Healthy Tips: Packing Cholesterol-Friendly Lunches for Work

Preparing Your Lunches Ahead of Time Can Keep Your Heart Healthy, Save Time

Eating a low-cholesterol lunch at work is easy with these simple tips. Steve Zazeski, stock.xchg

Following a diet to lower your cholesterol isn’t that difficult to do. However, the time constraints presented by certain jobs - such as deadlines, long hours, and other obligations - may make it difficult for you to stick to a cholesterol-lowering diet. These factors could cause you to resort to quick, high-sugar or high-fat foods that could cause your lipid levels and weight to creep up. By following these simple steps, you can pack your favorite cholesterol-friendly meals and snacks for work – and still have time to devote to your work projects and other daily obligations:

Plan Ahead

Planning your meals ahead of time is very important. This will help ensure that you are obtaining the proper calories and needed nutrients in your diet. It will also help you to identify possible foods that could contribute too much fat and calories to your diet.

Planning your meals also makes grocery shopping easier, in that whatever you’ve put on the list goes in your basket, and whatever isn’t on the list stays out of your cart. Doing this can also save money, help you make heart-healthy choices, and deter you from using your appetite when selecting groceries.

If you are having difficulty planning your meals, try a meal plan that has already been designed for you.

Have Staple Ingredients on Hand

You should stock your kitchen pantry and refrigerator with a few, healthy, easy-to-prepare foods in the event that you need to make something quickly. Some of these foods include nuts, olive oil, tofu, lean meats, whole-grain pasta or bread and your favorite fruits and veggies.

Whether you are making a quick sandwich before you head out the door or an effortless salad for dinner, having foods like this around will ensure the meal that is easy to make and healthy for your heart. Additionally, some of these healthy foods can make perfect grab-and-go snacks.

Healthy Foods to Include in Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

Make Your Meals Ahead of Time

Sometimes, it is a lot easier to grab fast food on your lunch break or for your family after work. Unfortunately, this time-saving measure can introduce unhealthy foods to your diet. Preparing your meals in advance can save you a lot of time, as well as spare you from added calories in your diet. Because eating out during or after work can be expensive, making your own meals can also save you money in the long run. After planning the foods you would like to make, designate one or two days of the week as your day(s) to cook. If you are still having trouble coming up with ideas for healthy meals, you may opt to use a few recipes and modify them according to your taste (provided that the changes are heart-healthy, of course).

For some of the more common, easy-to-prepare meals, here are some guidelines to follow that will allow you to include your favorite ingredients and give you a little variety:

Keep a Stash at Work

Are you tempted by vending machines? If so, create your own stash of healthy "goodies" at your desk or in your work refrigerator. That way, filling foods such as walnuts, whole-grain crackers, granola or fruit are readily available when the munchies hit. And going this route will reduce your chances of hitting the snack machine for foods unhealthy, high-calorie foods. If the vending machines are still a temptation for you - despite having these heart-healthy snacks within reach - consider leaving your spare change at home.

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