Lunch or sandwich? Or lunch = sandwich??

True Facts: 

  • Britons buy about three billion ready-made sandwiches a year.
  • A sandwich is the lunch option for 75% of the world’s population.

Traditionally, for the most of the European countries, the lunch is the main meal served between 11.30 PM and 3.00 PM, 1:00 PM being the most-common lunch time. This meal may consist of 2 courses and a dessert. The first course usually means an appetizer- including soup and the main course is a more elaborate dish, with meat or fish.healthy lunch

Lunch is an important meal of the day, because it provides the necessary energy for the rest of the day. Performance, moods, appetite are influenced by the lunch.

To make you feel full of energy, your lunch has to be nutritionally balanced; it has to contain all the macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. For a healthy, middle aged adult, who is trying to maintain his weight and who is not interested of losing weight, the lunch is 30 to 35 percent protein, 30 to 35 percent complex carbohydrates and no more than 30 to 35 percent fat.

A nutritionally balanced lunch should include some low glycaemic index carbs such as wholegrain bread, beans, crackers or pasta, teamed with a good serve of lean protein such as tuna, chicken breast or egg as well as plenty of salad vegetables.

Since most of the people are at work when they are supposed to eat lunch, the main meal of the day- the lunch, turned itself into a quick snack packed with lots of calories. The sandwich became the most common lunch option. It is true that a sandwich can contain all the necessary macronutrients: proteins from the meat, complex carbohydrates and fiber from the wholegrain bread, fat from the dressing and other nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins from the classic lettuce leaf and tomato and from the other components mentioned before. Another common option is the salad- vegetables, lean proteins, fat from dressing. Salads are low in calories, but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. For example, 1 cup of raw baby spinach has about 7 calories and contains about 20 percent of your vitamin A for the day. But if a salad or vegetable-based soup is added to the regular sandwich or sushi, then this is a perfectly balanced lunch.

No matter what we choose- a sandwich, a salad or a 3 courses hot meal, we have to ensure our bodies the carbs that both our brain and our muscles require for energy. Limiting the carbohydrates intake leaves you prone to low energy levels and sugar cravings later in the afternoon. To avoid these situations is enough to have something like 1-2 slices of grain bread, a few wholegrain crackers or a small tin of beans or corn. Skipping entirely the lunch is bad for your figure because you will certainly want to eat more, later in the evening.
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