Emergency Food Supply: Special Diets
Emergency Food Supply: Week 33
Plan for Special Dietary Needs
This month we’re going to talk about food storage tips if you or a family member has a medical condition that requires a particular diet. We don’t have room – or expertise – to talk about every type of special diet so we’ll just look at the most common ones: celiac disease, diabetes, lactose (milk) intolerance, and high blood pressure.
Why the concern about special diets in a time of crisis? Two reasons:
- A lot of food storage preppers build their emergency food supply on the backbone of carbs – rice, beans, grains. This can be a dangerous diet for some people.
- A crisis is no time to become ill
It’s easy to add these gluten-free items into your food storage:
- Oats – specifically labeled gluten-free (otherwise these may be cross-contaminated with wheat)
- Distilled vinegar but NOT malt vinegar
- Distilled alcoholic beverages but NOT beers, malt beverages (malted milk), malted vinegar
- Corn (canned or frozen, dehydrated or as cornmeal – you can grind your own if you have the right equipment)
- Quinoa, amaranth, teff, millet, buckwheat/kasha (learn about storing grains)
Watch for hidden glutens in canned foods like soups.
A high-carb diet can result in runaway blood glucose levels so its important that people with diabetes ensure they have ample vegetables, fats, and meats, and minimize the carbs. Canned and dehydrated vegetables, canned and dehydrated meats – these have little impact on blood sugar. If you are looking for carbs, consider these foods with excellent storage potential:
- Resistant starches like beans
- Quinoa has a good helping of fiber, which slows digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes. It’s also an excellent non-meat source of protein and amino acids. Amaranth is a similar good grain.
- Wild rice is technically a grass. it has a little more than half the carbs of regular rice and almost double the protein. It is high in fiber.
Don’t forget to add in fats, like those found in nuts (almonds, and seeds, flaxseed, coconut cream, or oil. Coconut is highly stable.
You can store boxes of nut and grain milk or you can learn how to make your own nut milk. Almonds, for example, store well when kept in the shell and can be used to make almond milk. Most nuts will need to be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Low Salt Diets
If you have hypertension, you will need to look closely at any prepared foods that you buy. Salt is often added to help with long-term storage.
Your Tasks For the Week
Buy one week’s worth of breakfast for one or for each member of your family. Package it properly and put into your pantry.