Is “Healthy” Jerky a Good Snack?

Beef jerky’s had a makeover. Brands like Krave have dumped the nitrites (that could be better, if their celery juice has less natural nitrites). They’ve also switched from sugar to evaporated cane syrup (that’s no better).


Jerkys are high in protein since they’re mostly beef, turkey, or pork. But they’re also high in sodium—250 to 550 milligrams in 1 oz. (about a third of a bag) of Krave, for example. Oberto All Natural Jerkys pack 390 to 600 mg of sodium per ounce.

Ruby Bay King Salmon Jerky, with 810 to 960 mg of sodium—half a day’s max—in a 1.25 oz. bag, is even worse. Even Primal Strips vegan jerkys—with their seitan, shiitake mushrooms, or isolated soy protein—squeeze about 350 mg into each strip.

Want salmon? Try Trader Joe’s Wild Salmon Jerky (290 mg of sodium per ounce). Otherwise, pick up Whole Foods 365 Organic or Trader Joe’s Turkey Jerky (270 mg per ounce). doesn’t accept any paid advertising or corporate or government funding. Any products recommended by have been vetted by our staff of nutritionists and are not advertisements by the manufacturers.

Salt Jerky

2 Replies to “Is “Healthy” Jerky a Good Snack?”

  1. I’ve always thought that jerky foods contained a number of nasty preservatives and were so heavily processed that any nutritional benefits were minimal at best.

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