Nutrition Hacks for National Nutrition Month
When it’s three o’clock at the office and the hunger pangs hit you, what do you reach for? It’s tempting to grab a donut from the breakroom or sip on a soda to give you some extra energy to make it through the last few hours of work. However, if you opt for more sugary foods, you will end up more sluggish than before and lose your concentration. This loss of energy and concentration is attributed the blood sugar spike, then drop after one consumes sugary foods. We want to make healthy food choices, but what exactly does that mean? Read below for a quick overview of what your diet should include each day and what to pack in your lunchbox!
If you follow the My Plate guidelines, you should strive to include the five different food categories throughout the day. It’s important to note that this data is based off an active individual, who needs to consume 2,000 calories in a day.
Fresh fruit makes for a perfect lunchtime “dessert” that won’t cause your energy to crash in the late afternoon, unlike other sugary options. They are also excellent add-ins to salads and sandwiches. Some ideas are: apples, pears, strawberries, or an avocado.
Vegetables are so important to our diet because they contain many nutrients such as fiber, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C, and are low in calories and fat. If you aren’t a fan of salads, try some hummus with mini carrots, add some onions to your sandwich or mix some spinach into your morning smoothie.
Whole grains are rich in fiber. Sometimes when we hear “carbs” we only think bread. But don’t forget sweet potatoes, brown rice or whole grain pasta! They are all excellent choices in this category!
It’s okay if you don’t like milk. Try a soy beverage or a low-fat yogurt.
A lean protein like turkey, chicken or salmon are all easy to incorporate into your lunch. And don’t forget to add black beans or kidney beans to your salad for extra protein and fiber. Protein bars have exploded the last couple of years with so many different options, it can be overwhelming. A couple of tips; look at the sugar content and aim to keep it below 15 grams, and keep saturated fat below 4 grams. Some other easy protein-packed snack ideas to have on hand are almonds, turkey roll ups, dried chickpeas, or a hard boiled egg!
For a calorie breakdown tailored to your personal health and fitness levels, schedule an appointment with our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at one of our locations listed here.