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Once you get the basics of the keto diet down, it becomes easy and even fun to put together keto-friendly recipes for your daily meals. However, snacking may be a little more difficult. Many diets are destroyed by afternoon hunger and sudden cravings and it can be difficult to understand if things like keto beef jerky or keto popcorn can fit into the ketogenic diet.
If you let yourself get too hungry between lunch and dinner, it can be tempting to reach for the junk food drawer or overeat later in the day. Therefore, it’s wise to have a snack time plan so you won’t destroy your diet at the office vending machine or corner store. Unfortunately, keto-friendly snacks can be difficult to come by in the average convenience store, market or break room.
Many snack foods—even those frequently touted as healthy options—can be detrimental to the keto diet. Commons snacks have too many carbs for the body to sustain ketosis. These snack foods include chips (both baked and fried), pretzels, fruit, protein bars, and trail mix. That means you will want to make a habit of carrying your own keto snacks.
Jerky is an easy choice with zero net carbs and tons of protein. As with any snack choice, you’ll want to carefully vet the snack brand and ingredient label. Make sure you aren’t getting fooled by added sugars, starches, and other food modifiers.
You should also pre-portion single serving sizes so you can snack without overeating.
If you need help finding other helpful Keto-Friendly Snacks check out our Free 7 Day Keto Meal Plan.
Is Beef Jerky Keto?
Many people wonder “Is beef jerky keto?” Yes! Meat is an ideal keto snacking option, but you can’t exactly grill a steak every few hours. Jerky lets you enjoy a solid cut of protein-rich beef in a convenient package. The snack is easy to portion out and eat in the right quantities. Many varieties are already sold in single-serving packages.
It’s hard to overeat jerky because you have to chew so much and take your time eating it. Plus, it is so dense with protein that you will not need a lot to keep snack cravings at bay.
If you’re concerned about jerky because you have heard that too much protein can compromise ketosis, you can rest easy. Once you find a variety that does not contain added sugars and other unwelcome ingredients, jerky can be a healthy snack to have every day.
As long as you keep a close eye on your carb consumption and eat plenty of healthy fats, you can freely eat jerky without worrying about throwing yourself out of ketosis. Therefore, your question of “Is beef jerky keto?” is answered.
You can also curb your protein concerns by exercising more. Focus on muscle-toning exercises that will use that extra protein as a building block for muscle growth.
What to Look for in Keto Beef Jerky
While beef jerky is generally a healthy, keto-friendly snack, it does not always fit the bill for the keto diet. Many jerky brands will load their products with extra sugar, food starches, and other junk ingredients.
Done right, jerky should contain little more than quality meat, salt, and spices.
You can make it yourself, but to save time, you can also rely on some keto beef jerky brands. Though not available everywhere, keto beef jerky is popping up in grocery store aisles, and many brands can be purchased online.
You will know that you have found a quality, keto-friendly variety when you see that there are zero carbs and zero sugars per serving.
Shorter ingredient lists are better. Those that list where they source their beef or at least specify “grass-fed beef,” will generally be better options. Higher-quality beef does not need added sugars to mask any off-flavors.
Good brands of keto jerky:
These varieties come in a wide variety of flavors and textures.
Chomps specialize in grass-fed beef sticks for an upgrade to a common salty snack, while People’s Choice is a more traditional take on jerky. Ayoba-Yo is a uniquely different type of jerky from South Africa called biltong, which is slowly air-dried rather than dehydrated.
With so many options, you can easily snack on beef jerky every day without getting tired of the flavor.
What to Pair with a Jerky Snack
Most beef jerky will have some fat content, but ideally, you would pair beef jerky with a higher fat snack to keep up optimal ketosis. Just be careful to watch your keto macros.
A great go-to choice is sliced avocado. It is high in good fats and its creamy texture is a perfect pairing with the salty flavor and rough texture of beef jerky.
For something a little more convenient, try full-fat cheese, all-natural nut butter, sardines, or hard-boiled eggs.
Dark chocolate can also be a suitable pairing with jerky, but make sure you are choosing chocolate with a high percentage of cacao and very little or no added sugars.
The keto diet leaves a lot of room for variety and delicious food options. However, it’s essential to prepare for the daily temptations you’ll face when you have snack cravings or are surrounded by unhealthy fast food options.