Imagine this: Your hunger horses are raging but the next KETO meal is still 2 hours away! Gazing at the clock you realize that you’ll be miserable by that time!
You’ve searched your room, kitchen and the fridge but can’t find any keto-friendly snack to end your starvation.
And… cooking a meal from scratch seems too much work right now.
To avoid such a situation, and for your love of meaty snacks, you may want to ask “is beef jerky keto?”
Anyone living the Keto way of life surely relates to this dilemma: You are craving for something GOOD but don’t want to be kicked out of ketosis!
With some amount of planning and proper knowledge, you can maintain a healthy snacking routine and conquer your weight loss goals!
“So, is beef jerky keto?”
The answer is YES, provided that a few conditions are met with.
But first, to understand the answer properly, let’s brush up on your Keto basics.
That way you can yourself identify whether a food is keto or not. And it will also solve all your snacking problems for the months to come!
Let’s recap the working of the Keto diet, what the Ketogenic Diet is and how to know which food is keto.[READ: Keto Diet 101]
What is Keto Diet
Going keto means limiting your net carb intake to less than 40g (generally) so that your body utilizes fat instead of carbs.
This significant reduction in carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis helps you turn into an efficient fat-burning machine in no time! It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply great amounts of energy to the brain, providing that much talked about “mental clarity” on keto.
Ketogenic diets promote healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin, which provide plenty of health benefits and also boost ketone levels in the body.
In fact, doctors have been prescribing the use of keto diet as a treatment for Epilepsy in children, for more than 100 years. This diet has shown significant results to reduce the number of seizures and in some cases, even eliminate them completely.
If you want to harness the benefits like reversing type 2 diabetes or if you have a lot of weight to lose, the keto diet may be right for you.
Before we talk about having beef jerky on keto, let’s understand the specific kinds of foods you can have on the Ketogenic diet.
Note: Most of the people don’t know the EXACT amount of carbs they need, based on their age, weight, activity levels, and ideal weight. You may be putting all the efforts but if you got this number wrong, you’ll see only half the results.
What to Eat on the Keto Diet
The keto diet plan revolves around high fat, moderate protein and very low carbs throughout the day.
Foods allowed in the Keto diet:
- Meat: Red meat, steak, chicken and turkey, ham, sausage, bacon,
- Fatty fish: Including salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
- Eggs: Opt for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
- Cheese: Pick unprocessed cheese choices like cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella cheese.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, okra, etc.
- Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and all types of spices.
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Foods to be AVOIDED on Keto:
- Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
- Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
- Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
- Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Unhealthy fats: Unhealthy fats like processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc. don’t do any good for you
- Alcohol: It is quite high in carbs.
An ideal Keto diet is low in carbs and based on healthy, organically sourced whole foods.
Yeah, yeah, yeah..but…is beef jerky keto?
Is Beef Jerky Keto Friendly?
Yes, you can enjoy beef jerky on keto, but it has to meet these conditions:
- It MUST be a sugar free beef jerky
- It MUST be a low carb beef jerky (or no carbs at all)
- Pair it with a HIGH fat dressing or food item for maximum benefits.
Here is a detailed explanation for an ideal keto-friendly beef jerky:
Beef does not have any carbs, so you could say that beef jerky without sugar is definitely a keto.
But there is a TRUTH you need to know:
It takes around 3lbs of beef to produce just 1lb of jerky (only 1/3rd yield). To increase its shelf life, all the moisture is extracted out from the beef, which reduces the low carb jerky to 1/3rd its size.
“Won’t it make the sugar free jerky expensive?”
To tackle this problem, marketers try to inflate the size of Jerky with high-fructose corn syrup, honey and other sugary ingredients.
Hence by adding sugar, manufacturers can use less beef (the most expensive ingredient), and more sugar, to compensate the lost volume.
Trying to cash in on the popularity of the keto diet trend, many jerky companies today claim to be keto-friendly, but their nutrition label says otherwise.
Identifiying the right 0 carb beef jerky is only half the battle won. Since beef jerky is very low in fat, you should ideally pair it with some cheese or nuts to make it a fully satisfying Keto friendly meal.
So an ideal keto-friendly Jerky should be 0 carb, 0 sugar, and eaten with a high fat food. And If you want a ready-to-eat high-fat beef snack, buy some pemmican instead.
MORE: Is Zevia Keto?
Keto Beef Jerky: Other Things to Know
A Keto diet is well known for busting your cravings and making you all the more energetic throughout the day. Due to the high-fat content in your meals, you may not feel the need to snack at all.
But then there are times when you are scrounging your kitchen like a hungry wild boar!
For an on-the-go keto snacking solution, keep no sugar beef jerky readily available. You may keep it in your purse, gym bag, glove compartment or desk at work.
When stored in a cool and dry place, Keto Jerky has a shelf-life of one year. It does not require any special handling or refrigeration. Most brands’ Jerky snacks come in smaller, re-sealable bags making them easy to open, store and enjoy.
How much jerky is TOO MUCH Jerky on Keto?
Speaking Keto-wise, 0 carb Keto Jerky does not impact ketosis as it is free from carbs. However, if you go on a Jerky-binge, the calories might add up to big numbers and stall your weight loss on Keto.
When cooking seems too overwhelming, use 0 carb beef jerky for any keto-friendly meal, as there is no preparation required.
MORE: Is Cassava Flour Keto?
Keto Snacks other than Low Carb Jerky
Family, travel, kids, untimely cravings and a hectic work schedule can all tempt you to cheat on your keto diet. This is where an arsenal of healthy snacking options come to your rescue!
Here are a few good Keto snacking options:
- Canned Sardines (even better if canned with olive oil)
- A handful of nuts
- Full-fat cheese like string cheese, cheddar cheese, and cheese wheels,
- Add some chia seeds or flaxseeds to nut butter or nut mixes
- Cheese with olives
- Low carb bars: Read the labels carefully and go for really low carb bars
- Cheese chips like Whisps or Moon Cheese (love the crunch!)
- 1–2 hard-boiled eggs
- 90% dark chocolate
- Seaweed snacks (they are almost calorie-free)
- A low-carb milkshake with almond milk, cocoa powder, and nut butter
- Full-fat yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
- Strawberries and cream
- Bone broth
- Keto Peanut Butter Cookies
- Kale Chips (Sugar-free)
- Celery with salsa and guacamole
- Smaller portions of leftover meals
Any beef jerky is keto friendly as long as it has zero carbs or very little carbs (>1 g).
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is keto friendly since it has effectively zero sugar.
Many brands’ Beef Jerky has 1-3 g of carbs because they try to add volume with the sugary syrups. However, there are many brands that offer zero carb beef jerky.
Since beef does not have any carbs, you can eat beef jerky on a low carb diet. Make sure to read the labels carefully and avoid any sugary ingredients.
If dried properly and kept in a cool and dry place, beef jerky can last up to 1 year.
Beef jerky gets reduced to 1/3rd of its volume when cooked and sold in the market. That’s the reason why beef jerky is expensive.
Is beef Jerky Keto?
Yes, beef jerky is Keto BUT only when:
- It is a sugar free and low carb beef jerky
- It is paired with a high-fat food.
While an excellent source of quality protein (and low in carbs and sugar), the low fat content is one of the drawbacks of jerky for the keto diet.
You can make it a perfect keto-friendly snack by pairing it with some cheese, nuts, or nut butter.