{"id":605876977970,"title":"Are Slim Jims Bad For You? A Dietitian Answers","created_at":"2023-07-12T23:11:28-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Are Slim Jims Bad For You? A Dietitian Answers\",\n \"keywords\": \"are slim jims bad for you, are slim jims good for you, are slim jimbs healthy, slim jim, slim jims\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team and dietitian analyzes the ingredients in Slim Jim based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is healthy or unhealthy. We highlight some questionable additive ingredients and feature a video showing how Slim Jims are made.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/are-slim-jims-bad-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"http:\/\/djmazzoni.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Are_Slim_Jims_Bad_For_You_Thumbnail.png?v=1689218085\",\n\"width\": \"4064\",\n\"height\": \"4064\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8909876\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31246081\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6097542\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC9365633\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5098805\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8169157\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16792218\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/fish-oil-supplements-vs-fish-consumption\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"conventionally-raised animals\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"corn syrup\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"citric acid\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"sodium nitrite\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Dr. Livingood\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Slim Jim Short Sticks Original\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Giant Sticks\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"sodium\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"WIRED\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-07-12\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Are_Slim_Jims_Bad_For_You_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1689217703\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eS\u003c\/span\u003elim Jim is one of the most distinctive beef jerky brands in the US. The bright yellow packaging can be found in convenience and grocery stores across the country, and the brand serves as a convenient way to get protein while on the road.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBut what’s actually in Slim Jim other than animal protein? Are the other ingredients unhealthy? Is the sodium content a concern? And what do medical professionals have to say about Slim Jims?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Slim Jim based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not the popular snacks are bad for you.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll feature videos from medical professionals on the topic, and share our top jerky brand pick.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Slim_Jim_Ingredients_1_Optimized.png?v=1689217720\" alt=\"Slim Jim Original ingredients 1\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSlim Jim Original contains a large number of ingredients so we’ll break our analysis into two sections. The first set of ingredients are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBeef\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003epork\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003echicken\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e are unsurprisingly the first-listed ingredients, and there is no reference as to whether these ingredients are sourced from pastured or conventionally-raised animals.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8909876\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFoods\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal suggests that animal products sourced from pastured animals are more nutritious than those from conventional animals.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCorn syrup\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a cheap, refined sweetener. A 2019 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31246081\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e suggests that added sugars in excess are associated with increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and many Americans already consume too many added sugars from their diet.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe additional ingredients in Slim Jims are shown below:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Slim_Jim_Ingredients_2_Optimized.png?v=1689217738\" alt=\"Slim Jim Original ingredients 2\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural flavors\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a healthier option than artificial flavors, but a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEnvironmental Health Perspectives\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal suggests that some flavoring additives and their metabolites may be suboptimal for human health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eDextrose\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another sweetener.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCitric acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a flavor enhancer that’s \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6097542\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSodium nitrite\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a preservative, and food additive nitrites were shown to be associated with increased risk of some types of cancer in a 2022 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC9365633\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBased on their ingredients, we consider Slim Jims to be unhealthy\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and we do not recommend this product. It’s challenging to say whether a single food product is “bad for you” holistically because consuming anything in moderation has a likely negligible effect, but avoiding refined sugars, preservatives and nitrites seems like a logical nutrition choice.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut what do medical professionals have to say about whether or not Slim Jims are bad for you? We’ll feature some professional opinions in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eMedical Professionals on Slim Jims\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA Doctor of Natural Medicine named “Dr. Livingood” discussed the nutrition of Slim Jims in a YouTube video:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/BJ0dDPwjArs\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA fitness trainer named Korin Sutton shared his thoughts on the least healthy travel snacks:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cblockquote class=\"tiktok-embed\" cite=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@korinsutton\/video\/7196744798999530795\" data-video-id=\"7196744798999530795\" style=\"max-width: 325px; min-width: 325px;\"\u003e\n\u003csection\u003e\u003ca target=\"_blank\" title=\"@korinsutton\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@korinsutton?refer=embed\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003e@korinsutton\u003c\/a\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHere are Some of the Worst Snacks You Can Buy While Traveling\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ca target=\"_blank\" title=\"♬ original sound - Korin Sutton\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/music\/original-sound-7196995747169061678?refer=embed\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003e♬ original sound - Korin Sutton\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/section\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cscript async=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/embed.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs the Sodium a Problem?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn the previous ingredient analysis section we overviewed the ingredients in Slim Jim, and in this section we’ll discuss the nutrients, specifically sodium.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne serving of Slim Jim Short Sticks Original, which equals four sticks, only contains 130 milligrams (mg) of sodium.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can’t determine how much sodium is in the Giant Sticks, because the Ingredients \u0026amp; Nutrition button is broken on the brand’s website. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eThis is a consumer safety issue\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and we hope that the brand rectifies it, because some consumers are on low-sodium diets.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHigh sodium intake is associated with increased risk of mortality according to a 2016 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5098805\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, although research on this topic is mixed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA more recent \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8169157\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that sodium intake correlates positively with longevity, which is an opposite conclusion of the previously-cited review.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not consider the sodium content in one serving of Slim Jim Short Sticks Original to be high, and this is actually a lower sodium content than many processed food products.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eIn our opinion, the health effects of Slim Jims relate more to the ingredients than the sodium content.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut how are Slim Jims actually made? We’ll feature an animated video answering that question in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow Are Slim Jims Made?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA WIRED video with over 500,000 views shows how Slim Jims are made in a captivating animated video that’s under two minutes long:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/wUROLmsVoMg\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Healthy Packaged Protein Picks\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Beef_Jerky_Image.png?v=1674722574\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eFor consumers who want convenient, no-cooking protein options we believe there are some good options on the market.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eGrass-fed beef jerky\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e is a good choice, because meat from grass-fed animals is shown in \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16792218\/\"\u003emedical research\u003c\/a\u003e to be nutritionally superior to meat from conventionally-raised animals.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3XDd1Bm\"\u003eThe New Primal Grass-Fed Beef Jerky Sticks\u003c\/a\u003e is our top pick for a healthier meat product. They're convenient (no cooking required), sourced from exclusively grass-fed animals, free of nitrates and nitrites and also free of added sugar.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out The New Primal beef jerky sticks \u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3XDd1Bm\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e to the brand's official Amazon listing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eSardines\u003c\/strong\u003e are a cheap and convenient canned protein option with significant health benefits. As we documented in our review on the \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/fish-oil-supplements-vs-fish-consumption\"\u003ebenefits of fish oil supplements\u003c\/a\u003e, fish oil can support healthy cholesterol levels and provides potent anti-inflammatory effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3Hzw1ev\"\u003eWild Planet Sardines\u003c\/a\u003e is our top pick because they're sustainably sourced, packed in water and free of questionable additive ingredients. Sardines are also high in calcium, providing 15% DV in only 140 calories.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Wild Plant Sardines \u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3Hzw1ev\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e to the brand's official Amazon listing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSlim Jim is an iconic brand, and may be a convenient way for consumers on the road to get their daily protein dose.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHowever, we consider Slim Jim to be unhealthy because it contains added sugar, sodium nitrite, flavoring additives and citric acid. The brand also fails to explain on their product pages whether the animal protein used is sourced from conventionally-raised animals.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSodium content was surprisingly low in the one Slim Jim product we could find ingredients for, but the ingredient button was broken on another product which is concerning.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn any case, we consider the actual ingredients to be the subject of the healthiness of this brand rather than its sodium content, since the optimal sodium intake is highly disputed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article, we shared videos from two medical professionals on the healthiness of Slim Jim, both of whom came to the same conclusion as us: that the brand is not healthy overall.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-07-12T23:22:14-04:00","updated_at":"2023-07-12T23:22:14-04:00","summary_html":"We analyzes the ingredients in Slim Jim based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is healthy or unhealthy. We highlight some questionable additive ingredients and feature a video showing how Slim Jims are made.","template_suffix":"","handle":"are-slim-jims-bad-for-you","tags":"_related:fast-food"}

Are Slim Jims Bad For You? A Dietitian Answers

Are Slim Jims Bad For You? A Dietitian Answers


| |
| |
Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Slim Jim is one of the most distinctive beef jerky brands in the US. The bright yellow packaging can be found in convenience and grocery stores across the country, and the brand serves as a convenient way to get protein while on the road.

But what’s actually in Slim Jim other than animal protein? Are the other ingredients unhealthy? Is the sodium content a concern? And what do medical professionals have to say about Slim Jims?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Slim Jim based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not the popular snacks are bad for you.

We’ll feature videos from medical professionals on the topic, and share our top jerky brand pick.

Ingredient Analysis

Slim Jim Original ingredients 1

Slim Jim Original contains a large number of ingredients so we’ll break our analysis into two sections. The first set of ingredients are shown above.

Beef, pork and chicken are unsurprisingly the first-listed ingredients, and there is no reference as to whether these ingredients are sourced from pastured or conventionally-raised animals.

A medical review published in the Foods journal suggests that animal products sourced from pastured animals are more nutritious than those from conventional animals.

Corn syrup is a cheap, refined sweetener. A 2019 medical review suggests that added sugars in excess are associated with increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and many Americans already consume too many added sugars from their diet.

The additional ingredients in Slim Jims are shown below:

Slim Jim Original ingredients 2

Natural flavors is a healthier option than artificial flavors, but a medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal suggests that some flavoring additives and their metabolites may be suboptimal for human health.

Dextrose is another sweetener.

Citric acid is a flavor enhancer that’s clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals.

Sodium nitrite is a preservative, and food additive nitrites were shown to be associated with increased risk of some types of cancer in a 2022 medical review.

Based on their ingredients, we consider Slim Jims to be unhealthy and we do not recommend this product. It’s challenging to say whether a single food product is “bad for you” holistically because consuming anything in moderation has a likely negligible effect, but avoiding refined sugars, preservatives and nitrites seems like a logical nutrition choice.

But what do medical professionals have to say about whether or not Slim Jims are bad for you? We’ll feature some professional opinions in the next section.

Medical Professionals on Slim Jims

A Doctor of Natural Medicine named “Dr. Livingood” discussed the nutrition of Slim Jims in a YouTube video:

A fitness trainer named Korin Sutton shared his thoughts on the least healthy travel snacks:

@korinsutton

Here are Some of the Worst Snacks You Can Buy While Traveling

♬ original sound - Korin Sutton

Is the Sodium a Problem?

In the previous ingredient analysis section we overviewed the ingredients in Slim Jim, and in this section we’ll discuss the nutrients, specifically sodium.

One serving of Slim Jim Short Sticks Original, which equals four sticks, only contains 130 milligrams (mg) of sodium.

We can’t determine how much sodium is in the Giant Sticks, because the Ingredients & Nutrition button is broken on the brand’s website. This is a consumer safety issue and we hope that the brand rectifies it, because some consumers are on low-sodium diets.

High sodium intake is associated with increased risk of mortality according to a 2016 medical review, although research on this topic is mixed.

A more recent medical review found that sodium intake correlates positively with longevity, which is an opposite conclusion of the previously-cited review.

We do not consider the sodium content in one serving of Slim Jim Short Sticks Original to be high, and this is actually a lower sodium content than many processed food products.

In our opinion, the health effects of Slim Jims relate more to the ingredients than the sodium content.

But how are Slim Jims actually made? We’ll feature an animated video answering that question in the next section.

How Are Slim Jims Made?

A WIRED video with over 500,000 views shows how Slim Jims are made in a captivating animated video that’s under two minutes long:

Our Healthy Packaged Protein Picks

For consumers who want convenient, no-cooking protein options we believe there are some good options on the market.

Grass-fed beef jerky is a good choice, because meat from grass-fed animals is shown in medical research to be nutritionally superior to meat from conventionally-raised animals.

The New Primal Grass-Fed Beef Jerky Sticks is our top pick for a healthier meat product. They're convenient (no cooking required), sourced from exclusively grass-fed animals, free of nitrates and nitrites and also free of added sugar.

Interested consumers can check out The New Primal beef jerky sticks at this link to the brand's official Amazon listing.

Sardines are a cheap and convenient canned protein option with significant health benefits. As we documented in our review on the benefits of fish oil supplements, fish oil can support healthy cholesterol levels and provides potent anti-inflammatory effects.

Wild Planet Sardines is our top pick because they're sustainably sourced, packed in water and free of questionable additive ingredients. Sardines are also high in calcium, providing 15% DV in only 140 calories.

Interested consumers can check out Wild Plant Sardines at this link to the brand's official Amazon listing.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Slim Jim is an iconic brand, and may be a convenient way for consumers on the road to get their daily protein dose.

However, we consider Slim Jim to be unhealthy because it contains added sugar, sodium nitrite, flavoring additives and citric acid. The brand also fails to explain on their product pages whether the animal protein used is sourced from conventionally-raised animals.

Sodium content was surprisingly low in the one Slim Jim product we could find ingredients for, but the ingredient button was broken on another product which is concerning.

In any case, we consider the actual ingredients to be the subject of the healthiness of this brand rather than its sodium content, since the optimal sodium intake is highly disputed.

In this article, we shared videos from two medical professionals on the healthiness of Slim Jim, both of whom came to the same conclusion as us: that the brand is not healthy overall.