By Mushvig Mehdiyev
Lunch is the most important meal of the day but at the same time the hardest one, since it can spoil our health planning if it is served irregularly. The midday meal is an important issue which requires serious attention because it provides our body with the main material it needs for survival.
First of all, medical and dietary experts say carbohydrates bear a vital importance for a healthy lunch. Organism could considerably benefit from complex carbohydrates, including wholegrain bread and crackers, leftover wholemeal pasta, and brown rice, said Lisa Guy, a nutritionist.
"Carbohydrates provide a steady supply of energy to the brain and body throughout the day," she added.
The type of carbohydrate in the meal is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the meal, because some sources of carbohydrate, including vegetables (other than potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans are healthier than others, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a US-based organization engaged in public health issues.
Protein is also a key nutritional element to add health to the midday food. It helps you repair your body and keeps you satisfied for a long time after eating. Thus, it’s important to include a bit of protein with every meal.
Protein-rich foods such as sandwiches or wraps with tinned fish, chicken, turkey, lean meat, boiled egg or low-fat cheese are ideal for a lunch meal. Trail mix with seeds of pumpkin, sunflower and some dried fruit can also make your eating healthy and tasty.
When it comes to a healthy diet, calcium is an irreplaceable element to be mentioned. Particularly healthy teeth and bones are achieved by getting enough calcium through meal. Low-fat yoghurt, cheese with crackers, a salmon wrap, and baby spinach are all easy options to add to your lunch. Try to avoid yoghurts with high levels of sugar.
Drinks are an inseparable part of the lunch break. But, even healthy drinks like smoothies and fruit juice can fulfill a serious empty calorie punch. Water is the best choice as you leave the fruit's all the best parts behind after you squeeze it. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health calls to avoid sugary beverages, which are the major source of calories.
Arranging a weekly plan for lunch breaks will boost your health and help you have a disciplined schedule for midday meal. Particularly, working persons could benefit from a well-prepared eating list.
Leyla Zulfugarova, a medical doctor, registered dietitian in Azerbaijan, told AzerNews that lunch break is the most important time of the day in terms of nutrition.
"Carbohydrates, proteins and food acids are very significant for a meal. Normal lunch should include a soup, raw vegetable salad and hot meal. It would be better to avoid fried eating and prefer vegetable oils," she said.
Zulfugarova noted that overeating during launch can cause some disorders, so, it is strictly advised not to exceed the daily norm of midday nutrition.
Receiving sugar beverages next to meal is not acceptable, since the body is not able to produce the acid for sweet and other kinds of food at the same time and water is the best accompaniment for lunch break, said Zulfugarova, winner of Most Influential Dietitian of the Year prize in Azerbaijan in 2014.
"Eating on time and regularly is very important for each person. Therefore, a special nutrition program is a better way to manage nutrition habits. The program should be developed based on the life and working style," she noted.
Zulfugarova said she has held numerous training and consulting courses in regard to issues of healthy nutrition.
"In a week, we are going to organize an event to raise public awareness about eating habits, nutritional issues among the people in Azerbaijan. Our country needs such informative events," she added.
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