Looking to eat healthier at the workplace? Consider the tips below before you brown bag it. All courtesy of my health and wellness initiative at work.
Try to bring a homemade lunch whenever you can. Eating out is OK every once in a while, but beware of larger-than-necessary portion sizes and high levels of fat, sugar or sodium.
Order a low-fat sandwich or sub. Ham, chicken, turkey and roast beef tend to be leaner cuts of meat that are great for sandwiches. Just steer clear of breaded chicken, marbled meats, pepperoni, meatballs, bacon and other higher fat meats that can pack on the fat and calories.
Choose foods when you see the words baked, barbecued, broiled, charbroiled, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed, stir-fried. All those cooking methods usually mean the food is prepared with little or no fat.
Avoid foods when you see the words: Alfredo sauce, au gratin, cheese sauce, battered, breaded, buttered, creamed, crispy, deep-fried, en croute, fried, tempura, hollandaise, pan-fried, pastry, prime, rich, sautéed, scalloped, gravy, mayonnaise. These words usually mean that the food is higher in fat and calories.
Beware of calorie-rich beverages. Soda, sugary fruit-flavoured drinks and milkshakes are high in calories and sugar. Instead, drink water whenever you can. Other healthy options include lower-fat milk or 100% fruit juice.
Save on the sauces. Ask for all sauces and dressings on the side and then use them sparingly to reduce fat and calories.
Get nutrition information ahead of time. Many restaurant chains now post nutrition information on menus or on their websites consistent with the Nutrition Facts table on packaged foods.
When portions are large, don’t clean your plate; leave some behind or doggy-bag it.
Keeping healthy food in your workplace fridge or cabinet can help you make better choices about snacks when hunger strikes. Healthy choices include baby carrots, fresh apples, yogurts, nuts and whole-grain crackers. It can also help round out a fast-food lunch with more vegetables and nutrition than you’d normally get.
What are you packing for lunch these days? Any healthy lunch ideas to share? Would love to hear them.