Healthy Eating in the Workplace
Healthy eating in the workplace is cruical as we consume at least a third of our food and drink intake at work. Eating healthy along side being activity can improve your health and wellbeing, which in turn can improve your performance at work. Healthy eating in the workplace can be broken down into three sections: drinks, snacks and lunch.
Healthier Drink Ideas in the Workplace
Drinks can contribute lots of sugar and fat to your diet. Many of us start the day with a coffee, which can be moderately healthy if having a low sugar, low fat option. If you aren’t ready to give up your daily caffeine hit, there are ways to make your coffee healthier for you.
The diagram below shows 7 changes you can make to cut around 100 calories from your coffee shop.
What about once you’ve made it to the office? Whilst you sit at your desk, ideally you want to drink water or sugar-free squash. Fizzy drinks, squash with added sugar and energy drinks all contain lots of sugar, which can lead to weight gain and damage to your teeth. However, making small cuts can make a huge difference. By cutting out your daily Red Bull (other brands are available), you can save 27.5g of sugar and 113 calories. By cutting out a can of Coca Cola (again other brands are available), you can save 139 calories and 35g of sugar.
Healthier Snack Ideas in the Workplace
If you are sitting at your desk most of the day, you may find that you are tempted to snack on food as you work. Some healthier snack ideas include dates, a small handful (approx. 30g) of mixed nuts or seeds, homemade popcorn, and vegetable sticks with homemade houmous. Snacking on healthy foods throughout the day may help control your hunger so that you make better choices at lunchtime, and can also help energise you throughout the day to do inspiring work!
Healthier Lunch Ideas in the Workplace
If you bring a packed lunch from home, you may find it easier to eat healthy, as you won’t be tempted by unhealthier food choices. It will also be more cost-effective, you can control what you are eating and your portion size. Using whole-wheat bread, wholemeal pasta or whole grain rice as a base to your meal, would be a good starting point. This adds fibre to your diet, which can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. It also keeps you fuller for longer, which is perfect if you are trying to weight manage.
Adding fruit and vegetables to your lunch also increases your fibre, water intake, as well as vitamins and minerals, which can ward off colds, improve your skin and help your liver detoxify alcohol and caffeine. When choosing dressings for salads, instead of mayonnaise or pesto, which are both high in fat, try low-fat yoghurt, vinegar, tomato puree or lemon juice.
If you prefer to buy lunch, pick options lower in fat and add fruit or vegetables where possible. For example, ask for scrambled or poached eggs instead of fried eggs, or ask for salad in your sandwich or with your meal. Most shops or canteens have a healthy eating range, which tend to be lower in fat, calories and salt, so it would be worth looking at these options. If you want a hot lunch, jacket potatoes are also a good, low-fat option, which you can fill with healthy toppings such as cottage cheese, baked beans or vegetable chilli. Avoid toppings or sandwich fillings with lots of mayonnaise and hard cheeses (e.g cheddar), unless they are low-fat alternatives.
Some healthy swaps:
Written by Olivia Joseph