6 Jerkies You Should Try If You Want To Branch Out Beyond Beef

Jerky can make an excellent snack. It's high in protein, and while a bit salty, it can be found in lower sodium brands. It's also a great option for when you're on the go. Yet, there are different types of jerky beyond beef that you should be eating, too. Of course, eating beef jerky is still a good go-to, as it's high in protein, and if grass-fed, it's even high in Omega-3s and healthy fats. That being said, there are so many other types to choose from that offer other unique benefits, and also help to spice things up.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding foods that keep them healthy and boost satiety. And, it just so happens that jerky is one of them. (It's also one of my favorite snacks, and I eat it daily!) Because it's so easy to eat, you can stash it in your bag and take it with you to work for when you're getting a munchies attack. Jerky is also excellent for building bones and speeding the metabolism, as it's high protein content can help repair muscle damage, making it a great post-workout snack, too. Here are a few reasons to start eating more jerky in general, but also to branch out and try some different versions that are just as tasty and nutritious.



"Venison, or meat from a deer, is usually leaner than beef with a similar but more gamey flavor," Maggie Moon, MS, RDN, and author of The MIND Diet, tells Bustle. A great option? Epic Bars come in easy venison sticks.



"Fish tends to be a lean protein that offers heart- and brain-healthy Omega-3 fats," says Moon. "Fresh fish is excellent, but doesn’t travel well, so making fish jerky is the next best thing." Plus, you can also season it with pepper, teriyaki, and other flavors. Epic Bars also has unique fish jerky options, including smoked maple salmon.



"Buffalo, aka bison, is another beef-alternative that is leaner than both beef or venison. It is often grass-fed for a healthier fat profile," says Moon. What's so great about grass-fed? "Those that are grass-fed tend to be lower in saturated fat and higher in Omega-3s, along with precursors to vitamin A and E and antioxidants than grain-fed meat products, The New Primal’s RD, Jamie Edwards tells Bustle.



"Turkey is an affordable lean protein," says Moon. "Turkey and all the animal foods listed here are all good sources of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12," Moon explains. A great option? My personal favorite is Krave Jerky's turkey jerky in basil citrus. Turkey works well with lighter flavor profiles.


5. Soy/Vegan

"Soy protein is plant-protein and it's leaner than any of the meats. As a plant food, it has zero cholesterol," says Moon. "It also provides a good source of folate to help the body form new proteins."



According to Edwards, chicken is also lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, there are unlimited flavor options; you can go with teriyaki, honey mustard, buffalo or ranch. It's a really versatile type of meat. If you want to try a bunch, try Chef's Cut, which has a ton of different flavors.

If you're looking for a way to boost protein and iron in your diet, jerky can be an excellent option. Plus, if you're getting plain, leaner cuts without much sugars, you can keep additives and sodium lower, too. What's more, they're an easy on-the-go snack. Just stash one in your bag and you're set.