I'm gonna start with this disclaimer: I do not necessarily view jerky as a healthy food option, but when looking at snack foods or junk foods, I think that dependent on your needs. Jerky can be a great alternative protein source when on the road, short for time, and/or looking to snack on something that is low-cal and relatively filling. I actually had never really found a jerky that actually tasted good (to me), and that was easy to eat. Most of them feel like you are chewing rubber!
My husband on the other hand LOVES jerky. We can be in the check-out line and he always looks at me and looks at the Slim Jims in all of their artificial, processed glory, and looks back at the Slim Jims ... kinda like I do with chocolate (which according to science is a fruit btw). I DESPISE Slim Jims and hate when I see him eating them because they are so processed, don't even taste like real jerky and god knows what the hell is in them. So... drum roll please... we decided to explore healthier jerky options through a blindfolded taste test. The full video is below but I will also give you guys a nutritional breakdown per product we tried in the order which he liked them the most. If you get bored watching the video you'll want to fast forward to 7:00 for the bloopers. You're welcome.
I told you the bloopers were worth it.
#1:Little Red dot BAK KWA Spicy Chipotle BEEF
This guy was the obvious winner, hands down. We said it was pork in the video because it was so tender that we really thought it was, which i guess is a good thing. Luciano describes the flavor in the video but it definitely had a nice spicy kick to it at the end. It is only 60 calories per serving, contains 100% angus beef, is low in fat, wheat free, minimally processed and has no artificial ingredients. Here is the nutritional information for you:
#2: Little Red Dot BAK KWA Succulent Sweet Pork
Luciano said that this was not a traditional "jerky" flavored treat, because it isn't. But, it's hella good. This one contains more calories (130) and fats per serving, but if you have more of a sweet tooth, or like sweet and salty things, this is probably the way to go. This is the same brand as the one above -- I guess most of their stuff tastes good - so it has most of the same benefits or more "natural" components this brand provides.
#3: Chef's Cut Real Pork Jerky in Backyard BBQ
I thought this jerky was a healthier option when I bought it... I guess because of the packaging, but it didn't really have any benefits besides the fact that it has no added steroids or hormones, which now makes me realize that that probably means the other ones we tried do? Gross. Anyway this jerky was better than the first one we tried. Because it was like chewing softer rubber. It has less calories and fats than the second choice, but the flavor profile did not appeal to Luciano as much as the others.
#4: Jack Links Sweet & Hot
The only benefit of eating this is that you are not eating a Slim Jim. It's basic jerky, and it feels like you are chewing rubber. It's so hard to bite into and so hard to chew. Luciano didn't mind it because of what he has been used to eating. But, he enjoyed both the flavor and the texture of the other ones much more. Mission accomplished. Regardless, if this is the only option and you have to choose between this or a Slim Jim, please choose this.
#5: Slim Jim
I have nothing to say about this, and I am not linking it because you should forget that it exists.
In conclusion, there are healthier alternatives out there to your husband's, or wife's favorite snacks. Maybe try a taste test with them! Maybe you could get them to opt out of Slim Jims forever.