Love it, Like it, Hate it: Beef Jerky, Turkey Jerky, and beyond

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Jerky can make a great protein-rich snack in a pinch, but there can be a tremendous difference between brands on shelves.  In today’s Love it, Like it, Hate it, we’re Getting the Skinny on what to look for – and what to steer clear of – when it comes to store-bought jerky.

 

Nutrition Facts below are listed for one ounce of jerky

 

LOVE IT:  Jerky that’s low in sugar with no added nitrites

 

EPIC Salmon Bites with Maple & Dill (Whole Foods)

  • 60 calories – 200 mg sodium – 2 grams carb – 0 fiber – 2 grams sugar – 9 grams protein
  • Ingredients include wild caught salmon, maple sugar, sea salt, dill, onion powder, garlic powder

 

Louisville Vegan Jerky (GF)

  • 70 calories – 500 mg sodium – 4 grams carb – 2 grams fiber – 1 gram sugar – 7 grams protein
  • Ingredients include non-GMO soy protein, tamari, olive oil, spices

 

 

LIKE IT:  Jerky that’s relatively low in sugar with no added nitrites; some are higher sodium as well

 

Chef’s Cut Real Steak Jerky (Costco find)

  • 100 calories – 390 mg sodium – 6 grams carb – 6 grams sugar – 12 grams protein

 

Turkey Perky Jerky – Teriyaki & Original (GF)

  • Original: 80 calories – 350 mg sodium – 8 grams carbs – 7 grams sugar – 10 grams protein

 

Krave Jerky – Chili Lime + other flavors (GF)

  • Per ounce: 90 calories – 380 mg sodium – 12 grams carbs – 11 grams sugar – 8 grams protein

 

 

HATE IT: Jerky with added nitrites

 

Jack Link’s Reduced Sodium Jerky (low in saturated fat, but contains nitrites + still 310 mg sodium)

  • 80 calories – 310 mg sodium – 3 grams carbs – 3 grams sugar – 13 grams protein

 

Jack Link’s Beef Steak Original – made with MSG + sodium nitrites + >600 mg sodium

  • 60 calories – 624 mg sodium – <1 gram carb – <1 gram sugar – 12 grams protein

 

Slim Jim Original:  More than 2x calories of most jerky and ~25% day’s limit of saturated fat & sodium

  • 160 calories – 4.5 grams sat fat – 550 mg sodium – 5 grams carbs – 1 gram sugar – 7 grams protein
  • 2x more fat than protein, nearly as much carbs as protein

 

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