canned meat with most protein and calories

Canned Meats

Why am I writing about this? Because canned meat is one of several ways for preppers to have and store protein (and calories). Our bodies absolutely NEED protein. It can come from a variety of foods. Some have more protein than others. Some, much more.

Yes, canned meat has lots of protein. You might be wondering about the best canned meat to store on your shelves. First though, let’s have a quick look at daily protein recommendations / requirements…

(jump to list)
best choices listed at bottom

Recommended Daily Protein

The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) for daily intake of protein. It varies on age, gender, weight, height, and daily exercise.

However as a guideline, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends similarly, though with a bit higher minimum and a bit lower maximum. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a lower limit of protein intake similar to the ADA.

With that said, a generalization for middle aged average males may be ~ 60 grams minimum protein requirement per day. A middle aged woman may require at least ~ 45 grams per day.

Protein Sources

Consuming a variety of complete proteins is recommended. A complete protein is a protein that contains a good amount of each of the nine essential amino acids required in the human diet.

Generally, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are complete protein sources.

Meat/Dairy examples

  • Eggs
  • Chicken breast
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Lean beef
  • Tuna
  • Turkey breast
  • Fish
  • Shrimp

Vegan/plant-based examples for protein intake

  • Buckwheat
  • Hummus and pita
  • Soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame beans)
  • Peanut butter on toast or some other bread
  • Beans and rice
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp and chia seeds
  • Spirulina

What Are The Best Canned Meats?

Okay enough already… what canned meats should a prepper store on their shelves?

 You might either pressure-can some of your own meat or you can simply buy some canned meat.

I would recommend that you diversify while acquiring a variety of canned meats.

Note: During a grid-down situation more than 24-48 hours, whatever meat that you have in your freezer will thaw. Then what? (Canned meat won’t spoil when the power goes out.)

Is there a “best canned meat?” Well there are a number of popular brands offering a variety of beef, chicken, pork, tuna, and more…

The products below are examples of most-reviewed and highest rated choices. I keep a variety of ALL of them. We rotate through them over a period of time, and simply replaces as we consume.

(no particular order)


I wrote an article on SPAM canned meat awhile ago. You can read it here.

In short, SPAM is made of pork with ham.

There are 42 grams of protein in a typical 12 oz can:
SPAM Classic
(view on amzn)

Some might consider SPAM the best canned meat! Ask someone from the Hawaiian islands and they will likely agree. Residents there have the highest per capita consumption in the United States!

Canned Beef

The most popular canned meat in the ‘beef’ department appears to be from Keystone – their ground beef and their regular beef.

154 grams of protein in this 28 oz can:
Keystone Meats All Natural Ground Beef
(view on amzn)

88 grams of protein in this 14.5 oz can:
Keystone Canned Beef
(view on amzn)

Canned Chicken

Diversify your canned meat storage. You might add some chicken. Here’s some of what I have on the shelves (along with my own home-canned chicken). Great for sandwiches, over rice, cooked, plain, whatever… Good all-around choice.

Each 12.5 oz can has 45 grams of protein:
Kirkland Signature Chunk Chicken Breast (6-pack)
(view on amzn)

Canned Tuna

Get those Omega-3 fats! Tuna is another good diversified choice for canned meat. we’ve always liked the solid-white in water as a best taste choice (for us).

Each 5 oz can has 26 grams of protein:
StarKist Albacore Solid White Tuna in Water (8-pack)
(view on amzn)

Canned Pork

Fully cooked, ready-to-eat, who doesn’t like pork? Again, Keystone came up on top for popularity on amzn. Sure you can get it any grocery store among many brands. I’m just using this one to pull the data…

Their 14.5 oz can has 96 grams of protein!
Keystone All Natural Canned Pork

Best Canned Meat Final Answer:

From a protein and calories perspective as it relates to survival & preparedness, Pork comes out on top, with beef a close second. (see data below)

I will insert a comment about Spam. It’s highest when you multiply grams x calories. However it is very highly weighted in calories and on the low side in protein comparatively. So probably not the healthiest canned meat to eat too much of… (everything in moderation).

You may be surprised that canned chicken doesn’t fare too terribly well. It’s lowest in calories among what I’ve listed above. It’s protein content is a little more than half of beef. However, it’s likely a healthier choice for regular consumption. Though from a survival standpoint, you would need to eat more of it.

Tuna rounds up the middle. Though it’s low in calories, it does have a fairly high protein content per ounce. You shouldn’t eat more than a meal (or two max) per week according to what I’ve read about mercury content.

I hope this helps in your decision making process!

Canned Meat | Grams & Calories per Ounce

Canned MeatGrams /ozCalories /ozGrams x Cals
Ground Beef5.535193

As you can see from the comments below, this article originally published awhile ago. I’ve updated it with specific protein and calories per ounce, for your information.

Your thoughts? Jump to Comment...x