Are you looking for a protein-packed snack that’s low-carb, filling, and convenient? Read on to discover the best beef jerky for weight loss, available in stores today!
With the advent of paleo and Whole30 diets, beef jerky has gained a lot of attention (once again) for being an efficient source of protein. One that also happens to be low-carb and super convenient.
Into this kind of thing? Check out my My Go-To Low Carb 30 Minute Meals For Busy Weeknights.
Back to the point: GONE are the days of shaming jerky for its high-sodium beginnings! We're in the roaring twenties and an abundance of flavors, organic options, and grass-fed selections are highly accessible in several stores (online and offline).
In this post, I’m sharing my favorite brands and how to choose weight loss-friendly and healthier beef jerky options. Read on further to see which ones check all the boxes of my clean-approved criteria! Let’s go.
Is Beef Jerky Good For Weight Loss?
Best known for being high in protein (which keeps you full), the beef jerky you can find nowadays is a good weight-loss snack. In fact, it makes the list on My Fave High Protein Snacks For Weight Loss.
So yes, as long as you consume jerky in moderation, it’s a great option when you need a convenient source of protein in a healthy snack. To note, beef jerky indeed does have some good points. Minerals like choline and zinc are found in beef jerky, along with potassium and magnesium.
Are Slim Jims Bad For You?
Yes, slim jims (the brand) are bad for you. But are we surprised? They're mainly a combination of cheap meat parts from pork, beef, and chicken. The beef comes from older cows (whose meat wouldn’t be used by any good restaurant).
This is the quintessential highly processed meat you typically want to avoid. At all costs.
While it may satisfy hunger (momentarily) you’re basically having a big bite of sodium and nitrites. To top it off, slim jims pack a bunch of preservatives that are not doing your body any favors. Not worth it!
Need a little more motivation to cut out processed foods? Learn What Happens When You Stop Eating Processed Food | 10 Things You’ll Notice
Is Jerky A Processed Meat?
The traditional and older brands are typically highly processed and full of sodium marinated with various spices and additives. This jerky wasn't designed to accommodate paleo or Whole30 diets. It's not all fun and games either because these highly processed and cured red meats are actually linked to certain cancers.
HOWEVER, thanks to trending diets that have put beef jerky back on the map, more brands have catered to healthy and clean eating lifestyles. This means they don’t contain the typical bad stuff and aren't processed with so many weird additives. I recommend you always check the nutrition label of the food you buy, beef jerky included. In particular, look for high sodium content, saturated fats, and additives like monosodium glutamate (which is basically added to enhance flavor).
I talk about this a lot in my post about the Top 10 Best Packaged Deli Meats (And Which Ones To Avoid!)
What Is The Healthiest Jerky?
There’s a wide array of brands online and available in stores that can make your selection a bit overwhelming. So allow me to share some helpful criteria.
Here's what to look for when choosing a healthy beef jerky brand:
- Avoid high-sodium options: Look for brands that contain less than 300 mg of sodium per serving to keep your sodium intake in check (lower that risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke!).
- Opt for low-sugar brands or ones that use healthy sweetener alternatives: There are many brands that contain low or zero sugar options (I’ve linked one in my list below). Some brands contain sugar but minimally and that’s okay, especially ones that use healthy sugar alternatives.
- Choose ones with premium ingredients: Consider brands that use grass-fed beef for a healthier protein source. And really, the fewer ingredients the better. The quality of beef used matters because good beef doesn’t need much salt or added ingredients to taste great.
- Check the protein content: Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting some protein bang for your buck. Good quality brands have at least 10 grams of protein per serving. I’ve also included them below on my list.
What Brand Of Beef Jerky Is The Best?
I’ve narrowed it down to 6 of my fave brands of the best store-bought beef jerky. Check this list out and you’ll see why.
1. The New Primal Sea Salt & Pepper 100% Grass-Fed Beef Thins
Overall, this makes my number one pick hands down. I love that the brand uses 100% grass-fed beef raised without hormones and antibiotics. It’s also crucial to note that it’s purely “one-hundred percent” grass-fed.
Some brands call their products “grass-fed” however, the cattle are probably grain-finished. This means that the cattle are fed with grain, sugar beets, hay, etc. in the last 4 to 6 months of their life.
This product is gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and packs in 11 grams of protein (with only 70 calories per serving). Their beef is also free of nitrates or added nitrates, except for those in the sea salt. It's also preservative-free. Total package for me!
2. Prevail Beef Jerkey
Prevail is second on my list because they also use 100% grass-fed beef! Another bonus is that they use coconut sugar (perfect for paleo diets) and it’s also gluten, hormone, added nitrates, and preservative-free! It was also just the right amount of chewy.
The umami flavor is super tasty, too! It's got a good balance of sweet and smokey with a nice kick from the lemongrass.
3. Country Archer Provisions Grass-fed Beef Jerkey
There’s a more natural garlicky spice to Country Archer, which I like. And it's more on the dry and stringy side if this is your sorta thing. Overall, it’s pretty good and I like how they have a variety of zero-sugar versions (with no MSG or nitrates).
Also from grass-fed beef so they're keeping up with the competition!
4. Tillamook Country Smoker Zero Sugar Original Beef Jerkey
Tillamook Country is perfect for anyone who is looking to cut down, lose weight, or stave off the added sugars. This brand has a variety of zero-sugar options with several flavors. Perfect if you’re also looking for some variety!
They range from original jerky to teriyaki, and black pepper selections. It’s also packed with 14 grams of protein per serving! Highly recommended as a zero-sugar, zero-carb option, folks.
5. Chomps Original Beef Stick
So these aren’t your slim jim… they're MUCH better! These wonderfully portable beef sticks score high in the convenience factor. You can even use them as a sub for highly processed meat on your healthy meat and cheese platter!
Again, I love that they use 100% grass-fed beef with a bunch of flavors ranging from sea salt to jalapeño. They also carry turkey and venison sticks. Keto, paleo, sugar, and carb-free. What’s not to love?
6. Brooklyn Biltong Original Air Dried Beef
If you’re looking to indulge a bit more on the gourmet side, this brand boasts a super clean and super simple ingredient list. It's also great for paleo and keto diets because it contains 15 grams of protein per serving (making it one of the highest).
The Biltong meat is cured in a South African style of marinating them in vinegar, salt, and air-dried instead of using heat. The textures you’ll get are moist and tender. A must-try if you are a beef jerky connoisseur.
More Best Of Brand Posts
You know I love shopping around to find the best products available for purchase! Check out these other posts.
- 6 Best Store Bought Breads | How To Find The Best Brands
- Top 10 Best Packaged Deli Meats (And Which Ones To Avoid!)
- 7 Best Kombucha Brands | And Why They’re So Good
- 7 Best Protein Bars + What Makes a Protein Bar Healthy
- Top 7 Best Pasta Sauces You Can Buy (That Are Actually Healthy!)
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.