Exploring Zero-Sugar Jerky: A Healthy Snack Choice for 2024

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Last Updated on February 7, 2024

Image by Tomáš Sova on Pixabay

Image by Tomáš Sova on Pixabay

Sugar-free options are among the popular food choices for health-conscious individuals and those looking to reduce their sugar intake.

In 2024, zero-sugar jerky is gaining attention for its unique taste and nutritional benefits. This guilt-free treat consists of lean meat strips with a perfect blend of flavor and nutrients for snack lovers and fitness enthusiasts.

This guide will discuss sugar-free jerky’s various health benefits. We will also provide steps for making your own.

Is zero-sugar jerky easy to find?

Many jerky manufacturers add sweeteners to their products, making it difficult to find sugar-free jerky.

However, a growing number of options are categorized as old-fashioned or keto. These varieties use traditional preparation methods and natural ingredients that preserve the meat’s nutrients.

Health Benefits of Zero-Sugar Jerky

Sugar-free jerky is ideal for paleo, keto, and gluten-free diets. The following health benefits include:


Sugar-free jerky is dried meat packed with protein, with about seven grams per piece.

Protein is a macronutrient with building blocks called amino acids. The nine essential amino acids—isoleucine, lysine, leucine, histidine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine, valine, and tryptophan—must come from foods. They help repair cells and generate new ones.

The amount of protein you need depends on your calorie requirements. 

The recommended intake is 10 to 35 percent of your total calorie needs. For example, a 2,000-calorie diet requires 100 grams of protein, about 400 calories. One ounce of jerky can supply 10 percent of this protein goal.

Low fat, carbohydrates, and calories

Unlike traditional snacks with unhealthy fats and processed sugars, zero-sugar jerky offers a leaner alternative. The jerky-making process reduces the fat content, while the absence of sugars removes unnecessary calories and carbohydrates.

This combination makes it ideal for weight management. It can also minimize cholesterol levels, maintaining heart health.

Iron and vitamins

Zero-sugar jerky is an excellent source of iron.

Iron is a mineral that uses hemoglobin to carry oxygen across the body. Some hormones also require this mineral.

The daily intake depends on age, sex, and lifestyle. However, adult males (19 to 50 years old) typically require 8 mg, while women in the same category require 18 mg. 

Jerky can provide about four percent of these recommended intakes, making it ideal for those who want a little iron boost.

Blood sugar control

Zero-sugar jerky is ideal for people with diabetes or insulin resistance. Without added sugars, you won’t have to worry about spiking sugar levels while eating this snack. It provides a satisfying alternative that doesn’t sacrifice flavors.

The protein content also helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels by blunting sugars and carbohydrates from other snacks. Although it has minimal effect, it’s an essential process that can prevent blood sugar spikes.

Choosing a Zero-Sugar Jerky

Here are the things you must remember when choosing a zero-sugar jerky.

  1. Read the ingredients list first. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires manufacturers to list the ingredients of their jerky products.
  2. Check the additives and preservatives. Natural preservatives like salt are common, but be wary of chemical or artificial flavors.
  3. Opt for high-quality meats. It’s best to choose grass-fed meats free of hormones and antibiotics.
  4. Read the nutritional information. Even though it says sugar-free, read the nutritional label to see the sodium, protein, and fat content. It will help you understand the jerky’s overall nutritional profile.
  5. Choose the type of meat based on your dietary preferences and taste. Jerky comes in meat options like beef, chicken, and turkey. It may also come in vegan options like mushrooms.

How To Make Your Own Zero-Sugar Jerky

Making your own sugar-free jerky can be a rewarding experience. You have control over the ingredients, ensuring your snack is free from sugars and additives.

Steps for making a homemade zero-sugar jerky:

  1. Slice your meat between 1/8 and ¼ thick within or against the grain. Within the grain creates tougher jerky, while cutting against the grain makes it soft.
  2. Mix the seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt), soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl to create the marinade. You can also add your preferred seasonings.
  3. Marinate the meat until all pieces are evenly coated. Cover with Saran wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight.
  4. Pat the meat pieces with paper towels to remove excess marinade. Then, arrange them on the wire rack over each pan and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. 
  5. Preheat the oven or dehydrator to 165°F.
  6. Cook for three to five hours. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the two-hour mark. Check at the three-hour mark and every 20 minutes until desired doneness.
  7. Once done, let the jerky cool and store it in an airtight container.

However, if you prefer a ready-to-eat option, go for People’s Choice zero-sugar beef jerky. This delectable jerky caters to both your taste buds and dietary needs. Whether following a paleo, keto, or gluten-free diet, it’s a guilt-free and portable snack that can help you stay committed.

Go Healthy With Sugar-Free Jerky

Including sugar-free jerky in your diet is a savvy way to satisfy the taste buds without sacrificing health. This snack offers the perfect combination of flavors and nutrition, suitable for anyone mindful of their eating habits.

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