Is Beef Jerky Keto-Friendly?

Is Beef Jerky Keto-Friendly?

Beef jerky is a great snack. It's shelf-stable and requires no cooking nor preparation. And now that you're feeling hungry and want to chomp this healthy bite, you're wondering: is beef jerky keto-friendly?

The first thing we need to know about beef jerky is its carb content. In the keto diet, one should only consume high-fat and low-carb foods.

A keto dieter can consume up to 50 g of carbs, but most only feast 20 g of carbs or fewer to enter and remain in the state of ketosis. 

Now, let's take a closer look at the nutritional profile of beef jerky. 

Nutritional Content of Beef Jerky

A 100 g-serving of beef jerky yields 410 calories, 11 g of carbs (1.8 g of which is dietary fiber), and 33 g of protein, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The same serving size also contains 26 g of total fat (11 g of saturated fat, 11 g of monounsaturated fat, and 1 g of polyunsaturated fat). 

On the other hand, a cup of beef jerky carries 369 calories, 23 g fat, 30 g protein, 2 g of fiber, and 10 g of carbs.

It has less fat than fresh red meat, and yet it is a substantial source of fats and sodium. 

Does beef jerky have all the qualities of keto-friendly food?

We'll get into that later. As for now, let's talk about how the health benefits of beef jerky.

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Beef Jerky Health Benefits?


Beef jerky doesn't just make for a quick, delightful snack. It's basically beef, and so gobbling it down means ingesting the health benefits of beef. 

a. Good source of good fat

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats have long been praised because of the benefits they provide the body. 

These healthy fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Polyunsaturated fat is a dietary fat found in plant and animal foods. It can lower your bad cholesterol level and blood pressure. It may also help control your blood sugar level and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Meanwhile, monounsaturated fat can help develop and maintain your body cells. It can also contribute vitamin E to the diet. 

b. Protein for the muscles

A piece of beef jerky carries almost 7 g of carbs. A 100 gram-serving yields 33 g of protein, which makes up 66% of the daily recommended protein intake. 

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues. It also plays a significant role in producing enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. 

It is also an important building block of muscles, cartilage, bones, blood, and skin.

c. High in Sodium

Salt is a necessity, especially if you're following a keto lifestyle. 

The limited food choices in the keto diet will make it a struggle for you to enough sodium. Low levels of sodium in the body can lead to decreased energy, confusion, leg cramps, and vomiting. 

Beef jerky is a great snack loaded with a substantial amount of sodium. According to the USDA, a cup of beef jerky pieces (100 grams) contains 2,081 mg of sodium, which is 86% of the RDI. 

Is Beef Jerky Keto-Friendly?

After discussing the health benefits of beef jerky, we've come to the highlight of this post. Is beef jerky keto-friendly?

Heck yeah! Beef jerky has all the qualities of a perfect keto snack.

It's high in fat (good fat), has a moderate protein, and is low in carbs.

However, it's important to remember that beef jerky is not always keto-approved. The nutritional profile of beef jerky varies from brand to brand. 

And while there are keto-friendly jerky widely available in the market, there are some that contain sugar.

In fact, if you look at some of the top jerky brands, many have 10 g of carbs per 1 oz serving (28 g). 

So, if you're heading to the market to buy jerky, always make it a habit to check the label. Have a good look at the ingredients list. Don't forget to go into the nutritional profile. 

Final Takeaway

Beef jerky is tasty, healthy, portable, and convenient. It's an excellent keto snack to satisfy your tummy without ever having to risk ruining your ketosis. 

Beef jerky is not always keto-friendly. Make sure to check the ingredients and carb content of the jerky you want to purchase. 

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About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet and shares it on Ketogenic Supplement Reviews. You can find me on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.