Is Beef Jerky Keto?

Written by Tony Lozzi
on December 17, 2020

Is beef jerky keto

Yes - sort of. While at its core, beef jerky is keto - it's simply dehydrated meat - many brands are cured with sugar. This means for 1 ounce of jerky, you could be looking at 3g or more of sugar. The key with beef jerky and keto is to either buy brands that use less sugar or make your own.

Keto rating: Great

Beef jerky is great for folks on keto... if you get the right kind. Beef jerky is a fantastic keto snack - though it's not high in fat, the protein content and deliciousness are high. Additionally, it's self-limiting, because protein is so satiating. By "right kinds", however, we mean those with little to no sugar or ones that have been cured with natural sugar-free sweeteners, like monk fruit.

We're going to examine what makes good keto beef jerky, where you can find it, and some ways to make it at home.

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Examining beef jerky for keto dieters

Jerky is made by taking thin strips of meat and seasoning them, often with what's known as a "cure". This blend of spices gives the jerky its incredible flavor during its long stint in the dehydrator. Jerky can be smoked as well, which dehydrates and flavors the meat with, well, smokiness.

The challenge is finding a brand that keeps the ingredient list small and stays away from sugar. For instance, teriyaki flavoring on jerky can add upwards of 6g of carbs per serving - that's pretty absurd, considering a serving of jerky is usually about 1 ounce.

Beef Jerky

As far as "safe" jerky flavors, plain is usually a good way to go. Black pepper is another seasoning blend that usually doesn't pack a lot of sugar. As we mentioned before, teriyaki is a minefield of carbs, as is anything with honey, like bbq or chipotle.

Is sugar in jerky a no-go?

It's worth noting that you're still looking at total carbs - if there's sugar in the ingredients list but it's negligible, like 1g or less - then it's okay to eat. Keto is about being mindful of your total carb intake and not wasting your precious allotment on hidden carbs in keto snacks.

Beef jerky options for the keto diet

The following jerky brands are delicious and perfectly fine for the keto diet. It's worth noting that while these are formulated specifically for keto or low carb diets, if you find a beef jerky that has a little sugar but still has very few carbs, that's acceptable, too.

Jack Link's Zero Sugar Jerky

Per 1oz serving:

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar alcohols: 0g

    Tillamook Zero Sugar Jerky

      Both Jack Links and Tillamook are going to be more widely available than most other jerkies, because they're national brands. All of these products are easily purchasable online as well.

      Per 1oz serving:

      • Calories: 70
      • Fat: 1.5g
      • Protein: 14g
      • Carbs: 0g
      • Sugar: 0g
      • Dietary Fiber: 0g
      • Sugar alcohols: 0g

      Both Jack Links and Tillamook are going to be more widely available than most other jerkies, because they're national brands. All of these products are easily purchasable online as well.

      Keto Carne Sugar Free Jerky

      Keto Carne is known for their delicious keto-approved jerkies. Try the Spicy if you're okay with a little kick in your keto snacks.

      Per 1oz serving:

      • Calories: 90
      • Fat: 2.5g
      • Protein: 16g
      • Carbs: 0g
      • Sugar: 0g
      • Dietary Fiber: 0g
      • Sugar alcohols: 0g

      Keto Carne is known for their delicious keto-approved jerkies. Try the Spicy if you're okay with a little kick in your keto snacks.

      Making your own keto beef jerky

      If you have time, good-quality beef and a dehydrator or oven, you can make your own jerky. It might seem a little intimidating, but it's well worth the effort, because homemade jerky is lightyears beyond store-bought stuff.

      Keto Connect

      • This recipe calls for a lot of ingredients that might not be in your pantry already, but the end result is delicious, tender jerky and it's done in the oven - no dehydrator required.

      Keto Diet App

      • The Keto Diet App is a great repository for extremely strict keto recipes. They don't consider any amount of sugar or wheat to be ketogenic, and so their ingredient list is purist. With that said, this jerky is fantastic, easy to prepare, and pretty minimalist. It's also oven-based.

      Healthy Recipes Blog

      • Healthy Recipes Blog concerns itself with nutritional content and quality recipes; this particular recipe just happens to be keto. This recipe will hold up to a smoker as well, if you happen to feel adventurious.

      Beef jerky is a healthy, nutritious keto snack

      Though beef jerky isn't high fat, the protein content will sate your hunger and it's a very easy food to keep in your purse, backpack or car for on-the-go feedings. There are plenty of jerky brands that offer keto versions without added sugar, but it's worth trying your hand at making your own. You can control the ingredients and you can experiment with grass-fed beef, adding flavors, or different cooking methods (smoking, dehydrator, oven, etc).

      You owe it to yourself to give beef jerky a spot on your keto snack rotation - your tummy will thank you.

       

      Interested in keto snack ideas? We've listed 120+ options!

      Published:  December 17, 2020  
      Author: Tony Lozzi
      Tony Lozzi is a keto adherent who lost over 200 pounds cutting carbs and lifting weights. He has researched low carb eating for over 10 years and runs www.fit2father.com, a keto blog dedicated to helping others lose weight with keto. He lives in the US with his wife, kids, and various cats.

       

      Written by The SuperFat Staff

      The SuperFat Staff are always on the lookout to help share nutritious and delicious recipes with our community.

      Published: December 17, 2020

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