Are Slim Jims A Good Source Of Protein?

As a macronutrient, protein is one of the most essential for human beings to function, and it does wonders for the body. According to Healthline, protein generally serves as a building block for muscle composition — so if you're lifting weights to gain or maintain muscle, protein can be your best friend. Protein also reduces hunger, helps boost the metabolism, supports bone health, and lowers blood pressure. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, it's recommended that the average human should consume anywhere from 50 grams to 175 grams of protein per day. Eating a well-balanced diet — one which includes some combination of chicken, eggs, nuts, and/or fish, per Healthline – can help you hit that goal. Those aforementioned sources of protein aside, what about processed foods that are ostensibly protein-rich, like Slim Jims? Are they a good resource for the kind of proteins the Mayo Clinic and other medical institutions suggest? Technically, Slim Jims won't win any awards for their nutritional value anytime soon, but Slim Jims clearly contain meat – beef, pork, and mechanically separated chicken, to be exact. But how do they stack up against other protein sources?

Slim Jim snack sticks contain protein, but not as much as you'd expect

Depending on the size of any given Slim Jim, the nutritional values per size, per each, can vary. However, most of the packaging for Slim Jims showcase that they generally have six grams of protein per serving. For  Original Slim Jims, a serving size is four sticks, which roughly equals two grams per stick (via Conagra Brands).

Remember, the daily recommendation is 50 grams to 175 grams of protein a day, so Slim Jim meat sticks alone won't get you very close to that goal. If you're a Slim Jim fan, you might be thinking, "Then I'll just eat sticks – what could go wrong?" But before you do that, take a closer look at the rest of those nutrition facts first. That same four-stick serving contains 13 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 550 milligrams of sodium. According to the American Heart Association, that's almost half of the maximum daily recommendation for saturated fat; it's also about a fourth of the maximum daily recommendation for sodium, per the Centers for Disease Control.

Although Slim Jims do contain some protein, there are better alternatives out there if you're looking for a protein-rich source. If you're a fan of dried meat, you might be better off making your own jerky, which will contain a lot fewer preservatives than your average Slim Jim.