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Is Beef Jerky Healthy for Weight Loss?

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so when you’re embarking on a weight loss journey, it’s important to know the facts about the snacks that you’re eating.

It might not seem like beef jerky is a food that will help you lose weight, but in actuality, it can be a great way to progress towards your health and fitness goals.

clear glass bowl of beef jerky

What is Beef Jerky?

To put things simply, beef jerky is a stick of dried and salted meat. It has a reputation for being a snack food, and usually, you might think that there’s a problem with eating a ‘snacky’ food, during your weight loss journey. But here’s the thing: because beef jerky is simply meat, it’s actually a great food to eat, if you’re being conscious of the nutrition facts.

Of course, there are things that you should avoid when you’re shopping for beef jerky (we’ll talk about this later), but overall, beef jerky is a great food for weight loss.

Typical Nutrients of Beef Jerky

Since beef jerky is a good choice for weight loss, you can count on the fact that it’s got several valuable nutrients in it. Here’s a few of the nutrients that are included in beef jerky:

  • Iron: This is a great thing, because iron helps to improve your immune system, your ability to concentrate throughout the day, and the regulation of your body’s temperature. It never hurts to add iron to your diet!
  • Magnesium: When you consume magnesium, you’re ensuring that your body is able to function at its maximum productivity level, because magnesium helps your muscles and your nerves function. Plus, it helps to give you more energy.
  • Potassium: We’ve all heard that foods like bananas have potassium, but when it comes down to it, beef jerky is a great source of potassium, too. Potassium helps you to have a more regular heartbeat, it helps you to metabolize your carbohydrate intake, and more.

As you can see, there are several nutrients in beef jerky that are essential if you’re interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You might not have thought that a small stick of beef jerky could be packed with such beneficial things, but sometimes looks are deceiving!

Here’s How Beef Jerky Is Good for Weight Loss

 Protein for weight loss

I can’t vouch for the importance of protein for weight loss enough. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve got to up your protein count, so that you’re able to sustain your energy for the full day. When you eat a lower protein diet, you’re probably going to be tempted to snack throughout the day, because you’re not going to be full. Protein is essential, so hit that protein macro goal by eating beef jerky!

woman holding a piece of beef jerky

Low Carbs

Carbs are another type of macro that is fine to consume on a daily basis, but as with all things, you’ve just got to be conscious of how many carbs you’re consuming and where your carbs are coming from. It’s easy for your intake of grams of carbohydrates to get out of hand—especially if you find yourself eating junk food like chips. That means that if you consume your carbs other ways, you might want to consider getting your carbs from healthier sources like beef jerky. Too many carbs lead to weight gain, so to avoid weight gain, beef jerky is a great option.

Low Calories vs other snacks

To lose weight, you’ve got to ensure that you’re staying in a caloric deficit. This means, that you’ve got to burn off more calories than you consume. When you eat a stick of beef jerky, you’re going to be eating a relatively low-calorie snack, when compared to other foods out there. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good thing if you’re eating beef jerky, because it won’t up your daily calories by much.

Good on the Go Snack

One of the things that is sure to sabotage your weight loss, is if you’re tempted to eat badly, when you’re on the go and busy. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, it’s tempting to just opt for fast food or other unhealthy foods, because they’re convenient. With beef jerky, you’re going to be able to quickly grab a snack, without compromising health or convenience. This is great for weight loss, because even if we’re committed to losing weight, sometimes work and kids and other commitments get in the way of things. Beef jerky makes sure that this doesn’t happen!


I get it. Another thing that can sabotage weight loss, is binges that come because you’re not full enough. When it comes down to it, when you eat something, you want to feel full after eating it. So, when you opt for a stick of beef jerky, you can ensure that you’re going to feel satiated after eating it. It wouldn’t be worth it, if you’re hungry after your snack. But you don’t have to worry about this with beef jerky, because you’re going to feel full!

Variety of jerky flavors

There’s nothing worse than feeling bored when you’re eating your weekly meals and snacks. If you are forced to eat the same flavored foods every day, then you might dread mealtime and you might feel unsatisfied after your meals. When you’re unsatisfied, you’re more prone to eating more calories. But with the variety of flavors that beef jerky comes in, you can eat what you crave, instead of being forced to eat one kind of snack all the time. This will leave you happier and healthier.

How Much Protein is in Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky is a relatively high protein snack. In one average sized piece of beef jerky, there is around seven grams of protein. Sure, you could find more protein in other foods, but this is a decent amount of protein, especially considering how great beef jerky tastes.

What to Look for in Healthy Beef Jerky?

white plate of beef jerky

When you’re looking for the right beef jerky, you’re going to want to be conscious of the fact that there is bad beef jerky out there. As with all foods, there are some foods that are marketed as healthy, when they are packed with chemicals.

So, when you’re shopping for beef jerky, be sure to avoid varieties that have a high amount of saturated fats. Avoid saturated fats in all of your food, and beef jerky is no exception! Plus, you’re going to want to avoid beef jerky with MSGs and beef jerky that appears to come from questionable meats.

Here’s what you should be looking for in your beef jerky: you should be looking for a stick of beef jerky that comes from grass feed beef, and you should be looking for a stick of beef jerky that is relatively low in sodium. Some sticks of beef jerky are packed with sodium, so just be conscious and avoid beef jerky with a high sodium content.

Is a Beef Stick as Good as Beef Jerky?

Yes, a beef stick is just as good as a piece of beef jerky is. Of course, you’ve got to make sure you’re looking at the nutritional facts of your beef sticks, just as you would for a piece of beef jerky. So, if a beef stick is low in calories, milligrams of sodium, saturated fats, and added sugar, then you’re good.

How Much Beef Jerky Can You Eat in One Day?

Nothing is good in excess, and beef jerky is no exception to this rule. According to the American Heart Association, it’s bad to eat too much red meat (and even jerky products), so be sure to keep your beef jerky intake within reason.

It’s best to keep it to around one stick a day, maximum. You need to make sure that you’re eating whole foods along with foods like beef jerky. So, if you’re on the go, grab beef jerky. But make sure that beef jerky isn’t the only food that you’re opting for!

Are Slim Jims Healthy?

Slim Jims are not a healthy snack, and they aren’t a great alternative to other kinds of snacks. In fact, they are an example of the kind of snack food that you should avoid. They contain a lot of saturated fats, too many overall grams of fat content, too much sodium, and they are high in calories. Because of this and other reasons, you should avoid Slim Jims and opt for a more healthy beef jerky variety.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to avoid beef jerky, if you’re on a weight loss journey. In fact, beef jerky can be an easy way to meet your goals. Assuming that you’re conscious of the things that are in the beef jerky that you’re buying, more often than not, beef jerky can be a great pick me up snack.

If you’re on a weight loss journey, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, and with beef jerky in your diet, you’re on your way to achieving your goals.

I believe you can reach your goals, so you should too. It is possible!

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Thursday 1st of February 2024

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