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Old 11-29-2007, 02:44 PM   #1  
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Default I have a question ... Beef Jerky

Is beef jerky good for snacks??
It has high protein and low fat.. I'm thinking having beef jerky for my snacks to keep me full.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:51 PM   #2  
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Beef Jerky is relatively high in sodium, which means it will make some people retain water and slow down the scale. If you don't watch your sodium intake, though, it can be quite a good snack. I use it as "road trip" food - a healthy, high-protein item that I can pick up when I'm forced to pick food from a convenience store. Costco also sells a box of 18 or so individual packages that range from 70-90 calories each, and they are great to keep in a purse or backpack for emergency hunger.

So if you're not watching your sodium and don't mind a little bit of scale inflation due to sodium-related water retention, it'd probably be ok for you!
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:07 PM   #3  
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including increased risk of hypertension due to a high sodium diet
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:25 PM   #4  
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I like beef jerky as a snack because I am a textural eater... I like to chew things and it has to feel good in my mouth I think as long as you are controlling your portions and have adequate water intake, it is an OK choice every once in a while.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:44 PM   #5  
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Actually, my understanding is that sodium does not increase the risk of hypertension, and in fact, not everyone with hypertentsion is sensitive to sodium. Sodium does increase blood pressure for some people, but not everyone, even if they have high blood pressure.

I for example have mild to moderate high blood pressure, but sodium does not increase my blood pressure. Blood pressure medications often deplete either sodium or potassium, and generally people are given potassium sparing medications because the American diet is more likely to be low in potassium than sodium. I however, do not have much of a salt "tooth," for most foods, and do not use table salt, and avoid high salt products not for their sodium content, but because I don't like the taste of over-salted food, my blood sodium levels run on the low side, occasionally very low. I even had to take supplements at one point (low sodium levels can cause cardiac damage, so I was given supplements before a minor surgical procedure to make sure I didn't have a heart attack under anasthetic).

Because of low sodium levels, my doctor actually encourages me to add salt to my diet. Jerky and chinese food are the only high sodium foods I enjoy. Even though it doesn't affect my blood pressure, it does tend to cause a little water retention, so I do avoid salty food before my weekly weigh-in and drink extra water to flush out the extra water. I make my own jerky and dilute the soy sauce marinade or use reduced sodium soy sauce as a marinade (it still contains a significant amount of sodium, but since salt is a vital preservative in jerky, I don't recommend making homemade jerky without it).

Jerky is a concentrated food, though so the calories can add up. The nice thing about jerky though is that because it requires a lot of chewing, it seems like a lot more food than it actually is.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:54 PM   #6  
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I agree with kaplods--sodium does not cause hypertension. But, people with hypertension do have to be careful if their doctor tells them to be.

I wanted to mention that there is an animal-free jerky substitute that is really good! It is called "Stonewall's Jerquee" and it's made from soy. It is surprisingly good! If you didn't know it wasn't beef you probably wouldn't guess. 1.5 ounces (1 package) has 165 cals, 81 of which are fat cals. Still has the sodium, though.


Last edited by JayEll; 11-29-2007 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:54 PM   #7  
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I love beef jerky, its a terrific snack "once in a while"
I wouldnt suggest eating it for every snack, but I like to have it once in a while, usually once a week. I buy a big bag of it from costco and seperate it into ziploc bags per serving.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:56 PM   #8  
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I find it is a great snack, something nice to chew on and after one stick your mouth is tired enough that it doesn't want another. Like everyone else said, it's not for everyday, but it's a keeper!

On a historical note, jerky comes from the Quechua word charki and it's a process the ancient highland Peruvians used freeze dry and keep their food. It's traditionally made of llama meat and other than in one soup, it really tastes gross.
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:48 AM   #9  
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beef Archy, beef! That's really interesting info. Next time I'm hankering for some jerky, I'll thank the highland Peruvians for their ingenuity!
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