Packaged meat products can make a great addition to your diet when done right. Lean cold cuts work just as well on sandwiches as they do in quick high-protein snacks; beef jerky can be so much more than just a road trip treat; and canned tuna can actually be flavorful. There’s even vegan breakfast sausage out there that tastes like the real thing.
When it comes to the best healthy packaged meat and non-meat alternatives, these six Healthy Food Award winners have you covered. They all fit within a strict nutrition criteria created by registered dietitians, so you can be sure they’re good for you; all had to fit within our RDs' sodium requirements and not contain preservatives or nitrates. Plus they were rigorously taste-tested by SELF editors, so you can be sure they’re good, too. Add them to your shopping list so you always have a quick, tasty protein source on hand.
Best Jerky: The New Primal Sea Salt Beef Thins
It’s not uncommon to find a jerky that’s way too tough to chew, but our editors said this one has the perfect texture. They wrote that it’s “easy to tear off” and it’s “not too chewy or crunchy,” yet still feels and tastes like a quintessential and classic jerky.