Is Beef Jerky Harmful Or Healthy? It All Depends On Your Diet

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In the minds of many, deliciousness is one of the main criteria for being unhealthy. While beef jerky can serve as a great snack, there's not too many people who believe it's chock full of nutritional value. However, it is definitely possible to have both a delicious cut of jerky that also works well with a healthy diet.

What Exactly Is Nutritious?

One person's nutrition is another person's vice. In the case of beef jerky, it can represent both. First, you need to understand why beef jerky is generally considered unhealthy.

Meat – There's no getting around it, traditional beef jerky is meat. And while the health benefits, or lack thereof, has driven a lot of debate, the fact remains…it's meat. Not only is it meat, but it's typically meat of an unknown origin.

Preservatives – How do you think jerky maintains its form, taste, and consistency without refrigeration? A lot of that has to do with preservatives. Some jerky has far more additives than others.

Sodium – Traditionally, jerky comes loaded with salt; lots and lots of salt. Many of the preservatives also contain salt.

MSG – No matter your opinion on monosodium glutamate, it's important to know that many beef jerky varieties contain it.

All of these things together sound bad, but really, they're not as terrible as you may think. Many of the things that make beef jerky what it is, are also the things that make it healthy. It all depends on your diet.

For example, jerky has fat, protein, and salt. These things are all necessary for a functioning body. It's when you overconsume these things that health issues crop up.

Jerky is Versatile

Besides, beef jerky isn't just one thing. It's whatever you want it to be. For every component of jerky that you deem unhealthy, there's a variety that has an alternative or healthier component instead.

If you don't like the "beef" part of beef jerky, then you can pick up turkey jerky. If you do like beef, but don't want the associated fat, then you can look for under-processed jerky made from lean beef. If the thought of consuming so many preservatives freaks you out, then look for organic jerky or jerky that doesn't contain nitrates.

The point is, jerky can actually represent a healthy option, especially as a snack between meals. Just make sure that the place where you purchase your jerky has options. One of the things that can turn people off from jerky is the idea that it's unhealthy. Many of those thoughts come from a lack of variety.

For professional-grade jerky, contact a company such as Gio's Jerky.

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