Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Slim Jims Bad For You?

Also Known As: smoked snack stick



Short answer

Slim Jims are nothing more than beef-flavored heart attacks waiting to happen. If it is all you have to eat and you are miles from civilization, eat one to stay alive. Otherwise, it should be avoided entirely.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Other than having about 6% of the daily value recommended for iron, each individual Slim Jim is a disaster waiting to happen. Slim Jims contain no vitamin A, no vitamin C, and no calcium. While Slim Jims do contain 7 grams of carbohydrates, two of those grams are sugar-based and not a single gram comes from dietary fiber. 

What Slim Jims are high in, though, is of particular concern to anyone trying to maintain a healthy diet. Even one Slim Jim can ruin your day. In just a single original-flavored Slim Jim lurks 240 calories (180 from fat) and 20 grams of total fat (with 7 coming from saturated fat and one gram from trans fat). 

Additionally, each Slim Jim contains a whopping 1,100 mg of sodium (nearly half the daily recommended allowance). Also of concern are the ingredients. While it is true that real beef is used in the making of a Slim Jim, it is also true that beef is not the only ingredient. The other ingredients are: mechanically separated chicken, corn and wheat proteins, lactic acid cultures, dextrose, salt, sodium nitrite, and hydrolyzed soy. Of particular concern on this list is the sodium nitrite, which has been directly linked to colorectal cancer. Although sodium nitrite occurs in vegetables, it is largely neutralized by other chemicals found naturally in the plants. Slim Jims, however, do not contain any chemicals that neutralize the harmful effects of sodium nitrite. 

There is a laundry list of complications that can occur due to too much fat and sodium, including heart disease, stroke, heart attack, cancer, problems with the brain, kidney problems, etc. 

It is therefore, we recommend simply avoiding Slim Jims with special consideration to your long-term health. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • stomach cramps

Possible long-term side effects

  • brain degeneration
  • cancer
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • kidney damage

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • all-natural beef jerky

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

CHOMPS Beef Jerky Sticks

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Keto & Paleo friendly
  • Whole30 Approved
  • Non-GMO, Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free, High protein
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-15-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-15-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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