best way to eat it is by adding it to your meal. Let’s say you are eating roasted chicken together with broccoli; simply add the beef jerky on top of this meal.