Ok, so I live in the south where opening day of hunting season is an EXCUSED ABSENCE from school! To say I know a few hunters is an understatement. Many hunters use dehydrators to make jerky from the meat they acquire. As hunting season hits full swing here, I was recently asked for my thoughts on dehydrating foods. That conversation led me to this post…volumetrics or food volume.

This can go 1 of 2 ways, and (as always) is GOAL DEPENDENT. If you want to lose fat, you will want to eat lots of foods that contain very few calories and take up a lot of space. Conversely, if weight (muscle) gain is your goal, you want to eat foods that are more calorically dense – meaning they pack more calories into less space. You see, many “hardgainers” struggle to eat as many calories as they need for growth, so the worst thing they can do is fill their bellies full of foods that don’t provide adequate calories for growth.

Back to the dehydrators… dehydrating foods simply removes the water from whatever foods you put inside the machine. The result is dried apples, pears, jerky, etc. Now, I want to ask you some questions. Have you ever eaten an entire bag of jerky at once? That’s a full 16oz or 1 pound. Now consider how much harder it would be to eat a 1 pound package of ground beef. Or how about eating 2 whole apples versus the equivalent of 2 apples in the dried ring form? Or bet yet, consider 2 whole baked potatoes and compare that to some potato chips. Now you are thinking in terms of calorie density.

Below I am going to list some of my favorite LOW and HIGH calorie-dense foods. Now remember, low or high does not mean good or bad. These are ALL wonderful, healthy foods that I suggest eating often. The key is lean toward one list or the other BASED ON YOUR GOALS!!

Peanut or Almond Butter Egg Whites
Dried Fruits Broccoli, Cauliflower
Oils Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach)
Fatty(-ier) Meats (salmon, 90/10 beef, dark meat from poultry) Lean Proteins (chicken and turkey breast, tuna)
Whole Eggs

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