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Is Biltong Healthy?

Wow, Is Biltong Really a Healthy Snack?

Firstly for the uninitiated / non-South African…. what is biltong?   Skip the history if you want to get straight to the Health Info

Brief History

Imagine yourself in the heat of Southern Africa in the year 1655.  Jan van Riebeeck landed at the Cape of Good Hope 3 years ago and now you are forging your way into the hinterland.   You need to eat, and game is plentiful, so you kill yourself an antelope - possibly a Kudu or Springbok.  You and your fellow travellers eat your fill but there is still meat over.  The world has not yet reached the age of refrigeration, so how do you preserve your leftovers?   Hanging the carcass resulted in the preservation of the inner meat full of flavour, while the outer layers got hard and dry in the sun.  The result was the start of a new taste sensation.  Of course, it did not stop there.  When domestic animals were kept by the settlers (Voortrekkers), the farmers’ wives got to grips with this meat and tried and tested rubbing different herbs and spices into the meat to make it more flavoursome.

Through the ages the method of making  Biltong has remained basically unchanged although it has been gradually refined.  Still men (and loads of women) love nothing better than to snack on Biltong.

What makes Biltong a Healthy Snack?

Biltong Direct use only the best quality Beef Silversides to make this great snack.  Almost 300g of fresh meat results in just 100g of dried Biltong, so the protein content is remarkably high and we all know that if you are building a healthy body, you need protein.  Good too for active people who are on the go, hiking, doing gym, rambling or in fact participating in any sport or exercise program.

High in Protein but low in Carbohydrates.  The culprit for weight gain has been uncovered – not just sugar but Carbs!  Although it provides your body with loads of energy, lean Biltong is very low in carbs and calories.

Another benefit is that Biltong is NATURAL.  Biltong Direct use their very own blend of pure spices to cure the beef and enhance its natural flavours.  Salt is used for preserving the meat and ingredients such as coriander and other natural products are added.  We use no chemicals , no Monosodium Glutamate or Wheat Gluten in our Original and Peri Peri Biltong.  There is a trace of sugar, but only a trace and that is added to have a slight tenderising effect on the beef.  

Can Children eat Biltong?

Yes, yes, yes.  South African babies have cut their teeth on Biltong for centuries.  They enjoy the firm meat to bite on and the flavour appeals to most children.  This is a great trick for all Moms.  A Biltong Chew stick can be refrigerated overnight to cool the sore gums each day.  It is also a much better choice for the school lunch box than many crisps and other high carb snacks.

When do you eat Biltong?

Ever carried a cheese and tomato sandwich in your backpack when you went hiking?  Biltong will not turn into a soggy mess after a couple of hours, in fact it is the ideal, easy to carry snack.  Offering you a well-needed and satisfying, and not to mention absolutely delicious,  nibble on the way or lunch when you stop, Biltong does not need to be kept cool and is light and so super easy to fill your pocket with.

Think about how you can incorporate this amazing meat product into your diet as a quick pick-me-up after exercise/gym, as you cycle, for a non-messy midday munch at your desk, as an addition to your weight loss diet (up to 100g per day is approved on most diets and it does fill you up better than most snacks) or you can eat as the South Africans do, at social gatherings, watching sport or when travelling in the car.

It is cheaper to buy your biltong in bulk but don’t be put off, this is so easy.  You simply take it out of the delivery packet and repack it in small packets or containers in 100g portions, then freeze it.  Each evening you can get out the next day’s portion and it will be all ready for you in the morning.

So to sum it all up, if you are looking for a delicious, healthy, easy to store and carry, non-messy snack that is better for your body but tastes divine – look no further and start enjoying it from tomorrow!


Biltong has been eaten by South Africans for centuries but over time the benefits of snacking on this lean, high protein meat product have become widely known and very popular among people around the world, who are keen to look after their bodies.


Nutritional values of BILTONG:      NUTRITIONAL INFO. BASED ON 100g OF BEEF BILTONG    Calculated values based on USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference NDB No: 23028


NutrientUnitsValue perNutrientUnitsValue per
  100 grams  100 grams
Energykcal249Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg0
Total lipid (fat)g5Niacinmg11.2
Carbohydrateg0Pantothenic acidmg1.2
Fibre, total dietaryg0Vitamin B-6mg1.26
Sugars, totalgtraceBetainemg22
Minerals  Vitamin B-12mcg7.6
Calcium, Camg9Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)mg0.14
Iron, Femg4.4Tocopherol, betamg0.0175
Magnesium, Mgmg42Tocopherol, gammamg0.035
Phosphorus, Pmg369Lipids  
Potassium, Kmg603Fatty acids, total saturatedg1.75
Saltg4Fatty acids, total monounsaturatedg2.15
Zinc, Znmg6.9Fatty acids, total polyunsaturatedg0.27
Copper, Cumg0.23Fatty acids, total transg0.148
Manganese, Mnmg0.022Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoicg0.116
Selenium, Semcg57Cholesterolmg54