CWRV knows that while driving over the road it can be difficult to find nutritional food to eat that keeps your body healthy. A lot of the times you find yourself reaching for the pre-packaged food that has poor nutritional values. Although they are good for your taste buds they are awful for you the driver. One way to figure what is good for your body to eat and what is not is to understand the nutrition labels located on the back of the packaging.
- Portion Size: Pay attention to the serving size. The serving size varies from package to package and can be very helpful for you as a driver to figure how much nutrition you are receiving. It is best to figure out how many serving you will be consuming that way you can calculate how many calories and other nutrients you will intake. For example, if you eat two servings you must double the calories and other nutrients to get the correct amount of intake.
- Calories Count: Next, you need to know how many calories are in the food you are eating. Calories help you measure how much energy you get from a serving of food. When paid close attention to you can really control your weight. The more calories you take in the higher chance of you are to be overweight or obese. It is recommended for females to intake 2,000 calories per day and 2,500 calories per day for males.
- All about the Fat: Try to stay away from too much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Consuming too much of these have been linked to heart disease, cancers, and high blood pressure. The recommended intake of sodium is 2300mg for anyone under the age of 40. If you are over the age of 40 or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure it is recommended to only intake 1500mg.
- Nutrients: Do get plenty of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. By getting plenty of these nutrients you are not only helping your body short term but long term as well. Dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron help improve your health and can help lower your chances of major diseases and conditions.
- Fiber: Fiber is helpful in preventing blood sugar spikes, makes you feel fuller longer, and helps with regularity. It is recommended to intake 25g-35g of fiber per day.
- Protein is Key: Another way to keep the afternoon snacking away is to pack in protein into your diet. Important chemicals such as enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters are created when you eat protein. These are all important for cognitive function and will make your brain trick your body into thinking it is full length.
- What is your food actually made of?: Read the ingredients. We all have looked at our food labels and realized that there is a list mile long and filled with ingredients we cannot pronounce let alone have never heard of. Try to stray away from food that has a ton of ingredients and words you have no idea the definition of. The smaller the list on the back the better the food is for you.
- Percent Daily Value: Pay attention to the Percent Daily Value. If you are consuming a 2000 calorie diet the Percent Daily Value is the recommended amount. You can find these on the right side of the label.
Fast Food Tips
CWRV understands that being on the road for days on end makes it difficult to make home-cooked meals. More often then not you find yourself pulling into the next McDonalds you find to get some dinner. Although this is an easy way to get some food it often leads to great risks to your health because you are not getting the correct nutrients your body needs. Here are some tips to help you get a healthier meal no matter where you stop for dinner.
- Skip the Fries! Many restaurants and fast food chains have alternatives to fries. Try getting fruit or a side salad instead. You can even skip sides all together to help save you some money when stopping at a fast food joint.
- Keep the portions small. When deciding on something to eat keep in mind the smaller options restaurants offer. Although getting a triple cheeseburger may seem like a good plan it can hurt you. The more there is to eat the higher the calories. Some burgers that have several patties can reach up to 800 calories or more.
- Choose grilled options. Foods that have breading or are fried tend to have more fats and calories. Grilled options tend to be leaner meat and have fewer fats and calories.
- Go for the greener option. Salads can be a great alternative to fried and greasy options. Make sure you are picking the salad that contains grilled items or vegetables in it and not filled with breaded or fried toppings like breaded chicken. Choose a low fat or fat-free salad dressing to go on the side of your salad. Regular salad dressing can add more harmful fats and calories. Limit your extra toppings, such as cheese and croutons, these can quickly increase your calories.
- Drink water. Beverages such as juice and soda tend to contain higher calories. Instead, opt for water. However, if water is not something you are into try diet soda or unsweetened tea.
Five Food Groups
Your dietary habits can affect your health and lifespan. Poor dietary habits lead to heart disease, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, elevated cholesterol, chronic fatigue and several other health risks. By creating good dietary habits in the short term your energy, weight levels, and digestion will be affected in a positive way. In the long term, you can lower blood pressure and have a longer lifespan.
You should make sure that you are getting food from the five food groups each day. These food groups include the bread, grain, and cereal group, fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy groups.
Fruits and Vegetables: When it comes to eating fruit and vegetables try to get a variety of different options. Each fruit and vegetable has different sources of vitamins and nutrients. Make sure to eat whole or cut up fruit and stray away from juices. Juices do not contain dietary fiber.
Protein: The best protein is found by eating meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and peas, eggs, nuts and seeds, and processed soy products. When eating seafood make sure to keep in mind the high mercury levels in certain fish. Salmon is normally a good choice when it comes to fish.
Bread, Grains, and Cereal: Not all grains are good for your body. Whole grains are the most nutritious for your health. Whole grains contain the entire grain. When you eat whole grain you are gaining more nutritional values like antioxidants not found in fruit and vegetables, along with vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Milling refined grains have caused them to lose their nutritional value. When a grain is milled fiber, iron, and vitamin b is taken away from the grain. Some refined grains are pretzels, white rice, and several different types of pasta. If your refined grain has enriched in their name that means that some nutrients were added back in. Although they are still not the best for you they are better than refined grains alone.
Dairy: Dairy is calcium enriched food and fluid milk products that are made from milk. Unfortunately, items like butter and cream cheese do not count in the dairy group because they do not obtain enough calcium.
Understanding the Different Fats
Can fat really be good for you? By understanding the different types of fats that your foods contain you can better decipher what is good for you and what is not. There are two types of fats that are “good” for your body, Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fat can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol which lowers the risk of heart disease. Some sources of monounsaturated fat include canola oil, olive oil, and most nuts and avocados. Polyunsaturated fat can also lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Some sources of polyunsaturated fat include soybean oil, nuts, seeds, and seafood.
There are also two fats that are not good for your body, saturated fats and trans fat. Saturates fats raise LDL cholesterol which increases your risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are normally found in a solid form. Saturated fats include meat, cheese, whole milk, butter, palm oil, and coconut oil. Trans fat has been found to be the most unhealthy fat there is. Trans fats are also known as hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fats include vegetable shortening, margarine, and some commercially baked goods, such as cookies and crackers. It is recommended to limit your intake of saturated fats and trans fats.
Omega 3 and fatty acids may reduce the risk of certain cancers, lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Omega 3 and fatty acids include salmon, green leafy vegetables, tofu, flax seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
Drinking sugary drinks can lead to serious health problems. Although it is sweet on your tongue it is not sweet on your body. When you drink a lot of sugary drinks you can experience tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, gout, and metabolic syndrome.
Things to Know:
- You can gain 25 lbs per year by consuming one 20oz sugary drink per day.
- Sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and grout.
- A 12oz can of cola contains 9 and ½ teaspoons of sugar
- A 20oz bottle contains 16 teaspoons of sugar
- The American Heart Association recommends 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day for men and 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women
- Men that drink at least one can of soda per day have a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or even dying from a heart attack
- High-calorie beverages contribute more to weight gain than solid foods
- Adults are 27% more likely to be overweight if they consume one sugar-filled drink per day
- When sugared drinks are consumed regularly there is a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- To burn off a 20oz can of soda, a 135-pound person would have to:
- Play basketball for 40 minutes vigorously
- In 45 minutes walk 3 miles
- In 22 minutes bicycle vigorously
The National Institute of Health has found that 50 percent of truck drivers are obese. Obesity is the number one caused that leads to diabetes.
Here are some helpful tips on how to prevent diabetes.
- Keep your weight down. The more body fat stored around your abdomen area can diminish the insulin supply to your body.
- Make sure you are getting enough exercise. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This is a great opportunity to get your thirty-minute break that is required by DOT every 8 hours you are on duty.
- Eat healthy and balanced meals. Try to stay away from saturated and trans fat. Make sure to eat foods that are high in fiber. Fruits and vegetables are also a healthier alternative. Try to keep away from sweets as much as possible.
- Quit smoking.
- Control your blood pressure.
Make sure to go to your doctor for regular check-ups.