You may think that beef jerky or any kind of meat jerky for that matter is an unhealthy snack food, much like eating potato chips or candy bars. But like any other kind of food, it really matters what kind of jerky you are talking about when you look into how healthy it can be. Believe it or not, there are ways that you can make good old fashioned style jerky so that it is actually healthy for you.
The trick is all in how it is prepared. Like many other types of food, you can make jerky so that it is just loaded with salt, fat and all kind of chemicals, or you can make it so that it is wholesome and healthy. Here are a few clues to help you find jerky that isn’t going to contribute to health problems and still taste good.
Old Fashioned Style Jerky is King
If you make beef or chicken jerky yourself, then right off the bat you have an advantage over the regular store bought jerky. This is because when you dry that meat yourself, chances are you aren’t going to add all those preservatives that commercial jerky recipes need to add for shelf life. This ability to make the jerky as a pure and maybe even organic product is one reason why homemade jerky is so much better tasting and better for you! So if you do want to have old fashioned style jerky in your diet, the best bet is to make it yourself.
Jerky is Pure Protein
For so many of us, getting more protein into our diet is essential. This is especially true for seniors who traditionally have a lower amount of protein in their diet at a time when they need more than ever. For anyone who wants to lose weight, piling up the protein in your diet is a sure fire way to keep the fats off and the muscles lean. Let’s not forget the body builders who were probably the first to see jerky as an essential part of a protein rich diet for health.
Because protein is the building block of all our muscles, the best way to pack on more muscle is to eat as much pure protein as you can. Healthy old fashioned jerky is one of the best ways to do this, and that is probably why products like pure beef jerky have been a part of the body building community for so long.
Jerky – The Manly Cowboy Snack
Of course, for some it is the fact that many consider jerky to be a more “manly” snack then most junk food out there that makes it so alluring. Yes, mankind has indeed been eating some version of beef jerky for a long time, probably centuries. We certainly know that the early American pioneers, including many cowboys that rode the western trails, carried and ate beef jerky. This is because this was a food that was easy to produce, it preserved well for long periods of time and was light enough that you could carry it easily on horseback.
In fact, the Native American tribes had their own version of it, pemmican, which is simply deer jerky pounded into shape with dried berries to give it more nutrition and taste. Any food that has managed to last hundreds of years can’t be that bad, so maybe today is the day you give it a try.