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Is Beef Jerky Keto?

Beef jerky is a delicious and popular snack to many due to the fact that it is shelf-stable and easy to eat on the go.

However, if you’re following a ketogenic diet, you might be curious to know: Is beef jerky keto?

In this article, I will cover some key information about eating beef jerky on the ketogenic diet, including whether beef jerky is keto.

Let’s get started.

Before I cover whether beef jerky is keto, it’s important to give you a better understanding of the ketogenic diet as a whole.

Is Beef Jerky Keto

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

In short, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. This means that foods that are high in carbs, as well as high in sugar, should be reduced or eliminated from your diet so as not to spike your blood sugar.

Is Beef Jerky Keto?

Beef jerky can be keto, with the caveat that it has to contain 0g sugar and 0g carbohydrates.

That being said, not all beef jerky is keto-friendly, so to make the claim that beef jerky is keto would be a blanket statement that isn’t true in all situations.

It’s also true that many beef jerky companies market their jerky products as being ‘keto friendly’ when they aren’t in reality.

For instance, companies will claim to be keto-friendly, but a closer inspection of the nutrition labels reveals that the jerky contains 1 to 3g of carbohydrates per serving.

This obviously isn’t conducive to a ketogenic diet, so it’s essential that you’re not taking what these companies claim as black and white.

This sneaky marketing ploy is an attempt to capitalize off the keto diet, so make sure that you’re always on the lookout to clarify whether the jerky is suitable for you to eat.

You should always remain wary of companies claiming that a product is keto-approved, as there is no official certification to qualify jerky as being keto-friendly.

Just because something claims to be keto-friendly, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to use your own discretion to determine whether the jerky is suitable for you to eat.

If you’re unsure, make sure that you are checking the ingredients lists and nutrition labels before buying a package of jerky. After all, the last thing you want to happen is to wait until you get home to check, as you will be left with a bag of jerky that you can’t eat!

What You Should Be Aware Of

Many people aren’t aware of how expensive the production of jerky actually is.

It can take several pounds of raw meat to make what we know as jerky, as the dehydration process pulls out the moisture in the beef jerky in order to make it shelf-stable. During this process the volume of meat shrinks significantly, making the production cost high.

As a way to help production yields, the beef jerky industry uses sugar and a variety of different sugar-based ingredients in their jerky products to add weight back into the product.

By adding sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, and other sugar-based ingredients, these companies can make additional profit, which is why they are so commonly found in jerky.

Sugar and sugar-based ingredients offer a way to achieve more weight in the final product at a reduced cost. After all, it’s significantly cheaper to sell sugar than it is to sell beef!

Making Homemade Keto-Friendly Jerky

A good way of ensuring that beef jerky is keto-friendly is to make it yourself.

While this isn’t as convenient as grabbing a packet of pre-made jerky from the store, it’s a good way of making sure that this snack isn’t going to affect your diet.

The great thing about jerky is that it is a shelf-stable snack, meaning that it doesn’t require refrigeration. As a result, you can make a large batch of jerky and keep it in a cool, dry place such as your pantry to snack on.

When making your own jerky, you just need to be mindful that the ingredients that you’re adding into the marinade don’t contain sugar to keep it keto-friendly.

Below is an example of the kinds of ingredients that you will typically find in a keto-friendly beef jerky recipe.

Homemade Keto-Friendly Beef Jerky Recipe

Homemade Keto-Friendly Beef Jerky Recipe


  • 1.5lb flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of black pepper

As you can see by this simple recipe, you don’t need a tonne of sugary products to make jerky taste great.

In fact, it highlights that the addition of sugar, although tasty, is unnecessary, although you can recognize why companies add it to their products.

With a few simple ingredients and good-quality flank steak, you can make deliciously seasoned jerky without the worry of additional sugar or sugar-based products messing up your ketogenic diet.

Not only does making your own keto jerky taste great, but it also provides you with the reassurance that it is safe for you to eat without causing a spike in blood sugar.

Or you can buy it from Amazon.

How Much Beef Jerky Can You Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?

Jerky can be a great snack to enjoy when you’re following a ketogenic diet.

That being said, frequently snacking, in general, isn’t a great way to stay on track with your weight loss journey.

In addition to this, a big downside to eating beef jerky as a snack on this diet is that it is low fat. This comes down to the fact that the lower the fat content, the longer the jerky can remain fresh longer without spoiling.

However, provided that you’re eating 0 carbs, 0 sugar, keto can be enjoyed in moderation on the keto diet with the addition of fattier foods.

Foods such as nuts, avocados, and olives are great for enjoying alongside sugar-free jerky to ensure that you’re still primarily prioritizing healthy fats while still being able to enjoy jerky.

In Summary

Beef jerky can be keto, provided that it contains 0g sugar and 0g carbohydrates.

That being said, not all jerky that is marketed as ‘keto friendly’ is suitable for the ketogenic diet.

As a result, you will need to make sure that you check the ingredients list to determine whether the jerky is actually suitable for you to eat.

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