Protein: How biltong can supercharge your diet

If you’re someone with a goal to lose weight, build muscle or to simply start eating healthier you’re likely someone who pays attention to the information on products, focusing on nutrition. You would have likely seen that precious high protein foods are now everywhere, with our usual everyday foods being transformed to be fit for purpose like bread, milk, chocolate and more. These types of products are now being produced with added protein, so we can get our daily protein fix. However, there’s a growing trend in one particular snack, Biltong. Biltong growing hugely is not just a coincidence. It’s packed with healthy nutrients we’re all after including packing in a high level of protein. So, if you’re after that new or alternative snack to supercharge your protein intake then you may not need to look any further.

What is Biltong?

Biltong is a form of dried, cured meat that originates from Southern Africa, that includes flavoursome spices. Biltong brands tend to pride themselves on producing high quality beef biltong that is high in protein and low in fat. They accomplish this by slow drying the cured steak for three days, so the flavours of the spices are fully absorbed into the meat snack. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Why is biltong so high in protein?

The best brands produce biltong using premium grass-fed beef that has been cured and dried which cause it to lose 55% of its weight. During this process none of the protein is lost, in fact it’s enhanced. A normal steak with all the fat cut off holds about 25g of protein for each 100g of beef however within biltong, the protein is almost doubled in some cases for the same amount of beef.

For this reason alone, biltong is an incredible source of protein to supercharge your protein intake. If you’re someone focused on pursing strength or improving your cardiovascular fitness you actually require a higher level of protein intake as it supports the muscle rebuild and recovery from your intense sessions. So, if you’ve been thinking of ways to get your protein, leaving being the usual protein shakes then biltong might just be your answer. You’re able to buy snack sized packets which are ready to eat when you’re ready, there’s no preparation involved like what you do with your protein powder.

How is biltong so low in fat and carbs?

The process for creating biltong includes, cutting away any excess fat off the beef and removing any sinew to ensure only the most perfect cuts of beef are worked with. This process ensures packets of biltong at 100g has minimal fat at 4g or less with less than 1g of carbs. This type of nutritional information shows you exactly how lean biltong can be.

Is biltong high in sugar and salt?

If you choose the right brands, for example M-EAT, then the answer is no, sugar and salt isn’t high in these products and it can really be part of your nutrition for your exercise goals. If you look at high protein snack bars, you’ll find they have less protein than biltong and actually have way more sugar. Protein bars tend to have sugar added to help supplement your decreased energy from your workout however this isn’t totally healthy as the sugar levels can be extremely high. By selecting the right biltong brand and snack, you will find there is no added sugar at all, just the natural sugar itself which can easily be under 1g.

Salt can be just as low as sugar. Whilst our bodies require salt for a great body balance, too much salt being consumed can be impactful in a negative way as it can lead to an increase in blood pressure and has been linked to heart disease. However, finding a brand that limits its salt usage or replaces it with something else for example apple cider vinegar is what you should be looking for as salt in 100g of cured biltong can be as low as 1g or less.

Can biltong replace my protein shake?

The answer to this is simple, yes. Protein shakes simply aren’t for everyone, you’ve likely heard comments such as:

  • The protein powder clumps up, making it difficult to drink
  • It’s too thick
  • I don’t like the taste
  • My digestive system can’t break it down properly

If that’s the situation, then you should really be thinking of alternative replacements and biltong can be that alternative. It really is the answer to all the issues just mentioned:

  • You don’t have to worry about taste as there’s many flavours available on the market
  • It comes in fine slices so it’s easy to eat
  • It’s packaged and ready to eat when you’re ready
  • You’ll actually enjoy getting in your protein

As biltong can be dried for about 3 days, what is left behind is an enhanced, lean, snackable meat which delivers a high protein source.

Can I eat this on a paleo diet?

Yes. As a paleo diet typically includes lean items such as meats, fish, vegetables, fish and nuts. Biltong is a lean meat that would fit right in with your paleo diet.

So, finding a lean biltong snack to consume when you’re in need of that little protein charge can work wonders when doing such a diet.