Cans are too heavy, processed meat is a health risk, and most snacks are full of sugar. It seems like there is a downside to any food you could take on your next adventure. You want something tasty, portable, nutritious, and full of energy. There is a solution, read on and learn about an option that trumps all popular hiking food products!
Processed meat and sugar are bad for your health
Probably the most popular hiking food is salami. It’s widely available, cheap, and last for days without refrigeration. But all of that comes at a price. Eating processed meat has been shown to significantly increase the risk of serious diseases like cancer (1). The more you can avoid it the better. The same goes for refined sugar (2) and all of those sweet snacks that are full of it.
As any seasoned hiker will tell you, not all bars created equal. When choosing a bar to take on the trails, it’s important to consider your nutritional needs. Will you be needing a protein-rich bar to keep you going for that extra dozen miles or will a little energy boost suffice? Before you head out, check out our freakishly delicious options at sensbar.com (link in bio). #eatcrickets
Dehydrated meals are great but not ready to eat
A much better hiking food option are dehydrated meals. They are very nutritious and reasonably healthy, especially if you prepare your own at home. The only thing is, they are not ready to eat. You need to add water and heat which makes them more of a camp site option than food on the go.
Insects, the surprising trump card
They are energy dense. They are nearly taste neutral which makes them a great ingredient for healthy protein and energy bars. They are portable, ready to eat, don’t spoil easily, and most importantly incredibly nutritious. For example cricket flour contains complete proteins, vitamin B1, iron, zinc, and calcium.
100 g of protein a day
You don’t need to worry about energy – there are plenty of carbs or fats in any snack. What is often missing is protein and it’s especially important when hiking. It is recommended that protein should make up between 10 – 30 % of your calorie intake (3). For a daily calorie intake of 2000 kcal that comes up to roughly 100 g of protein. This number has to be adjusted for individual weight and body composition of course.
When you go hiking, you will be on your feet during the day, so it’s important to have something full of protein that is ready to eat. SENS protein bars contain 20 g of protein, along with some healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, so they are the ideal choice for the middle of the day when you don’t have time to cook. You will probably have your camp set up for breakfast and dinner, so dehydrated meals are a great option there. Most of the popular choices such as Chicken curry, Beef with rice, or Three-bean chilli will give you about 30 g of protein. So you should be safely at 100 g by the end of the day.
1) Sabine Rohrmann et al., ‘Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition’, BMC Medicine, 2013, https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1741-7015-11-63?site=bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com
2) Tauseef A. Khan and John L. Sievenpiper, ‘Controversies about sugars: results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on obesity, cardiometabolic disease and diabetes’, Eur J Nutr., 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133084/
3) World Health Organization, Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition’, 2007, http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43411/1/WHO_TRS_935_eng.pdf