Jerky is no doubt a delicious snack to grab as you’re running out the door or as a post-workout protein hit. However, there are quite a few concerns some people have about consuming cured meats. People often think of beef jerky as another “junk food” that has no nutritional benefits. But guess what? We believe jerky brings more to the table than just a burst of flavour. So if you’re wondering “is beef jerky healthy?”, keep scrolling to learn why you don’t really have to feel guilty about snacking on this good stuff.
What makes a food “healthy”?
What kind of food do you think of when you see the word “healthy”? Fruits? Vegetables? Most people will agree that a healthy diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods which provide your body with essential nutrients that it needs to keep your health, mood, and energy levels in check.
So it’s really all about balance: making sure that your body gets enough nutrition from a variety of whole food sources. And nutritious snacks are part of the equation. That’s why we think that asking “is beef jerky healthy?” is too simple a question. Because while jerky is a snack food, it can be a great source of some key nutrients.
Does beef jerky have health benefits?
When it comes to beef jerky, some people might think that it’s all fat and salt. But did you know that depending on the cut and source of jerky, they can be really low in fat? Plus, they are really low in carbs and can be a great source of protein, zinc, iron, and other essential minerals. Check out the Nutrition Information Panel labels on the back of our cured meat snack packs or head to our About Us page to see for yourself!
Okay, but it’s still full of salt. Isn’t salt bad?
While too much sodium can be harmful to your health and body, you can also become sodium deficient if you cut it out completely. Again, it’s about balancing what you eat with what your body needs.
Unless you’re eating jerky for every meal, every day, tossing a handful of this good stuff into your gym bag or kid’s lunch box can have more benefits than downsides. Being a rich source of protein, zinc, and iron, a bit of jerky can keep you going for longer while giving your body a nutrient boost.
Cultures all over the world and throughout history have used salt to keep meat from going bad and breeding bacteria. As jerky is a type of preserved meat, it can be quite high in sodium. But like most things, jerky is best enjoyed in moderation and as part of a varied diet - even though it’s tempting to just keep chomping away on them!
Should you snack on jerky?
If you already have a diet containing the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs - great work! But we know that in our often busy modern lifestyles today, it can be tricky to eat and snack right. So that’s why we think that cured meats can be a great way to give you a protein and iron boost on the go, helping to keep you staying focused and fuller for longer, while curbing your appetite for a bag of chips or lollies.
When should you eat jerky?
Jerky, as well as our other choices of cured cuts, is such a versatile snack that just works with many types of lifestyles and schedules. If you’re a busy parent, grab some jerky to toss into your kids’ lunchboxes as one of their snack options. If you’re looking for a protein and iron boost to complement your workout, toss a pack of jerky into your bag on the way out. Jerky is also a great snack idea whether you’re going on a road trip, to the beach, or to the movies.
We’ve got a deliciously great range of cured meats to suit different lifestyles, make sure to check them out!
Pick your protein
We use only topside MSA beef to create our premium, air dried cuts. Good for your tastebuds and the Aussie beef industry. Win-win! And if you find yourself tossing up between biltong vs jerky, it really comes down to what food textures you prefer and what your body needs as these are both great iron and protein sources.
So go on, grab yourself a handful of our sweet bbq biltong, droewors, or chilli beef jerky as you head out for a run. But just a word of caution: you might find yourself running straight to one of our stores for more!