Are you looking for a healthy, satisfying snack that won’t derail your diet? Beef jerky and protein bars are both popular options, but which one is better?
Snacking can be a great way to curb cravings and tide you over until your next meal, but it’s important that the snacks we choose are healthy and satisfying and won’t put us off course with our diets.
Fortunately, two popular high-protein options – beef jerky or protein bars – provide a guilt-free snack. But which one should you choose?
To comprehend the differences between these two snacks, it’s important to understand what each of them has going for and against them to make an informed choice.
Let’s dive into more detail.
Beef Jerky Pros
- Beef Jerky is high in protein. Of the two snacks, beef jerky contains a much higher proportion of protein – 33 grams per 100g vs 14.7 grams for protein bars, a 126% difference in favor of beef jerky – making it the perfect snack if you’re looking to increase your protein intake as part of a healthy diet.
- Beef Jerky is low in calories and carbs. Despite its high protein content, beef jerky contains fewer calories on average than a protein bar – 410 kcal per 100g vs 346 for the bar. Additionally, it has significantly lower levels of carbohydrates (3-4% compared to 35%), making this an ideal snack choice if you’re watching your calorie and carb intake.
- Beef Jerky has a long shelf life. Protein bars come with the downside of having an expiration date – usually within 4-6 months from production, whereas beef jerky can last much longer in the pantry. This makes it a convenient choice for snacking while on-the-go, or stocking up on as an emergency snack!
Beef Jerky Cons
- Beef Jerky has high levels of sodium and saturated fat. The main disadvantage to beef jerky is its relatively high salt content – 11 grams per 100g – as well as sodium and saturated fat, making it less healthy than protein bars.
- Beef Jerky is difficult to store if you’re out of the house for long periods of time – Unlike packaged protein bars which easily fit into your bag, beef jerky can be difficult to carry as it is usually sold in full-size packages that don’t hold up well while traveling or on expeditions.
- Beef Jerky has an intense taste and smell – Not for everyone! While some people love the flavor of dried meat snacks like beef jerky, others may find the taste and smell slightly overpowering. Additionally, beef jerky is obviously out of the question for people who abstain from meat products.
Protein Bar Pros
- Protein Bar is low sugar – The main advantage of protein bars is that they often contain far less sugar and are therefore lower in calories than beef jerky. For people looking to lose weight or maintain ideal body composition, protein bars can be a good option as their high fiber and low sugar content make them more satiating than beef jerky.
- Protein bars have a high amount of fiber – In addition to having fewer calories per serving, the average protein bar also contains higher amounts of dietary fiber compared to beef jerky – around 10 grams for every 100g provided by a typical store-bought brand vs almost 1.8g in 100g of regular varieties of pork-based jerky – meaning they’ll help you feel fuller faster after eating and possibly aid with digestion thanks to greater fiber intake.
- Protein bars have tons of vitamins and minerals – Finally, protein bars contain significantly more vitamins – such as B6 and D in particular – minerals like zinc or selenium at higher levels than beef jerky does, making them a better choice when it comes to macronutrients for those looking after their overall health beyond basic nutrition needs.
- Super easy to store – Protein bars are lightweight and compact, making them significantly easier to store than bulky beef jerky. This makes it much simpler for you to take these snacks with you out of the house or fit them into your busy schedule when necessary.
Protein Bar Cons
- Protein bars often have a lot more unnatural ingredients – Protein bars often contain a lot of added sugars, ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, which can add calories but offer little nutritional benefit. Additionally, many protein bars are also heavily processed and include long lists of unrecognizable ingredients.
- There are high amounts of carbs – When it comes to the carb content, protein bars tend to be more processed and therefore have a lot of added starches which can result in high carbohydrate counts. This could make them less suitable for those on low-carb diets or looking to replace a meal with something nutritious but not too heavy.
- Typically costs more – Lastly, protein bars tend to be much more expensive than beef jerky. A good quality 100g pack of beef jerky is often around the $10 mark, whereas a comparable amount of protein bar can cost up to double that price.
Protein Bars vs Jerky: Which To Choose?
Choosing between protein bars and beef jerky as a snack can be tricky. Both provide nutrition to get you through the day, but there are some important differences that must be taken into account when deciding which one is better for your individual needs.
The first main difference between beef jerky and protein bars is their primary nutrient source. Protein bars are typically higher in calories due to the variety of ingredients included, while jerky tends to focus more on proteins as its nutrient delivery system.
Therefore a person looking for meal replacements may prefer protein bars with added fiber, which helps keep hunger and blood sugar levels stable. Alternatively, someone wanting a lightweight snack with higher lean protein content may opt for jerky over the bars.
When it comes to convenience of consumption, both beef jerky and protein bars can be eaten on the go since they are preportioned into nifty snack-sized packages. The packaging makes it easier to keep portions in check when eating jerky over the larger bars, so this may appeal more if you’re trying to watch caloric intake and stick with a meal plan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is beef jerky an unhealthy snack?
For many years, beef jerky has gotten a bad rap. The few store-bought varieties that are stocked on shelves can be high in sodium and processed ingredients, as well as calories and unhealthy fats.
But today’s modern take on the classic snack offers healthier options with natural herbs and spices and better-for-you ingredients like grass-fed beef or turkey jerky that is free from nitrates, carrageenan, and other artificial preservatives.
However, it’s still important to be mindful when shopping for jerky as some brands are known for adding sugar, which can significantly derail their nutritional benefits.
In addition, even with the low-calorie content of individual pieces, it can be easy to eat a large quantity without realizing it. Adding additional unwanted calories and sodium.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your snack, opt for all-natural jerky brands that are minimally processed and naturally sweetened, making beef jerky an ideal healthy option when paired in moderation with other snacks throughout your day.
Is it OK to eat protein bars everyday?
No, it’s not OK to eat protein bars every day. Protein bars are a common and convenient snack option that provides you with many different nutrients, so they can be beneficial if consumed in moderation.
However, for those looking to lose or manage their weight consuming too many of them can be a major concern. Nutritional value should not be the only consideration when deciding whether or not to eat protein bars daily.
For instance, while many manufacturers claim their products contain no trans fats and simple sugars; this is often false since some of these ingredients are used in pre-packaged food production processes (e.g., as preservatives).
Moreover, if consumed regularly, they may provide too much sugar, which could lead to problems like weight gain due to increased cravings for more sugary foods/drinks after eating them each day – resulting in further weight gain over time instead of losing it through dieting efforts alone – leading you back around a full circle where started from!
Is it OK to eat beef jerky everyday?
Eating beef jerky every day may seem like an easy way to get your daily protein, but it’s not advisable due to its high fat and sodium content. Beef jerky is a popular snack food that traditionally has been made from strips of dried meat with added spices for flavor. It usually contains large amounts of sodium and saturated fats, making it an unhealthy choice for frequent consumption.
Though the current nutritional values can widely vary from brand to brand, beef jerky tends to have a high fat and sodium content in general, making it difficult to recommend as part of a healthy diet.
In addition, eating too much beef jerky may also lead you towards less healthy snacking choices in the long run. For example, if you’re relying on beef jerky daily to get your necessary protein and other nutrients, it might be easier for cravings for indulgent snacks such as candy or chips to creep up afterward since those contain little nutritional value.
Therefore, even though having an occasional serving of this snack food is fine, regularly eating beef jerky isn’t recommended. Instead, going for whole foods like eggs or nuts can provide your body with more essential vitamins and minerals that benefit health without a significant contribution from saturated fats and sodium found in beef jerky.
Is beef jerky okay for weight-loss?
Beef jerky is a popular snack that has gained even more attention recently. Not only is it high in protein, low in fat, and packed with flavor, but some studies suggest that it may help to reduce the desire for unhealthy snacking amongst dieters. However, whether beef jerky can actually be beneficial for weight loss depends on several factors, and it is important to understand the pros and cons before relying too heavily on this snack.
For starters, beef jerky can provide much protein in each serving without many accompanying calories. While fresh lean cuts of meat are ideal when trying to lose weight, beef jerky provides some convenience as it does not require any preparation.
Nevertheless, when eating too much of this high-salt food over time can lead to health issues such as dehydration and even hypertension if consumed in excess. Therefore people should consider all the factors that affect their health before including a portion of jerky in their daily diet plan for long-term benefits.
On the one hand, its low-calorie count makes it a great choice for those who are trying to cut back on calories without sacrificing the protein in their diet. Additionally, beef jerky is often relatively low in unhealthy fats compared with other snack meat forms, such as pepperoni or salami, which can be high sources of saturated fat and cholesterol if eaten too frequently.
On the flip side, though, it does contain added salt and preservatives, so portion control should definitely come into play here.
In the end, it all comes down to your individual needs. Both beef jerky and protein bars are perfectly acceptable forms of snack food, but they have distinct advantages and disadvantages suited for different situations.
Beef Jerky provides a low-carb, high-protein option with longer shelf life, whereas protein bars offer more variety in terms of nutritional ingredients at a higher expense as well as shorter expiration dates, so you’ll need to choose based on what best fits into your dietary goals or lifestyle requirements when deciding between them.
Whether you’re looking for meal replacement or just a healthy snack, either beef jerky or protein bars can do the job nicely. Just remember to read labels and monitor portion sizes when picking between these two foods—both have their own nutritional value that could benefit your body in various ways!