Fish jerky for humans is delicious. Defined as chewy with a tinge of sweetness, people worldwide have been enjoying different variations of jerky for hundreds of years. If you like fish, you may be surprised by this treat’s health benefits.
What is Fish Jerky?
Fish jerky is dried fish prepared in a way that removes the moisture from the fish, and salting extends the shelf life of the fish, too. Long-term storage is due to the brining and salting of the fish, which prevents bacteria growth.
History of Fish Jerky
Fish jerky for humans goes back to the Ancient Egyptians – if not further. Evidence suggests that the ancients knew how to salt and dry meats to preserve them. Smoking meat was also popular.
Were fish also smoked? We’re not 100% sure, but since fishing was a major part of life, it can be assumed that someone tried making fish jerky.
The Incas of South America dried meats and were known to make their own variation of fish jerky in the 1500s, although the practice may have been much older than that.
The Nutritional Value of Fish Jerky
Since fish jerky is prepared differently from one recipe to the next and from one brand to another, knowing the exact nutritional value of your jerky is impossible. However, high-quality jerky will contain:
- Low calories of 100 or less per serving
- 11 grams (or around this number) of carbs
- 9+ grams of protein
- Little-to-no fat
Sodium may be 700 – 800 mg per serving because the brine is salt-based.
Fish Jerky and Weight Management
Fish jerky may be good for weight management, but must be prepared properly. Traditional jerky that doesn’t contain added sugars is known for its:
- High protein levels. Protein is shown to aid in weight loss and management.
- Low levels of fat.
- Moderate levels of carbohydrates.
- Low caloric count.
Fish jerky can have less than 100 calories per serving, making it the perfect snack for anyone trying to lose weight. A high protein count in the jerky will keep you satiated for longer and require more energy to burn.
Heart Health Benefits of Fish Jerky
Fish jerky near me is known for containing high omega-3 fatty acid levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to:
- Aid in heart health
- Reduce risks of certain heart diseases
- Reduce inflammation
- Help maintain blood pressure
- Much more
Brain Health and Cognitive Function
Brain health and function are the focal points of many fish studies. Preliminary findings suggest that fish intake – dried or not – may:
- Improve cognitive ability
- Affect brain structure
- Slow age-related cognitive decline
Studies on fish and brain health do mention that the benefits of eating fish twice per week require a person with healthy brain function. If you already have cognitive decline, fish will not reverse this damage.
Surprising Health Benefits of Fish Jerky
Fish jerky is simply dried fish. When prepared correctly, the jerky will store well and offer similar benefits to traditionally prepared fish. Some of the health benefits that are most surprising include:
High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are often found in supplements because they’re extremely beneficial for your health. These acids may help with:
- Blood pressure management
- Plaque development in your arteries
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain health
- So much more
Fish is a great, natural source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Rich in Protein
A single salmon fillet can have 40 grams of protein in a serving. Fish jerky has 8 – 10 grams of protein per serving, but this value can vary based on the manufacturer, serving size, and type of fish.
High protein levels help keep you satiated for longer and can help with muscle restoration and building.
Low in Fat
Even fatty fish are often low in fat compared to beef or other meats. Even fat distribution in salmon, for example, doesn’t have the same level of fat as ground beef. Fish is also filled with healthy fats.
Choosing the Best Fish Jerky
If you’re not making your own fish jerky at home, you’ll find plenty of brands that offer sustainable options and great-tasting jerky. When selecting jerky, consider the following points:
- Sugar – anything less than 5 grams is best
- Protein – 9 grams is great, and anything more is a bonus
- All natural – opt for natural ingredients
- Fish type – personal preference
- Caught – naturally caught fish is always best
Marinades will impact flavor and should be considered. If you like teriyaki, soy sauce, or other flavorings, you’ll find plenty of jerky options available. Try out different brands and flavors to find one that you truly like.
Fish jerky near me is a delicacy and one that people love to keep available. Delicious and filled with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants, jerky is a good choice for a quick snack that isn’t riddled with sugar or bad-for-you preservatives.