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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > February 2016 > Make your LUNCHBOX work harder

Make your LUNCHBOX work harder

We consume 60% of our total daily food intake at work, yet nutrition at lunchtime often loses out to convenience. With a little planning, you can have both

EATING THE SAME THING or heading to the supermarket or sandwich shop every day for a mayo-heavy lunch is bad news if you’re watching your weight (or purse strings). It helps if your workplace has a good nutrition policy (and a kitchen). But for those of us left to our own devices, it’s often high street chains that dish up our midday meal – fine once in a while, but knowing exactly what goes into your lunch is essential for a healthy, balanced diet.

The good news is that just a few staples and a little preparation are all you need to turn your lunch into something to be excited about – and good for your health. You’ll find a handy guide on p18.

If you already prepare your own lunch, great! But it’s still important to pay attention to the ingredients you use and to keep the contents of your lunchbox varied. ‘Even homemade lunches can be loaded with salt, sugar or fat,’ warns HFG nutritionist Amanda Ursell. ‘Choose tinned foods in unsalted water, consider open sandwiches and opt for healthier spreads such as mashed avocado and hummus.’

The ideal lunchbox

THE COMPONENTS OF YOUR LUNCH should come from all four main food groups: slow-release carbs, fruit and veg, protein and dairy (or a calcium-rich dairy alternative). But the amounts you need from each group vary slightly depending on how active you are during the day…

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About Healthy Food Guide

New Year’s resolution slipping by the wayside? Get back on track with February’s HFG: we’ve expert advice on beating the weight-loss plateau, fitness motivation and 12 essential skills to help your healthy cooking. Plus, get the sane view on The Sirtfood Diet, improve your mouth health and build a better lunch box with our canny tips