Nutritional Requirements For Preppers And Survivalists

Nutritional Requirements For Preppers And SurvivalistsSurvivalists, through their activities, make special metabolic demands on their bodies, and they must be physically prepared to meet these demands. These demands call for the repairing of damaged tissues, the recuperation of fatigued muscles, and the regeneration of energy, and they all necessitate a balanced and adequate diet that provides all nutritional requirements.

We are all faced with constant new developments in the field of nutrition. As a result of biochemical research and the staggering amounts of advertising claims and counterclaims, one finds it difficult to make sound judgments.

Nutritional requirements and a proper diet

There is no quick and easy way to maintain a certain weight or reduce weight. It involves a renovation of eating habits. Effective and sustained weight control and nutritional balance are achieved with a regular eating pattern on a diet which is low in empty calories while being nutritious.

To determine if a diet is well balanced nutritionally, it must incorporate foods from each of the basic four food groups; meats, milk, fruits and vegetables, and breads and cereals.

Meats should be baked, boiled, broiled, or roasted. Avoid fried, scalloped, or creamed food, unless fat is allowed in your particular meal. Meats prepared in oils, butter or margarine can add up to 200 calories to that meat. Proper dieting is proper counting of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, etc. One ounce of meat has approximately 7 grams of protein and 75 calories.

Remember to trim fat from meat, poultry, and fish. Choose meats carefully. Cut down on cholesterol intake, replace red meats, like beef, with chicken, turkey or veal. Avoid Sausage, smoked meats, lunch meats, and organ meats like liver, kidney, and brains.

Related reading: Protein, The Foundation Of A Survival Diet

Fish has a very high nutritional value and is usually low in cholesterol. However, shrimp and certain other shellfish are high in cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in heart disease. Egg yolks are very high in cholesterol. Try replacing some of your morning eggs with bran and fiber cereals, or nuts and fruits.

Also, use caution in eating high-fat cheeses and ice cream. They can be replaced by cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, and ricotta cheese.

Meats provide needed protein for building and maintaining body tissues, iron for metabolizing energy, and 13 vitamins. In addition to their building and repairing properties, food proteins have considerable importance in maintaining the body’s ability to resist infections and to effect good healing.

A woman needs about 46 grams of protein a day, and a man, weighing about 160 pounds needs at least 60 grams. But a woman participating in hard physical work or exercise needs about 70, and a highly active man may need as much as 110 grams of protein a day. Listed below are 20 top foods high in protein but low in calorie content.

Nutritional Requirements: Calories

Supplied in 7 grams of protein.

In other words, you would have to eat 59 calories of Broccoli to receive 7 grams of protein.

The milk group contains calcium, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, and vitamins A & D. They build and maintain healthy bones and teeth, and help to build and repair body tissues and convert food into energy.

For the sweet tooth, baked custard is a fine source for these nutrients. Vitamin D is manufactured by the body through absorption of sunlight primarily, but milk, eggs, cod, tuna, halibut, and butter do aid in the supplementation. An important nutrient found in vegetables is Vitamin A, which is essential for cell building and is a factor providing for skeletal growth, teeth formation, and formation of epithelial tissue composing the skin, mucous linings of the digestive, respiratory, genitourinary tracts and the sinuses.

It aids in keeping up resistance to infections and helps to maintain normal vision and night vision. Better peripheral vision is also a benefit of Vitamin A. Cod liver oil is a very good source of Vitamin A. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is largely found in fruits, tomatoes, green peppers, and broccoli. It plays a significant role in the strengthening of skin, tendon, bone, gums, teeth, cartilage, and other connective tissues.

There also seems to be a relationship between Vitamin C and the production of the adrenocortical hormones, especially with reference to the pituitary gland. Since Vitamin C is freely soluble in water and heat-sensitive, cooking can easily render it ineffective. Therefore, vegetables and fruits containing this vitamin should be prepared at low heat with a minimum quantity of water.

Nutritional Requirements: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the principal nutrient in bread and cereal. They are composed of organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. During exercise, the complex sugars found in these foods are broken down into simple sugars for easy absorption by the blood and the tissues. The surplus is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, which can be readily used when exercise requires it.

Carbohydrates are considered the primary body fuel which supplies energy for the body and its functions and contributes to the digestion of foods. A deficiency causes fatigue and disturbs the delicate balance in the body of water, potassium, sodium, and other nutrients. Other sources of carbohydrates are sugar, sweet fruits, potatoes, and nuts. Cooking these foods in large amounts of water, presoaking, and pouring off water before or after cooking reduces the amounts of nutrients.

Suggested article: Establishing How Much Food And Water To Store

If foods are prepared with only a small amount of water added, and cooked for only a short time, more nutrients will be retained in the foods. If fats are needed for cooking, prepare foods with corn, cottonseed, safflower or soybean oil, and choose margarine which are polyunsaturated.

Remember, we are not talking about any fat diets. Fats are still considered a basic source of muscular energy, entering the picture when the carbohydrate levels are depleted. Don’t forget the peels and skins of fruits and vegetables, they have a heavy concentration of nutrients.

 For example: the potassium concern of potatoes will be higher if the skin is not removed.

Nutritional Requirements: Salt

Enjoy the natural taste of foods. Cut down on salt in cooking and at the table. There is evidence that too much salt in the diet increases our risk of developing high blood pressure. Table salt is a compound made up of sodium and chloride. It is the sodium that causes the problem.

While the body needs sodium, most of us eat more than we need. This extra sodium must be removed through the kidneys, but it must first be diluted with water. The extra water volume in the blood needed to carry the sodium causes extra pressure in the blood vessels, thus raising blood pressure.

Use lemon, herbs, and spices in place of salt to enhance foods. Oregano, tarragon, caraway weds, allspice, mustard seeds, vinegar, garlic, sage, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel, parsley, curry, and pepper arc all very good seasonings, and easily carried in the field. Go easy on packaged and processed foods such as soups, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, gravies, cheeses, and fast foods. One Big Mac has the equivalent of 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 540 calories.

Nutritional Requirements: Fiber

Let’s take a quick look at fiber in the diet. The body needs fiber to create bulk in the intestines to help carry away waste materials. The bulk provided by foods with high fiber content also keeps one from feeling hungry.

The best sources of fiber are whole-grain cereals and bread, also apples, potatoes, carrots, beans, nuts, and seeds.

To nutritionally maintain the desired weight per day, the following is recommended (Approximately 2.500 calories).

MEATS (fish, poultry, lean meat, or eggs):

  • 6 ounces.


  • 24 ounces – 4 slices of cheese


  • 8 ounces of green or yellow vegetables
  • 2 fruits
  • 4 ounces of fruit juice (natural)
  • small salad


  • 4 slices of wheat bread
  • 12 ounce of pasta
  • 12 ounces of bran cereal

To nutritionally reduce to the desired weight per day, the following is recommended (Approximately 1.200 to 1.500 calories),

MEATS (fish, poultry. lean meat or eggs)

  • 4 ounces


  • 16 ounces of skim milk or low fat
  • a slice of cheese
  • or 1 cup of plain yogurt


  • 1 fruit
  • 1/2 cup of green or yellow vegetable small salad


  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 8 ounces of pasta
  • 8 ounces bran cereal

These are only guides, and in certain survival scenarios, you might have to double the amount of food (number of calories) to cover all your nutritional requirements.

Other notes

When choosing low calcified alternatives, avoid processed sugar and fats, and do not exceed the recommended serving. This will enable the majority of people to lose and maintain a desired weight nutritionally. But if additional calories are needed for persons engaged in heavy physical activities, bread, and fruit consumption can be increased, along with small servings of natural peanut butter, honey, soft drinks, salad dressings, and margarine or butter.

The caloric need of a body depends upon the basal metabolic rate (BMR), and the amount of activity above that level. Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories needed to sustain life at its lowest activity level. A typical daily BMR for males is about 1,800 calories, and for females is about 1.400. The amount of daily activity, physical exercise, and work beyond the BMR, determines the specific daily caloric requirement. Every pound of body fat contains 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound of fat, you must burn up 3,500 calories in addition to what your body needs.


To keep a balanced diet, be it to lose or gain weight, start reading labels on foods to determine the number of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sodium, vitamins, and so on contained in the foods you eat. Only in this way, and through proper and daily exercise can you sustain a nutritional balance in your life. Food excesses have no place in a scenario where your life may be at risk and where professional medical aid is not available.

Useful resources to check out:

The Common Vegetable that Will Increase Your Heart Attack Risk at Least Two-Fold

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

How To Build The Invisible Root Cellar

10 Things Cowboys Carried With Them In The Wild West To Survive

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

1 thought on “Nutritional Requirements For Preppers And Survivalists”

  1. Rhonda,

    Your article title made me think that you were going to discuss the effect that demands on our energy and stress levels have on our calorie and nutrition requirements, but it seems to be more in the line of dieting and providing advice on how to reduce heart disease etc with diet.

    If you have not already heard of the book Nourishing Traditions, I highly recommend you read it. I think you would edit some of the advice in this article. For example, saturated fats, per se, do not cause heart disease. The human body requires a certain amount of saturated fat for healthy (elastic) blood vessels. Fat is also necessary for the proper digestion and absorption of certain minerals from green leafy vegetables. This is why the idea of oil + acid (extra virgin olive oil plus apple cider or red wine vinegar) in a salad dressing actually increases the absorption of nutrients from the salad greens. (These are just examples of the incredible depth of discussion included in the book.)

    In addition, I recommend you look into Dr. Weston Price’s research of native cultures and their diets, unaffected by Western Civilization. Native diets were untainted with processed food, and generally were high in animal fat. Heart disease was unheard of in these cultures. Children were born with wide jawbones and straight teeth. They did not get cavities. Now, your recommendation on how to prepare meat is spot on. slow cooking, roasting, and broiling is the healthiest way to prepare. Processed (nitrates) meats are right out. Studies that actually differentiate between types of meat preparation also capture the fact that it is the processed meats that are 90% of the problem. Lifestyle and other diet factors also can either make you resist or more susceptible to disease.
    Also here is a link to a description of his research:


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