Do you love beef jerky? It is a great snack, but is it bad for your high blood pressure? The answer is not clear cut. On one hand, beef jerky is high in sodium which is linked to the development of hypertension. However, on the other hand, beef is also rich in protein and low in fat – both of which are good for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. So what should you do with this information? Here are some tips that will help!
Why Is Beef Jerky Bad for Your Blood Pressure?
Beef is high in sodium. Sodium is an essential nutrient but it is also a known contributor to hypertension and heart disease. It can be hard to maintain your recommended daily intake of salt without eating processed food or fast-foods, which are typically high in sodium content. The amount of beef jerky you eat will depend on the size as well as how much meat is inside each serving. One ounce (30 grams) is equivalent to two strips with about 160mg of sodium – not too bad if you compare this number to one regular sandwich that has about 600 mg per slice!
Are There Benefits to Eating Beef Jerky?
To answer this question, we first need to know what is in store. Beef jerky is a dried meat that is made from beef and seasonings like salt, pepper or sugar-style brown sugar; it is typically smoked for flavor but not cooked at all. Jerky has been around for centuries and is usually associated with being a healthy low fat food alternative when compared to other processed foods like lunch meats (processed ham) or soft cheeses that are high in sodium. When you read the list of ingredients on most packages of beef jerky, they will have some form of seasoning listed such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, malt vinegar or liquid smoke – these are good sources of potassium which can help your blood pressure.
Past research has shown that people who eat meat have higher levels of cholesterol and saturated fat in their bodies than those who don’t. This is a concern because both can raise the risk for heart disease or stroke later on down the line. But some studies show that eating lean cuts of red meat may be good for your health – as long as it’s not fried, well done or processed like lunch meats which are full of sodium-heavy preservatives and chemicals to prevent bacterial growth from occurring due to improper storage temperatures in grocery stores. In contrast, lean red meat is a source of protein, iron and zinc which can help lower your blood pressure.
One study on beef jerky showed that eating it after workouts helped to reduce their post-exercise systolic blood pressure by an average of 13 mmHg – the same heart-healthy effects as taking two different types of medications. Other studies have shown similar findings with people who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease or hypertension (high blood pressure) because they were overweight, had diabetes, smoked cigarettes or had abnormal cholesterol levels. In addition to being rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium – nutrients found in many vegetables but not as readily available in meats other than organically raised animals such as grass fed cattle – the lean cuts from cows can provide a high-protein, low fat and cholesterol diet that is not easy to find in the Standard American Diet.
Bottom Line? The beef jerky is tasty, but it’s not the wisest choice for your health. As you can see from this article and our research, there are some benefits to eating a little bit of beef jerky every now and then as long as it doesn’t replace other healthy foods in your diet.