“Yes, jerky can definitely be healthy if you know what to look for,” says Christina Strudwick, M.S., R.D., a sports dietitian who’s worked with NFL and MLB players. “Be sure to check the label for saturated fat, which is found in the fatty cuts of meat and increases cholesterol levels. Aim for less than 5g of saturated fat per serving since the goal is to keep your saturated fats below 20g for the day.”

Once you’ve done that, you’re on your way.

“Because of its high protein content, jerky is a great choice for a snack since it stabilizes blood sugar while providing amino acids to promote muscle growth and recovery,” she says.