Heart of a Hunter: Packing high energy food

Choose healthy proteins without artery-clogging saturated fats

When you’re out in the woods for the day, you’ll want foods that are easy to carry and don’t have to be cooked or refrigerated. Then, when you’re back at camp, you’ll want something quick and easy.

HuntingSnacksBlogImage.fwThe goal is to avoid high-fat, high-calorie foods that can sabotage your energy and your long-term heart health.

Instead, focus on:

  • Food that gives you energy
  • Food that’s easy and quick
  • Food/beverages that will keep you warm at night

Here are some suggestions for healthy snack and protein choices that’ll help keep you fueled up and energized on your next hunting trip:


  • Fresh or dried fruits and fruit cups (in juice or water) are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a source of quick energy.
  • Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, minerals, healthy fats and fiber. Look for unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans and seeds like sunflower or pumpkin. Stick to a small handful at a time!
  • Whole grain crackers and dry cereal as well as air-popped popcorn will help sustain your energy and give you a good amount of fiber.
  • For breakfast, try oatmeal to warm you up and top it with some raisins and nuts to sweeten the deal.

For lunch and dinner, choose healthy proteins that are low in artery-clogging saturated fat. Try lean deli meats, canned tuna or salmon, or peanut butter and jelly for healthier sandwiches. Beef jerky and low-fat cheese are also good options.

Many types of game meat are naturally low in fat — until they get processed. Ground and cured meats can actually have added fat to improve the texture as well as preservatives to increase the sodium content. Instead, for dinner, try cooking with venison steaks or cut up chunks of venison for a stew or chili. Rabbit or skinless chicken and turkey are also good lean choices. Try our recipe for venison chili!

Take the next step:



The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardivascular Center is the top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit www.umcvc.org