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There are many reasons people embark on diets. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time for a healthier lifestyle, or perhaps you just want to look a few kilos lighter for your highschool reunion.
No matter what your motivation may be, finding delicious snacks that fit your diet can be the hardest part. A key part of staying motivated and on-track is the ability to splurge a little on something tasty, but you want to make sure that treat isn’t setting you back, either.
Biltong fans far and wide will be thrilled to know that biltong makes an excellent diet snack– and here’s why!
Biltong has all the hallmarks of a great snack
If we’re being honest, biltong makes a great snack, period. It’s not just for diets! One of the biggest appeals about this delectable snack (besides that crisp, succulent taste) is that it’s low-carb, high-protein, and low on added extras.
It contains roughly twice the protein and iron of the equivalent weight of meat, in fact! While some varieties of geel vet biltong can have high-fat contents, the average fat content for biltong is 3%.
In other words, it has the sort of health profile doctors nag about and no other delicious treat seems to have.
Does biltong have added sugar in it?
No! Biltong does not contain added sugar. It’s flavoured using a little vinegar, salt, the natural taste of the meat used, and a spice blend, and should never have sugar added to the recipe- that’s just asking for the air-dried meat to get spoiled with bacteria.
If you’ve heard scare stories about sugar in biltong, it’s probably someone who is confusing it for beef jerky. Biltong isn’t beef jerky, and they don’t taste the same. It’s also made in a completely different way.
Sadly, much modern beef jerky is packed with problematic sugars and even MSM-using flavourings, and dieters are often warned away from it for these reasons. They even use high-fructose corn syrup to make most non-artisan beef jerky now!
People can think they have a healthy snack and are in reality shovelling down tons of empty carbs by error.
Just to reiterate, biltong is never made with sugar, and there’s very little else added to the mix (no artificial preservatives, either).
A tiny bit of salt is used for taste and to kick-start the preservation process, a vinegar marinade is briefly applied to the meat, and a bunch of fresh, unique spices are used to build the flavour profile of the meat.
These real spices can have some unique health benefits of their own, too- from antibacterial aspects like dill and coriander to the tummy-soothing effects of ginger and the circulation-enhancing traits of chillies. All-natural goodness is all you need!
A post-workout snack you can take anywhere
The ultra-high protein profile makes biltong an ideal post-workout snack. In fact, 50g of protein can be enough to meet your daily protein intake recommendation! It’s also super easy to take anywhere, as it doesn’t need to be kept cool at all times and has long shelf stability.
It packs light, too. From your gym snack-pocket to your hiking backpack, biltong will give you a protein-packed punch of nutrition when you need it most. It may surprise you to learn that it’s also high in muscle-replenishing iron and B12, too- one of the few foods it’s easy to get B12 from.
Add this to zinc, iron, and a natural source of creatine, and there’s little wonder that so many athletes enjoy biltong as a workout-friendly treat.
Biltong is perfect for Paleo and Keto/Banting diets
The Paleo, Keto, and Banting diets all revolve around reducing your exposure to low nutritional value carbs and instead focusing on protein and healthy fat as your major dietary sources. Biltong is a snack made in Keto heaven!
It’s even made using high-quality beef cuts, just like the grass-fed beef ideal for Keto. We dive deeper into the keto diet in this article.
Biltong will keep your Paleo diet on track. There’s no preparation, it’s easy and convenient to carry around with you, can be left in desk drawers at work or kit bags for sport, and will fit into your life easily with no meal prep needed.
Whether you need a nibble before bed or are planning a workday’s snacks, biltong provides a delicious bite of Keto goodness. Because biltong is so high in protein, it has a great satiety value, and you will find you don’t need to eat much before you feel full enough to go to your next meal.
Because it requires chewing and cannot be mindlessly ‘shoveled’ into your mouth, you also have the chance to savour each mouthful and not overeat through accidental mindless snacking. So it encourages mindful eating practices as well as a leaner waistline.
Oh, and did we mention? Biltong is gluten-free, too!
Will biltong help for general weight loss?
Eating biltong will help you lose weight if you’re getting serious about your diet. Instead of calorie-dense (although healthy) nuts or unhealthy, wasted carb snacks like chips and sweets, you have a protein-dense, highly satisfying, and tasty snack that will fill you up on a lot less.
The protein and fat will also stop your blood sugar from peaking and crashing the way carb-y snacks do. This means that biltong is low GI and biltong can also be a great snack for diabetics!
Of course, not all biltongs are created equally. If you’re embarking on a weight loss journey, it’s important to find a trustworthy and reputable biltong source (or try your hand at making it yourself).
Mass-produced factory-style biltong often has lazy shortcuts built-in, and you may find the use of wasteful flavourings or too much sodium-contain salt.
The great news is that high-quality biltong in a variety of spice blends and flavours is easy to find, so don’t be afraid to be a little discerning! With biltongs made from the game buck, venison, beef, and even ostrich all freely available, you’ll quickly find a world of taste waiting for you.
Your tastebuds will thank you for it!