Healthy Alternatives For Lunch
Choosing healthy alternatives will ensure you don’t risk weight gain and sabotaging your quest for a healthier lifestyle.
If you are looking to make changes in your diet, eating a healthy lunch is important. There is a lot of temptation with fast food, catered food at work or joining colleagues for a high-calorie lunch. Being prepared for your next lunch, whether at home or work, is essential to eating well. When you choose healthy alternatives, you won't risk weight gain and sabotaging your quest for a healthier lifestyle.
Cut the Bad Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for overall health. Carbs help provide energy to get you through your workout or busy day. In moderation, foods containing high amounts of carbohydrate are healthy --- it is when you overload your diet with carbs and processed foods that you can see your weight rise. The Harvard School of Public Health explains that by replacing refined carbs such as white bread, white rice and pastas with whole grains, you are promoting better health. Don't give up sandwiches; instead, choose whole-wheat bread, with low-fat turkey and a mustard spread, for example.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great alternative to lunches with sweetened flair and high calories such as smoothies, health shakes and taco salads. If you are watching your weight, avoid some of the commercial smoothies and health shakes --- they are often loaded with fat and calories. Make your own low-fat yogurt, almond milk and fresh fruit --- minus the sugar and additional sweeteners. Taco salads can also be high in calories, for example. Lower the fat grams and calories by ordering a vegetarian taco salad minus the beef, cheese, sour cream and deep-fried shell. Fill up on fruits and vegetables in place of meats, processed foods and condiments that contain sugary additives.
A healthy and filling lunch alternative to fast food is eating a broth-based lunch, as with soup. In their book "The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan," Dr. Barbara Rolls and Robert A. Barnett explain that broth-based soups can fill you up and make you less likely to overeat at lunch or fill up on snacks immediately afterward. Most broth-based soups are a good choice at lunch and can be conveniently heated in a microwaveable bowl. Chicken and beef broth are tasty choices and you can chose soups with added vegetables, low-fat beef and noodles. Be sure to watch sodium content and eat in moderation if you are on a sodium-restricted diet.
Protein is an important food group and provides a necessary source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc for healthy blood, skin and bones. Lean, healthily prepared protein sources offer alternatives to deep-fried chicken nuggets or your favourite cheeseburger and fries. While chicken is a good source of protein, when it is overcooked or deep-fried, it loses vital nutrients and gains fat and calories. Skip the bun on your hamburger and choose low-fat ground sirloin, which is around 97 per cent lean, as opposed to hamburger, which is around 70 per cent. You don't have to cut out your favourite protein food --- just prepare it in a healthier way.