3 Healthy Lunch Ideas

3 Healthy Lunch Idea

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it is no surprise that we rely on convenience and fast options.  Unfortunately, in terms of food, fast and convenient options are not very healthy options.  It is possible to make smart choices when eating on the go such as grilled instead of fried items, a baked potato instead of fries, salads with just vegetables and low-fat dressings, and a low carb wrap instead of a burger bun.  Probably the best option for a healthy lunch is to prepare your own food and make it an option that is portable and easily reheated.

Lean Proteins

For a healthy lunch to keep you going throughout the day, choose an option that will give you a good amount of lean protein.  Some foods that fall into this category are chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, bison, and 90% or leaner ground beef.  Options for vegetarian proteins include eggs, quinoa, beans and lentils, nuts, nut butters, and reduced fate dairy.  Proteins satisfy hunger, help you to feel full longer, and can prevent overeating.

Preparing a healthy lunch with these proteins is quick and easy plus you have a wide array of options.  You can prepare a soup or stew, a sandwich/wrap, or even a burger using ground meats.  Another option is a vegetarian burger using ingredients such as black beans and quinoa to give you a protein powerhouse.  If you are watching your salt intake, you can prepare foods with herbs, different types of pepper, chilies, or even wine to bring out flavors without overpowering them.

Healthy Choices and Classic Recipes

If you have a big appetite and love comfort foods, you can still enjoy classic dishes trimmed of fat and calories.  Tuna noodle casserole is a great example as it is a protein rich dish that is easy to prepare ahead of time, easily transportable, and can go right into the microwave.  As tuna is already a terrific choice of lean protein, use quinoa or another high protein pasta instead of traditional noodles to step things up and use reduced fat or fat free soups, sour cream, and if you would like, cheese.  One thing to keep in mind regarding low fat or fat free items is that they tend to be much higher in sodium.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are great options when you are trying to eat healthy but how you prepare them has a lot to do with it.  If you fry summer squash or dip strawberries in chocolate, you are defeating the purpose.  Make a vegetable stir fry or sauté vegetables using non-stick cooking spray or a tiny bit of grapeseed oil instead of deep frying.  Look at the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and make choices like berries, kiwi, and citrus.  For example, pineapple contains naturally occurring fat burning enzymes.  Instead of boring and mundane salads, try using new greens like arugula, mache, and endive.  Incorporate spinach into your salads for its terrific antioxidant and iron levels and even try some radicchio.  The possibilities for a quick, healthy lunch are endless.  It just takes a little time and planning but the results are well worth it.

 

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