You must have heard about beef jerky. For those who don’t know, a beef jerky is a super popular and really convenient snack food. A jerky is lean trimmed meat that has been cut into strips and dried to prevent it from being spoiled. The normal process is to add salt into it to avoid the growth of bacteria before the dehydrating process is completed. With beef jerky, the lean cuts of beef are marinated using spices, sauces, and other additives. The jerky has to undergo several processes such as smoking, curing, and drying right before they are packaged for selling.
Beef jerky may not exactly be a health food, but it is a great source of protein. It’s almost always high in sodium content although you can get the low-sodium kind. A single piece of jerky contains around 82 calories and just above two grams of carbohydrate. Each piece also has 5 grams of fat which is a blend of saturated and monounsaturated fat as well as 7 grams of protein. A piece of beef jerky also has micronutrients such as 7 milligrams zinc and 537 milligrams potassium. These micronutrients vary depending on the flavors used for the jerky. A cup of it may include choline, vitamin B12, iron, and magnesium.
There are many types of jerky. It can also be made from poultry like chicken or turkey or wild game like venison and maybe even lower fat versions of red meat like bison or elk. Salmon jerky is quite the popular one. It is known to have low saturated fat compared to other types of jerky. These are healthier versions of jerky that have a better fat profile. However, it may still be high in sodium unless you buy the low-sodium variety.
It’s one thing to know about the health value of beef jerky, but you also have to know the best cut. The top and bottom round are not only lean; they are also flavorful. These are known as the best cuts for a beef jerky. The sirloin tip may be extremely lean as well, but it is not as tender; and it could be too expensive. The flank steak is also lean and full of flavor. The problem is that it can be tough when sliced with the grain. You may also have to trim some fat. Another great option is a 100 percent Australian-quality beef, one that does not include a lot of processing and too many ingredients. Always remember that when it comes to beef, the leaner the better.
Today there are healthier options for a beef jerky. You can find one that is gluten-free, low-carb, and low in sugar. Make sure as well that the taste is not compromised. You can have a jerky anytime while you are on a road trip, bring it in a lunchbox for snack, or to share it with friends during break time.