Is jerky actually healthy_ _ stack

For one, it’s high in protein. Italian sausage chicken recipes But unlike other meat-based foods, jerky doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Sausage chicken recipes That makes it a convenient and easy on-the-go snack. Chicken calories protein Combine that with the fact that jerky tastes pretty darn good, and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular.

Chicken calories and fat But is it actually healthy? Or is jerky just another junk food that’s unjustly earned a good reputation? STACK investigates. Chicken deli meat recipes Lean and Mean

Jerky is a simple food. Chicken deli meat nutrition facts It’s defined as “meat that has been cut into long strips and dried.” To make a basic jerky, all one needs is meat, salt and a low-temperature drying method. Chicken breast calories protein Jerky is naturally lean thanks to its low fat content. Andouille sausage and chicken recipe Since fat doesn’t dry, most of it must be trimmed off before the drying process.

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, jerky can be made from almost any lean meat, including beef, pork, venison or smoked turkey breast.

Since it’s made from lean meat, jerky is always going to be high in protein. Italian sausage and chicken recipes Protein is one of the most important nutrients for athletes. Shrimp sausage chicken gumbo recipe High-quality protein provides the amino acids that muscles need to repair and rebuild, allowing you to recover from exercise and get stronger over time. Shrimp sausage chicken jambalaya recipe The body can also use protein as a source of energy.

The protein content of a one-ounce serving of Jack Links beef, chicken, turkey and pork jerky is 12 grams, 11 grams, 13 grams and 11 grams, respectively. Healthy heart chicken recipes So, there’s little variation between jerky types in terms of protein content. Heart healthy baked chicken recipes The average serving of jerky is high in protein and low in fat—both pluses. Heart healthy low sodium chicken recipes Thanks to the fact that it’s typically low in fat, jerky is also often low in calories. Heart smart chicken recipes For example, the vast majority of KRAVE jerkies come in between 80-100 calories per serving. Heart healthy ground chicken recipes Jive Jerky

All of that being said, there are some concerns regarding jerky’s nutrition.

Perhaps the biggest one? Sodium content. Smoked sausage and chicken recipes Although sodium is an essential nutrient—your body needs it to survive—it’s also incredibly easy to overindulge.

Studies show that 9 in 10 Americans consume too much sodium. Andouille sausage and chicken jambalaya recipe Over-consuming sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke and a wide range of other issues. Kidney friendly chicken recipes Health officials estimate that if Americans lowered their daily sodium intake to the recommended range, it would prevent up to 92,000 deaths annually.

The recommended daily level of sodium intake is 1,500 mg—about what you find in 2/3 teaspoon of table salt. Italian sausage stuffed chicken breast recipes (Note: While many equate salt with sodium, sodium is in fact a component of salt. Sweet italian sausage and chicken recipes Table salt is about 40 percent sodium; the rest is chloride.)

Although athletes who work out at a high intensity for several hours a day can get away with eating more, people who work out only moderately (for an hour or less per day) typically don’t sweat enough to warrant a high-sodium diet. Shrimp sausage and chicken jambalaya recipe According to estimates, the average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium a day—more than twice the recommended amount.

Since jerky is cured with salt, even the basic varieties are fairly high in sodium. Heart healthy chicken recipes easy For example, a one-ounce serving of Oberto All Natural Original Beef Jerky contains 520 mg of sodium—equivalent to 22 percent of the daily recommended value. Heart healthy chicken recipes Additional seasonings can take the sodium content even higher. Heart healthy chicken recipes for two A one-ounce serving of Jack Links Cholula Hot Sauce Beef Jerky packs 690 mg of sodium. Heart healthy baked chicken breast recipes Since it’s easy to wolf down two or three servings in a sitting, you could be consuming over 2,000 mg of sodium. Red kidney beans and chicken recipe Yikes!

Sugar can be an additional concern. Heart healthy crockpot chicken recipes Plain jerkies aren’t high in sugar, but certain seasoned varieties are. Heart smart chicken breast recipes If the name makes it sound like it has a sweet taste, you should peep the sugar content before snacking. Buffalo wing chicken dip recipe KRAVE Pineapple Orange Beef Jerky contains 10 grams of sugar per serving, and their Grilled Sweet Teriyaki Pork Jerky contains a staggering 16 grams per serving. Bat wing chicken wing recipe That extra sugar adds extra calories and has a serious negative impact on the food’s overall nutritional profile.

Many worry that jerky contains additives such as sodium nitrate or MSG. Hot wing chicken dip recipe People worry about sodium nitrate because it can form nitrosamines in the body, which have been found to be cancer-causing in certain animals. Buffalo wild wings chicken recipe The amount of sodium nitrate in cured meats like jerky is not considered dangerous. Wing ding chicken recipes The National Toxicology Program conducted a multi-year study in 2000, concluding that nitrate was safe at the levels used. Broiler chicken definition Since then, the levels of nitrate used in meats has only gone down. Free range chicken definition A study conducted by the University of Minnesota stated that “nitrite as used in meat and meat products is considered safe because known benefits outweigh potential risks.” Most brands of jerky don’t even use sodium nitrite, so if it is a concern for you, you have plenty of options.

MSG refers to monosodium glutamate, a form of the naturally occurring chemical glutamate. Roaster chicken definition It’s used to help food taste more savory. Organic chicken definition MSG has been loosely associated with side effects like weight gain, but the research is far from conclusive. Jerk chicken definition However, the majority of popular jerky brands no longer include MSG in their recipes.

RELATED: Is Sodium Nitrate Really Worth The Worry? The Verdict

In most cases, jerky is a great snack. Broasted chicken definition It’s low in fat and calories and packed with protein. Spring chicken definition It can help you recover faster, build more muscle and feel fuller throughout the day.

The criticisms of jerky’s nutrition seem a bit nitpicky. Buffalo wild wings chicken dip recipe Sure, it can be a bit high in sodium. Buffalo wild wings blackened chicken recipe But if you manage to stick to just one serving and you’re sweating on a regular basis, that should be a non-issue. Buffalo wild wings boneless chicken recipe A few varieties are high in sugar, but those are rare and easily identifiable. Buffalo wild wings jerk chicken recipe Concerns over MSG, sodium nitrate and artificial flavors might have some merit, but many major jerky manufacturers simply don’t use such ingredients anymore. Broiler fryer chicken definition If they do, it’s in one or two select varieties.

Jerky can be an awesome snack. Fried chicken definition Do your research, look at the nutrition facts and check out the ingredients label. Kentucky fried chicken uk menu If there are no obvious red flags, you’re all set to snack with a clear mind.

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