'Survivor' Foods: 10 Foods to Take to a Desert Island
A dietitian's top picks for an island paradise (or the pantry)
By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
If there was a Survivor television show with dietitians as contestants, what foods would they carry along in their backpacks?
In a warm-weather fantasy, I thought about what I would choose to bring if I knew I was going to be stranded on a deserted island (in my dreams, my island has a resort, is equipped with the comforts of home, and located somewhere idyllic like the South Pacific).
On a reality show, of course, there would be no resort -- just an oasis of flowering beauty with fresh water suitable for drinking and plenty of fish in the sea. Matches, firewood, a can opener, and vessels for cooking would be conveniently available, probably left from the previous survivor.
Just the Basics
Since my paradise island contains fresh running water, I don't need to bring the No. 1 necessity with me. Mango trees would be available on the island, to satisfy my sweet tooth and serve as a source of vitamin A. Fresh fish from the sea would provide an abundance of low-fat protein along with cardio-protective omega-3 fatty acids. I envision myself whittling a branch into a spear, then attaching a tip made from some treasure I'd found on the island. Each day around 4 p.m., I would wade into waist-high water and snag my catch to cook over the campfire.
Sadly, the lack of refrigeration rules out low-fat dairy products, which certainly make my list of super-nutritious foods. It's hard to get enough calcium in your diet without dairy foods or fortified foods, so I'd bring along my daily multivitamin with minerals to fill in the nutritional gaps.
My Top 10 List
Now for the top 10 foods that I would choose to keep me well-nourished during my isolation. Consider including some or all of these nutritionally stellar, shelf-stable foods the next time you go camping (and be sure to keep some on hand in your pantry for the next time you run low on groceries).
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