Snack Swaps: Meat Sticks

This week I’m sharing with you a snack I never thought I would actually write a blog post on….meat sticks.. (the old me would say “ew”).

I think many of us remember Slim Jim. It was such a “hot” (and not so “slim”) snack back in the day… that I refused to try even though all the cool kids were snacking on it.. (ready to eat meat out of plastic wrapper grossed me out)..

However, I came across Vermont Smoke and Cure Real Sticks recently and I am now a meat stick lover.

The problem I always have with jerky and sticks is the sodium content and the ingredients in it. Looking at Slim Jim, one of its ingredients is sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is used to stabilize red color in cured meat and adds flavor. However, nitrites can create cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines (eek). And if that didn’t raise some eyebrows, the Center for Science in the Public Interest classified it in the “everyone should avoid” please avoid.

Here’s how their nutrition info compares

Slim jim Original flavor Giant Meat Stick  1 oz

Calories: 140

Sodium: 480mg (eek)

Protein: 7g

Vermont Turkey Pepperoni Realstick (love this flavor the most for Turkey.. and you already know I taste tested all the flavors)

Calories: 70

Sodium: 230mg (much better)

Protein: 10g  (woo hoo!)

Their ingredients are clean and the sticks are made with animals fed without antibiotics (double fist pump).

I also really like their BBQ beef sticks but the Turkey has more protein and less sodium (7g vs 10g and 280mg vs 230mg).

I love to share my fun finds (I am snack queen after all…). I swear if you’re not a jerky person you may become one after these Real Sticks! Love them as a snack midday or post workout and also are so easy to pack into your bag.

Happy Snacking,


“Snack Queen”


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