Whether you want to go on a low-carb diet such as paleo or keto, or if you’re hungry on a hike, you’ll likely be eating some beef jerky. It’s a very popular snack in the United States and many other countries, as it’s considered a healthy snack on the go.
As with most foods, not all beef jerky is healthy and free of chemicals. Even though most brands come with cleaner options, some of them are not easy to identify. If you are looking to buy a healthy snack, you should look into preservative-free beef jerky. Yummy!
What is Beef Jerky?
Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard about this snack, or perhaps you just want to know how it is made. Beef jerky is made of strips of beef that are marinated and curated in a salt and spice mixture, then hung on stainless sheets and cooked for up to 5 hours. This process is very extensive and delicate and gives the meat a long shelf life.
Because of its process of drying out, the jerky can be stored outside the fridge for months and even a year without it going bad as long as it’s in a sealed package.
The origins of beef jerky are uncertain. Some think this process of curating beef started in South America in the 1800s, but new varieties and flavors emerged in recent years due to the fad of low carb diets.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), one serving of beef jerking contains 116 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fiber, 2.5 grams of sugar, 500 milligrams of sodium, and 9 grams of protein. So, the low fat and carb content make it a great source of protein. Depending on the marinating process and the cut of beef used, the levels of fat, sodium and sugar can vary from brand to brand.
Besides all these components, other things can be added to the beef jerky with the flavorings and preservatives, and not all of them are healthy
Benefits of Beef Jerky
One of the great things about eating keto certified beef jerky is that it provides you with the energy and stamina to go on with your daily activities. Though sodium is usually labelled as an evil ingredient because it increases blood pressure, a certain amount is needed in the body. Muscles benefit greatly from sodium after strenuous activity as it helps them recover.
Also, high protein is great for muscle recovery, so beef jerky is a favorite among weightlifters and other athletes.
Preservative Free Beef Jerky
A good way of ensuring your beef jerky is healthy is to choose brands that use 100% grass-fed beef as it retains more nutrients and there are no chemicals or preservatives involved, like Prevail Jerky. Brands which are not preservative free use nitrates and monosodium glutamate to preserve their products.
Gluten-Free Beef Jerky
Many jerky brands contain gluten, mostly through soy sauce, one of the most common ingredients in beef jerky marinades. However, jerky can be made gluten-free by substituting the soy sauce for tamari sauce. PREVAIL Jerky uses coconut aminos in order to adhere to Paleo & Gluten-free certification standards, which still gives the jerky that “umami” flavor that using soy sauce would bring. Soy-free beef jerky can be a bit more expensive but it is certainly healthier.
How to Store Beef Jerky
For centuries, people have curated meat to make it last through long trips without going bad. If the beef jerky package is not opened, it can last more than a year at room temperature. As with any other product, it is affected by warm, moist climates, and even sunlight reduces its consumption time once the bag is opened. Shop today and get our preservative-free beef jerky!