Healthy words to live by… Lunch hour and heart health

How to make positive changes

Tim Damron, MD, FACC, Cardiologist

When it comes to your lunch hour at work, it can be tricky sticking to healthy choices. Whether you find it challenging to get a head start on preparing your lunch in the morning, or your office often caters decadent, fatty, lunches — making better choices doesn’t have to be so hard. Pack up these helpful tips in your lunch box today!

Eat a healthy and filling breakfast

There’s a reason why breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy and fuel to get your motor going in the morning, but it can also be an important player when it comes to your lunch hour. People who skip breakfast are typically famished by lunchtime.

When your body is really hungry from not eating breakfast, you are likely to eat more at lunch as well as crave fast food. According to Mayo Clinic, the basics of a healthy breakfast should include these good-for-your-heart foods:

– Whole grains such as whole oats, whole grain toast, or quinoa.

– Lean proteins such as Greek yogurt, beans & lentils, egg whites, or powered peanut butter.

– Low-fat dairy such as skin or fat-free milk, low-fat yogurts & cottage cheese.

– Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, bananas, tomatoes, peppers, apples & spinach.

Meal prep for the week ahead

Why not make meal prep a part of your weekend plans? Meal prepping will allow you to ensure that you create healthy portions that can limit overeating throughout the workweek.

Having homemade, healthy grab-and-go meals can also save you a boatload of time, and you’ll be more likely to skip the fast-food drive-thru on lunch hour. Add these top heart-healthy items to your grocery list and whip up some healthy meals:

– Lean cuts of beef, chicken, and salmon.

– Assorted fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, broccoli, and asparagus.

-Low-fat cheese and other low-fat dairy products.

-Beans and legumes.

– Leafy greens.

Once your meals are prepared, you can freeze them as needed to keep them from spoiling.

Drink more water

Staying hydrated is a crucial component of heart health. Not only does adequate hydration keep your heart from strain, but it can also help your heart pump blood through your blood vessels to your muscles easier. If you struggle with remembering to drink more water, here are some tips to remind you to take a water break:

– Leave a water bottle at your desk and keep it full throughout the day.

– Snack on fruits and vegetables packed with H2O, such as watermelon, grapes, and cucumbers.

-Replace energy drinks and sugary sodas with water instead.

– Set reminders to drink water on your smartphone or computer at work.

Pleasant Valley Hospital offers the latest in screening and advanced treatment of heart disease. For more information about heart disease prevention and treatments, contact the office of Cardiologist Timothy Damron, MD, FACC, at 304-675-1484. Dr. Damron and his team are happy to help you with all your cardiovascular concerns and needs.

Piece submitted by PVH.
How to make positive changes

Tim Damron, MD, FACC, Cardiologist