How to choose the ingredients to replace the meal at work in a healthy way so that it is not high-calorie or, on the contrary, not very nutritious and makes you hungry beforehand
The rush, the meetings, the busy agenda, the work assignments outside the office: sometimes the lunch break not only in a hurry, but by force of circumstances it is reduced to a sandwich.
No more or less balanced meals in the canteen and not even healthy salads: eating a sandwich (brought from home or bought outside) is sometimes a necessity. a meal that can become very caloric but not very nutritious or, on the contrary, too small if you make bad choices.
Eating healthy and balanced sandwiches, however, is possible and, following the right precautions, you can attempt a balanced diet even with this type of lunch break, although it would be better not to make it a habit.
Let’s start with how to compose a at home ideal sandwichknowing that the same rules will then apply when choosing al Cafewhere we will try to purchase an option as close as possible to the one we would have composed in the kitchen.
The first rule for making a sandwich healthier and more balanced is the addition of a vegetable – advises Ilaria Prandoni, biologist and nutritionist at Palazzo della Salute of the San Donato Group -: the vegetables essential to increase and prolong the sense of satiety, because generally those who eat the classic sandwich are often hungry during the afternoon. So tomatoes, salad, grilled courgettes and the like are good. A more complete effect is obtained by bringing the “second vegetables” from home: small bowls with clean and cut fennel, carrots, peppers or celery to eat in addition.
For the base it is better to choose a simple bread (not focaccias, rich in oil and fats which weigh down) of good quality, better if wholemeal: Good quality bread is made with as few ingredients as possible, three or four – the expert recommends and urges -. We read the labels if we buy it packaged: even the one defined as “wholemeal” must have the words “wholemeal flour” on the label, not “wheat flour” with percentages of bran or middlings.
Good quality bread, vegetables and then? The temptation is to fill the sandwich with more ingredients, usually various protein sources (the classic cheese and ham): In reality the filling should mainly consist only of one of the protein options (fish, meat, cured meats, cheeses, eggs) – explains the nutritionist – to be varied during the week based on the recommended consumption frequencies and in this regard we remember that the sliced they should be eaten less than once a week.
Finally, sauces are the least suitable condiment because they contain sugars, fats and salt and are often the enemy of the figure: the stuffing can be seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (except when there are already avocados or dishes in oil), a little bit of mustard (those without added sugars) a pinch of salt and aromatic herbs.
The size/quantity of the sandwich as a whole (or of the sandwiches) depends on the energy requirements
of individual people and must allow a sufficient caloric intake to get to dinner without suffering from hunger and overindulging in tastings while preparing it.
And at the bar you can take one as a basis piadina? The caloric intake compared to bread does not change much, but it is more likely that lard has been added to the piadina – says Prandoni -. At the supermarket, however, you can choose piadine without lard with extra virgin olive oil and then the quality of the product you consume improves. In this regard, a suggestion is to end the lunch break with a fruit salad. Fruit naturally contains sugar, but also vitamins and mineral salts. If we are not satisfied with our meal, rather than eating a snack from the vending machines in the afternoon, a fruit salad without added sugar is better, concludes the nutritionist.
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November 19, 2023 (modified November 19, 2023 | 2.12pm)
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