Many of us pack a lunch each day to take along with us on our busy days. This can help to save money, help maintain good health, or just be more convenient timewise than going to a restaurant. But, have you ever considered whether or not your lunch choices are what’s making you fat? We can usually eat breakfast and dinner at home, where it’s easier to prepare healthy and wholesome meals in our own kitchens. However, lunch is a bit more complicated because we are usually away from our homes at this time. I’d like to reveal some foods that many people think are healthy to eat for lunch, but are actually very bad for you if you’re watching your weight.
When packing a lunch from home, try to avoid trail mix. It contains excessive amounts of sugar and sodium. It sounds delicious and healthy, but just one serving can easily amount to 300 calories. Some energy bars and cereal bars contain more sugar than a can of cola! Most are even 33% fat. If you search hard enough, you can find healthy ones, but be sure to check the labels before buying them. Did you know that granola bars are made with about 12 grams of sugar and fatty oils? Dried Fruits also have a high sugar content because sugar and sulfur are used to help them stay preserved. A small handful of raisins contains 22 grams of sugar. Your body can only handle so much sugar before it has to start storing it as fatty acid.
Do you like to add potato chips to your lunch? Vegan potato chips are a great choice, right? It’s true that they’re much better for you than regular potato chips. However, you shouldn’t overindulge because Vegan potato chips have 230 grams of sodium per serving! ‘Reduced Fat’ peanut butter may also be a bad choice for your packed lunches. Why would you want to remove the fat from your peanut butter when it contains one of the good fats, called monounsaturated fat? The fat in peanut butter has many health benefits. After the fat is removed, extra sugar and strange chemicals, like tocopheryl acetate, goes into the product to improve its taste. Natural peanut butter has simpler ingredients and is actually very healthy in sensible proportions.
What about just going to grab a salad from a nearby vendor? Salads do have healthy ingredients. But if you buy them already prepared from a fast food restaurant or grocery store, you’re in for a big surprise. They are no longer healthy! Establishments want their food to taste really good, so they add artificial flavoring and salad dressings or mayonnaise to their salads. You may be shocked, but fast food salads are likely to contain between 500 to 730 calories, 45 grams of fat (especially if meat is included), and 1,280 grams of sodium! It is much better to make your own salad using fresh vegetables and a splash of lemon juice.