If you eat beef jerky, one common question you might have is how much sugar is in each slice. 

On average, there is about 1.8 grams of sugar in a single slice of beef jerky. The amount of sugar you’ll find in each slice of beef jerky will depend on the type of meat and marinade you use, and what brand you consume. 

Why Does Beef Jerky Have Added Sugar?

Like with most foods, sugar is added to beef jerky to make it more flavorful. However, sugar is also used as a preservative, which helps protect against mold and other bacterial growth that can quickly spoil food. 

Without sugar, you run the risk of having your beef jerky spoil faster. 

Can You Make Beef Jerky Without Sugar?

Yes, you can. One of the most popular online beef jerky recipes follows the Keto diet, which is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims at getting more calories through protein as opposed to fat. On the Keto diet, beef jerky is usually made with simple ingredients such as flank steak, salt, pepper, chili and garlic powders. This type of beef jerky doesn’t use a marinade and cooks with the simple ingredients listed above. 

To make beef jerky without sugar, here’s what you do:

  • Thinly cut your flank steak against the muscle fibers
  • Cut the strips in half to make them thinner and let them rest for approx. 15 minutes
  • Cover them with plastic wrap and tenderize with a meat pounder
  • Toss them in with salt, pepper and spices
  • Line them on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 3 hours at 225 degrees fahrenheit

This is just one example of how you can cook jerky with less sugar. Most homemade beef jerky recipes include ingredients such as maple syrup and honey because they help add flavor to the meat. However, these products contain a lot of sugar. Maple syrup, for example, contains 14 grams of sugar, while honey contains 17 grams. Many online jerky recipes call for using ¼ cup of honey for every five pounds of steak. This is a huge amount of sugar, much more than the acceptable amount of added sugar. 

Should Diabetics Eat Beef jerky?

If you are a diabetic, how should you feel about eating beef jerky? The answer is that it depends on how much beef jerky you eat and how much serving is in the type of jerky. Most packaged brands of beef jerky contain 12+ grams of carbs per serving, but they only have 1 serving. 

Like with all food, you should eat beef jerky in moderation. Fortunately, there are a lot of recipes available on the market that offer healthier alternatives with less sugar, so you don’t have to give up your favorite snack. 

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