Is Beef Jerky Keto Friendly? (+ Jerky Sticks – Explained!)

The ketogenic diet (usually called just the keto diet) is one of the most popular diets used to lose weight. The point of this diet is to force your body to rely on ketone bodies made from stored fat instead of sugar coming from carbohydrates. 

In order to do that, you need to drastically decrease your intake of carbohydrates and increase your intake of fats, which leaves many people who try this diet with zero to no snack ideas after a while. 

Since so many things like fruits and cookies are obviously forbidden on this diet, there’s not much left, and therefore maybe even you had the idea of eating jerky to satisfy your appetite while on the keto diet.

But Is Beef Jerky Keto Friendly? Yes, beef jerky is keto-friendly! Well, at least some of it. And even when you manage to get your hands on that type, it doesn’t mean you can eat an infinite amount of it. 

The relationship between beef jerky and the keto diet is a bit complicated, but you don’t need to worry; you’ll find everything you need in this article. So without further ado, let’s get into it!

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Is beef jerky good for keto diet?

Beef jerky can indeed be an excellent snack while on the keto diet, especially for those who have too much going in their lives and are therefore having problems with maintaining their diet. 

Since jerky is relatively cheap, tasty, and most importantly easy-to-pack, it may be just the thing that’ll stop your kids and work schedule from interfering with your keto diet.

You must choose the right kind, though. It is clearly most important to make sure that there isn’t any sugar in it, but you ought not to pick those with incredibly high amounts of proteins.

Related: Is Beef Jerky Fattening?

Will beef jerky take me out of ketosis?

That is because otherwise, you would be able to eat only really tiny pieces of your jerky. Why? Well, if you ate lots of jerkies containing high amounts of protein, you would simply oversnack, and the big amount of protein would take you out of ketosis.

But that obviously doesn’t mean jerky isn’t keto-friendly; you just have to be really careful about what precisely the jerky you chose contains.

Does beef jerky have carbs?

And that isn’t only because of ludicrously high amounts of protein you’ll find in some jerky, but mainly because jerky can contain tons of carbohydrates as well. That is because more than a handful of jerky manufacturers put lots of carbohydrates in their products.

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Does beef jerky have sugar?

They usually use classic sugar, but honey, glucose-fructose syrup, and other sugar-based products can also be found in some types of jerky. Sugar is being used so much in the jerky industry because it allows the manufacturers to make more jerky from the same amount of raw meat.

That leaves them with more money, while we, who love jerky and are on the keto diet at the same time, are left with a bit of problem. Solving it isn’t hard, though, so let’s take a closer look at some of the most well-known jerky brands and find out which jerky exactly is the best for the keto diet.

Is homemade beef jerky keto-friendly?

But before looking at the store-bought jerky, we should firstly cover the jerky made at home because homemade beef jerky is simply a much better choice compared to any you can buy.

The reason for that is that when you’re making the jerky yourself, you have absolute control over what’ll be in it. Hence, there is no need to worry about added sugar being put in there.

This also allows you to choose some of the cuts of beef higher in fat so that the jerky will be really just like made for the keto diet.

Related: Is Beef Jerky Processed?

Even though the majority of jerky made by the famous brand Jack Link’s contains tons of sugar, they actually make keto-friendly jerky as well – it is called simply Zero Sugar Original Beef Jerky, and it was made exactly to attract people on the keto diet as well.

Is Old Trapper beef jerky keto-friendly?

And it is the same with jerky by Old Trapper – big amounts of sugars can be found in nearly every jerky made by this brand, with only one exception. That is a surprise, surprise, a product called Zero Sugar Beef Jerky, once again made especially to attract people to the keto diet.

Is Tillamook beef jerky keto-friendly?

Talking about the biggest jerky brands out there, it gets a little bit better only with Tillamook. Even though a big part of their products still contains tons of sugar, they also have a whole separated sugar-free category, where you can find nearly every type of their jerky.

Best keto-friendly beef jerky

Tillamook definitely seems like the best choice out of the most well-known brands; why should we stick just to them, though? There are many jerky manufacturers who don’t use sugar not only to appeal to people on the keto diet, and you can tell that when you’re eating their sugar-free products. Here we have three recommendations for you:

  • Cattaneo Bros. Range Beef Jerky Chipotle
  • People’s Choice Old Fashioned Original Beef Jerky
  • Side Project Jerky Pho Beef


Eating jerky while being on the keto diet is possible; you just have to pay attention to the amounts of proteins and sugars in it while you’re buying it. Of course, you can also make jerky on your own, which seems like an even wiser choice. Simply put, jerky is definitely keto-friendly; you just need to be sure you’re putting the right kind in your mouth because it may contain too many carbohydrates.

Also Read: Does Beef Jerky Make You Poop or Constipate You?


Image credits – Canva

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