Is Biltong healthier than Jerky?

Those of you who have never had the privilege of feasting on the number one meat snack right now must be wondering, “what is biltong meat, and why is it so popular?”.  Biltong and beef jerky are both beef meat snacks that are loved the world over. They are strips of beef meat that are seasoned and dried or cured to perfection in their way for anyone to enjoy at any time. In short, it’s like enjoying a bag of mini steaks in front of the TV. There are apparent preferences between the two, which we could put down to culture and education about the products, but both are a food source that our bodies need at the end of the day, and they are both delicious.

However, a few significant differences between the two might make the one slightly healthier than the other. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two:


The most notable difference between biltong and beef jerky is the ingredients used when made. The biltong preparation has always involved a simple salt, pepper, saltpetre and vinegar recipe and remains that way till today. Many different manufacturers have added their personal touch to the recipe, but biltong remains preservative-free despite the manufacturer. There are no sugar mixes or sauces used to make this tasty snack, and the curing process doesn’t involve any additional ingredients added to it just to keep it fresh. Some biltong recipes may use oil to get certain elements to settle into the meat. Still, it doesn’t contain any preservatives, so using it to stick to a healthy diet is a great idea thanks to its natural ingredients. No preservatives also mean there are no chemicals, so anyone who is conscious of what they put into their body wouldn’t have to worry about this factor. Biltong comes in various meat sources. Since our bodies desperately need the enzymes and nutrients that come from animal meat, this will be great for everyone who is either pescatarian as well. There’s chicken for those who prefer white meat and fish for those who prefer neither white nor red meat. All the options are made without chemicals and preservatives, free from unhealthy GMOs and suitable for the whole family to enjoy in their meals or snack.

Beef jerky

 Like all food sources, beef jerky is still a very healthy snack compared to chips or chocolate. The only difference between jerky and biltong is that jerky contains many sauces, sugar and preservatives. Spices and condiments are continuously put onto the meat so it doesn’t go off, which is another reason why it could add a few pounds to the waist if you consume too much of it. Jerky is a really hard meat snack that is tough to chew and is more of a cultural snack that can be hard to feed to everyone. Kids might struggle to eat it because the meat is almost over preserved, and the amount of sugar and sauces will be harmful to their teeth. Cowboys who prefer eating meat instead of chewing tobacco in the fields would eat jerky to pass the time while watching their herd and waiting to go home for dinner. To the average Joe heading home from the gym and looking for a quick snack, eating jerky might feel like an additional work out.

Preservatives and chemicals in food don’t have an immediate effect on the body but can activate allergies to certain ingredients. If tomatoes were used in the bbq sauce that they rub on jerky and you are allergic to tomatoes, it could act as a trigger. If your body needed a boost in leptin and needed to eat more animal proteins, then jerky might not be a great choice because of all the sugar. Sugar can give your blood sugar an instant spike, leaving you tired when the high has worn off and for anyone wanting to balance out their hormones by eating healthier preservative-free snacks, avoiding sugar would be the best place to start.

We will always compare beef biltong and beef jerky, but they both remain snacks that you could enjoy. The more minor details in our diets are why our eating habits can drift from good to bad, and even if you think the sugars on a meat snack are not harmful, they can accumulate strength in your system over time and become precisely that. You might crave a little sugar today, and by tomorrow you might be entirely off the rails. It might be a minor detail, but consider it nonetheless when you make your choice between the two snacks.