Love It, Like It, Hate It: Beef Jerky

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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.

We’ve got the skinny on what to look for and what to steer clear of when it comes to store-bought jerky, as seen on WGNO’s “Love it, Like it, Hate it” segment. The nutrition facts below are listed for one ounce of jerky

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

EPIC Salmon Jerky (Whole Foods)

  • 100 calories – 350 mg sodium – 6 grams carbs – 6 grams sugar – 8 grams protein
  • Ingredients include wild caught salmon, maple sugar, coconut oil and sea salt

The New Primal Beef Jerky

  • Original: 80 calories – 240 mg sodium – 6 grams carbs – 4 grams sugar – 13 grams protein
  • Ingredients include grass-fed beef, coconut aminos, pineapple juice, seasonings

Turkey Perky Jerky –Original (GF) | available at Costco, Whole Foods and Target

  • Original: 80 calories – 350 mg sodium – 8 grams carbs – 7 grams sugar – 10 grams protein
  • Ingredients include turkey, reduced sodium GF soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, etc.

LIKE IT!

EPIC Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon & Pork

  • Original: 120 calories – 240 mg sodium – 0 carbs – 0 sugar – 8 grams protein
  • Ingredients include uncured bacon (pork, salt, vinegar and celery powder)

Coconut Jerky – Vegan + Organic

  • Per ounce: 80 calories – 110 mg sodium – 12 grams carbs – 8 grams sugar – 1 grams protein
  • Ingredients include coconut meat, date paste, coconut sugar, sea salt and garlic powder

HATE IT!

Jack Link’s Peppered Jerky (Smart Snack TM)

  • Per ounce: 80 calories – 510 mg sodium – 8 grams carbs – 7 grams sugar – 10 grams protein
  • Ingredients include beef, sugar, brown sugar and salt

Matador Beef Jerky – Teriyaki

  • Per ounce: 80 calories – 710 mg sodium – 7 grams carbs – 6 grams sugar – 9 grams protein
  • Ingredients include beef, sugar, salt, fructose and MSG

Editor's note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples nor is she paid to recommend items.

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Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans. She can be reached at eatingright@nola.com.

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