Next to bacon, one thing that makes many South Africans seriously reconsider veganism is biltong.
Looking at this tasty treat, you wouldn’t necessarily think that it amounts to a very healthy snack. When faced with a bowl of the good stuff, you probably can’t help reaching for just a little bit more, every time.
While everything is best in moderation, it turns out that eating biltong is healthier than you think. In fact, it’s healthier than most snacks.
IOL even called it “South Africa’s best weight-loss snack”, which suits me just fine.
Here are six somewhat surprising health benefits of biltong, that probably don’t spring to mind for the everyday consumer:
- Biltong is low in fat, usually averaging 3%, so it’s the perfect snack when you’re dieting.
- It also contains fewer kilojoules than the other snacks like chocolate or chips. This is because biltong is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. As little as 25 grams of lean beef biltong can meet half your daily protein requirements.
- It’s naturally gluten-free and high in Vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy blood and nerve cells as well as successful cell replication.
- Moms can use chewy biltong to help their kids battle the discomfort of teething. It’s also beneficial during pregnancy as it’s believed to help with forgetfulness by improving concentration.
- The traditional spices used on biltong are all natural ingredients that you’re familiar with like salt, pepper, vinegar, coriander and paprika. There are are also less harmful chemicals in the favouring and in the preserving.
- It’s light and stores well, so it’s ideal for long car trips, camping and hiking. Or just keep some in your gym bag. It’s high in protein so it’s the perfect post-workout snack.
Fancy being a little versatile? You can also cook with biltong. It goes great with avocado and mango. We’re talking next level smashed avo toast here, and it looks damn good on Instagram.
Add it to salads, bread or a cheese platter to give it that little something extra, without having to use fatty cured meats like salami.
Just remember that not all biltong is created equal. If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to avoid wet biltong, and only buy trusted brands that don’t use preservative-heavy spices. You should also be wary of brands that don’t use the best and most natural ingredients.
This is why we need biltong brand loyalty, people.
To take the stress out of finding the right brand for your diet, we’ve done the work for you. Bonus – you don’t even have to leave the comfort of home to find it.
You can also go old school with their delicious meaty plain biltong.
Their biltong is Halaal approved and made using energy produced from solar power, so it’s tasty and environmentally friendly. They also only use topside cuts, which ensures texture and brittleness in the bite.
Over on Shirwood’s extensive online store, you can order your selection and have it delivered to your door.
Otherwise, just look out for the easily recognisable black and yellow packaging at quality retailers around the country.
Finally, a healthy snack that doesn’t taste like cardboard.
If I was you, I would memorise those six health benefits ahead of those upcoming Bok games in the Rugby Championship. Not that you need an excuse to chow biltong during the rugby, but it never hurts to have some ammo up your sleeve.