What’s Missing In Your Lunch?
Here are three lunches.
Before looking at the nutrition information, try to answer these questions:
Ann Caldwell, Anne Arundel Medical Center’s nutritionist, says eating low calorie meals is a worthy cause, but it’s just as important to look at what you’re missing in a meal as it is to try to keep the calories down.
“When you’re examining a nutrition label, make sure you look at what’s NOT in the meal,” she said.
“A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread has got a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protein for the calories. And the fat in peanut butter is the ‘good’ kind. Add a potassium rich banana, carrots, and skim milk and that’s a really healthy meal. We tend to look for better solutions that are faster than bagging your own lunch, but the truth is, everything we need is in the lunch that’s simple to make and so much better for you in the long run.”
As part of her job at the hospital, Caldwell counsels people with weight problems and eating disorders. She said she is dismayed by the growing number of overweight and obese children she sees. Many people don’t start paying attention to their eating habits until they get a wake up call from a doctor who gives them the bad news of high blood pressure or high cholesterol, but Caldwell says eating well should be a lifelong habit. She said, “New statistics indicate that 40 percent of children skip breakfast and one out of four children are overweight or obese. That’s a wake up call. To keep our bodies healthy, we need to be looking at the fiber, good fat, the calories and the vitamins and minerals in our meals.”