Traditionally, people think of beef jerky as a high-fat, high-sodium snack packed with preservatives. After all, the word “jerky” hails from a method of drying and salting beef, originally practiced by Native Americans on buffalo meat. But we don’t eat much buffalo or salt nowadays. What’s left is a processed and preserved snack of high-calorie, sodium-riddled beef. So, is beef jerky healthy for weight loss? Well, the short answer is no. In this article, we will discuss why you should avoid beef jerky. But before we do that, let us share with you what has happened to our weight loss plan over the last couple of weeks. Only then your will be able to appreciate the importance of our recommendations.
What Is Beef Jerky?
Beef Jerky is a dried meat product designed to be called Jerky. It is made from tough and lean cuts of beef but can also come from chicken or turkey. The meat is first ground, then the fat content is remove.
Nutritional Value of Beef Jerky.
Beef jerky is a popular snack that is made by drying and curing slices of beef. It is a convenient snack for people on-the-go, as it is lightweight, portable, and has a long shelf life. While it is often thought of as a high-protein snack, beef jerky offers a range of nutritional benefits.
One of the most notable nutritional benefits of beef jerky is its high protein content. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, and it also helps to keep you full and satisfied between meals. Beef jerky is an excellent source of protein, with some varieties containing up to 13 grams of protein per serving.
Beef jerky is also low in fat, particularly saturated fat, which is the type of fat that can increase your risk of heart disease. Most brands of beef jerky are made from lean cuts of beef, which are trimmed of excess fat before being dried. This means that beef jerky can be a healthier alternative to other high-fat snacks like chips or candy.
In addition to protein and low-fat content, beef jerky is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. Specifically, it contains high levels of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Iron is vital for production of red blood cell, while zinc is essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamin B12 is crucial for brain function and the production of red blood cells.
However, it is worth noting that not all beef jerky is created equal. Some brands may contain added sugars, sodium, and preservatives, which can detract from the nutritional value. When choosing a brand of beef jerky, it is important to read the label and choose one that is low in these additives.
Is Beef Jerky Healthy for Weight Loss?
The processed slices of beef are then marinated in a blend of seasonings before being dried. Drying removes almost all the water content in the slices and gives them their distinctive texture and taste.
The resulting meat product is a high-fat and high-protein semi-prepared snack. The marinating process may also add quite a bit of sodium to the final product.
As a weight-loss food, beef jerky is definitely not. It’s full of fat and salt – which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid.
However, it might be worth a look as a snack for an athlete who wants to build muscle mass and strength. There are a few reasons why Beef Jerky is not healthy for weight loss.
Reasons Why Beef Jerky is Not Healthy for Weight Loss.
1. High Fat.
Beef jerky is made from lean meat, which is a good thing. Lean meat means there are fewer calories and less fat. But the problem here is that they are replacing the fat in the meat with something even worse – sodium.
Most commercially produced beef jerky contains as much salt as 20 packets of potato chips. And it’s not just salt either – other additives give the final product its distinctive taste.
2. High In Sodium.
Most people are aware that eating too much salt is bad for their health, but not everyone realizes how quickly high sodium intake can affect weight.
The average adult requires about 2 teaspoons of salt per day, but the recommended maximum is only 1 teaspoon a day. That translates to 2300mg of sodium daily and most of the people consume 10 times that amount.
3. High In Sugar.
The chemicals added to the beef jerky help preserve it and give it a good taste. These chemicals are added during processing, usually made from disaccharides (sugar molecules).
Long-term consumption of these additives can have negative effects on your health. It could cause diabetes mellitus (Type 2), raise your blood pressure and cholesterol and contribute to allergic reactions.
4. Bad For Your Gut.
One of the things that come with high fiber diets is a healthy gut. Fiber helps to clean out your system and treat constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
However, the chemicals added to beef jerky are also not good for your gut health because they stimulate a slow digestion process in the intestine, leading to irritation.
5. Incomplete Protein Sources.
High-protein diets are great for losing weight because protein keeps you fuller for longer and balances blood sugar levels. But it’s not all about high protein. In fact, beef jerky contains only 20-30% protein in the raw product.
We need a certain amount of protein every day to maintain our bodies and keep the muscles functioning. There are two main sources of protein – animals, and vegetables. Meat is a complete source of protein, which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids needed for muscle growth.
If you’re considering eating beef jerky, remember that it couldn’t be unhealthier for weight loss. The list of negatives is too long to ignore.
At the very least, be careful about how much of it you consume, and make sure you eat more vegetables to replace those essential fatty acids – your body will thank you for it.