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Jerky is the satisfying high-protein, low-carb snack you've been overlooking

Adriana Velez is Food Editor for SheKnows. She spent her formative years in Brooklyn, which pretty much explains everything about her. She now lives somewhere else and has discovered life after kale and kombucha. She's written for Civil ...

Forget everything you know about truck stop meat sticks, because this is jerky 2.0

We've been trying a lot of different snacks around the office lately. It seems like everyone's trying to come up with the new Kind bar, a new combination of dried fruit and nuts. But the snack that took us completely by surprise is jerky.

Dear readers, jerky is back, and it's trying to cozy up to us women.

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Gone is the red plaid packaging (for lumberjacks?) and the flavor range of plain to pepper. Now jerky comes in a whole range of meats, from bison to salmon. And it comes in flavors like sesame barbecue and basil-citrus. Some brands are even making an effort to source their meat from sustainable sources — that is, grass-fed beef and wild Alaskan salmon. Basically, unless you're vegan, there's a jerky for you.

I spoke too soon — of course there's vegan jerky.

Anyway, here's what we like about the new jerky:

  • It's low-carb.
  • It's low in sugar (if you choose carefully).
  • It's high in protein and, in some cases, iron and other minerals.
  • A little goes a long way.
  • It's new and different.
  • It comes in a zillion different flavors.

What gives us pause:

  • It just doesn't taste right before lunch for some reason.
  • It's not crunchy, for those who need that.
  • It's going to give you funky breath.

More: The Target store-brand snacks to buy today and thank us for tomorrow

Also, there was that time when my son's friend put salmon jerky in his water when he wasn't looking, and the flavor deepened to the point where he had to throw away the bottle. Goodbye, $18 BPA-free water canteen that was supposed to last all school year. That's not really the jerky's fault, though.

Anyway, my point is, if you're looking for that high-protein, low-carb snack fix, give this new jerky a try. For what it's worth, we liked Krave's and EPIC's lines the best, but we've by no means tried them all. Just be careful to scan the backs of the packages for any hidden sugars — yes, they even put it in jerky.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Forget everything you know about truck stop meat sticks, because this is jerky 2.0
Image: SheKnows

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