Is Biltong healthier for you than Beef Jerky?

When it comes to dried meat snacks, two popular options are biltong and beef jerky. Both are delicious and convenient, but is one healthier than the other? Let's take a closer look at the nutritional differences between biltong and beef jerky to find out.

What is Biltong?

Biltong is a traditional South African dried meat snack. It is typically made from lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin or silverside, that are marinated in a mixture of vinegar, salt, and spices before being air-dried. Biltong is known for its rich flavor and tender texture.

What is Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky is a popular dried meat snack in many parts of the world, including the United States. It is made by thinly slicing lean cuts of beef and then marinating them in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices. The meat is then dried using various methods, such as air-drying or smoking.

Nutritional Comparison

When comparing the nutritional profiles of biltong and beef jerky, there are a few key differences to consider.

Protein Content

Both biltong and beef jerky are excellent sources of protein. A 1-ounce serving of biltong typically contains around 16 grams of protein, while the same serving size of beef jerky provides approximately 9 grams of protein. Therefore, biltong has a higher protein content than beef jerky.

Fat Content

Biltong is made from lean cuts of beef, which results in a lower fat content compared to beef jerky. If you're watching your fat intake, biltong may be a better option for you. 

Sodium Levels

Both biltong and beef jerky can be high in sodium due to the curing process. However, the sodium content can vary depending on the brand and recipe. If you're concerned about sodium intake, it's important to check the nutrition labels and choose a lower sodium option. 

Preservatives and Additives

When it comes to preservatives and additives, biltong is often considered a healthier choice. Traditional biltong recipes typically use simple ingredients like vinegar, salt, and spices, while some beef jerky brands may contain artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. If you prefer a more natural snack, biltong may be the way to go.


While both biltong and beef jerky can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, biltong may have some advantages in terms of protein content, fat content, and the use of preservatives. However, it's important to remember that individual brands and recipes can vary, so it's always a good idea to check the nutrition labels and choose the option that aligns with your dietary preferences and goals.

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