Looking for a healthy and convenient snack? Believe it or not, jerky is considered a healthy snack and its convenience and long shelf life can make this unusual food the perfect snack for athletes, weightlifters, or anyone with a busy schedule.
The name “jerky” comes from the Quechua term “charqui”, which means burned meat. Historically, jerked meat was one of the first human made products and was a crucially important food preservation technique for survival.
Today, jerky snacks are used as an excellent source of protein with as much as 15g per serving size. Generally 97% fat free and with less than 100 calories per ounce, jerky is considered a healthy product because moisture and fat are removed from the meat during the preparation process. The meat is generally cut into strips, trimmed of fat, marinated in a seasoned sweet rub or liquid, and dried or smoked with low heat or is occasionally just salted and sun-dried. The result is a snack which can be eaten immediately or can be stored for months without refrigeration.
Some manufacturers keep this process very simple, without use of additives. It’s also important to check if the brand uses naturally-raised meat, without antibiotics or stimulants, to ensure you are getting a healthy version of jerky snacks.
Most jerky meat types are slightly different when it comes to calories, fat, and protein per serving. Jerky is normally made of beef or turkey but you can also find chicken, buffalo, and salmon jerky. A wide variety of flavors are available from teriyaki to barbecue, spicy pepper to original, you can be sure to find your favorite jerky flavor.
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