Tips for a healthy lunch recipes
Do you always get a healthy lunch in the canteen at work? Do you eat fried noodles from home? Or do you just quickly knock back a yogurt drink and a Snickers and get back to work? What you eat in the afternoon can make a big difference to your energy levels and appetite for the rest of the day. So it pays to choose a healthy lunch!
But what is a healthy lunch? Fortunately, that certainly does not mean that you are condemned to a scanty salad. And no, sandwiches are certainly not necessarily a problem! In this blog, we give a number of tips and examples of a good meal in the afternoon.
What is a healthy lunch?
Of course, a healthy lunch has all the conditions that are attached to all healthy food. For example, it should contain a lot of nutrients, and preferably not too many sugars, salt and unhealthy fats.
But lunch also has two specific functions:
- A healthy lunch gives you enough energy to get through the afternoon. After all, you want to avoid the dreaded dip around the end of the afternoon.
- A healthy lunch is filling enough so you don’t have to reach for unhealthy snacks to make it through to dinner.
Those two things mean that you choose ingredients that are not digested too quickly as much as possible. They continue to fill your stomach for a long time and release their energy slowly.
White sandwiches, sugary drinks or a fatty pasta salad from the canteen are therefore not good choices. But what can you eat as a healthy lunch?
Healthy lunch sandwiches
For many people, lunch is a sandwich meal. Fortunately, there is nothing wrong with that – as long as you opt for whole grain buns and sandwiches. They fill a lot longer and deliver more healthy nutrients.
It is also important to think carefully about the siege. People often opt for sweet fillings such as jam or sprinkles. However, it contains a lot of sugar, and it is not very filling. Not an ideal choice! It is also preferable not to fill your bread with processed meat products or extremely fatty cheeses, because they provide a lot of saturated fats.
What are good choices? A smart option is always to eat vegetables on bread. Almost everyone eats too little vegetables, and by making a start at lunch, it is much easier to gain 250 grams per day. Even fruit is a good option, especially if you like to eat a sweet sandwich. A few suggestions:
- Bread with cheese, cucumber and tomato
- Chickpea carrot salad sandwich
- Bread with peanut butter and apple slices
In addition, it is good if you get a lot of protein at lunch. They fill for a long time and saturate well. Good sources of protein on bread are, for example, cheese, legumes or nuts (pasta), as in the examples above. Or choose meat or fish, as in the following recipes:
- Chicken curry salad sandwich
- Tunasalad sandwich
However, you certainly don’t have to choose bread! There are countless tasty and healthy lunch recipes without sandwiches.
High protein lunch
Proteins, as mentioned, are important for satiety. It is therefore important that you use some protein-rich ingredients in every lunch, even without bread.
For example, opt for a healthy lunch with an egg! You can always eat an egg on bread or mix it with your salad. But there are also more creative options. How about for example:
- An omelette wrap
- A sweet potato fritatta
- Wrap with tuna salad
- Wrap with goat cheese and olives
- Wrap with smoked meat and dairy spread
Do you want to get a lot of vegetables and a lot of protein? A salad can also be a high-protein lunch! Opt for a well-filled meal salad with some protein sources, then you will soon be in the right place. For example, you can choose:
- Thai salad with chicken
- Summer salad with watermelon and cottage cheese
- Salad with chickpeas and apple
Of course, you can also put together a salad yourself. For example, use leftover fruit and vegetables that you still have, then you also immediately avoid having to throw away food.
How many calories you want to consume with lunch differs slightly from person to person. If you have a strong appetite and want to eat a lot, you can put 600 kcal on the menu. But if you have a lower calorie requirement or if you want to lose weight, a low-calorie lunch is sometimes wise.
Note: a low-calorie lunch does not mean that you have to eat extremely little. It is still important that your lunch is filling and that it provides energy! A few slices of cucumber is really not enough.
It is important to choose your calories carefully. It is wise to include some fats in your lunch, because they are more saturated. Furthermore, proteins remain of great importance, as well as fiber, which you get from vegetables, fruit and whole-grain carbohydrates, for example. If you coordinate all of this well, you can easily put together a healthy lunch that delivers around 300 kcal.
Salads are a good idea here too. Especially because they contain a lot of fruit and vegetables: these are ingredients that provide few calories, but are quite filling. For example, how about the following recipes, which all stay below 300 kcal?
- Cheese salad with fresh lemon dressing
- Roasted cauliflower with almonds and capers
- Salad with smoked salmon and orange
Another ideal option for a low-calorie lunch is soup. Please note that it must be a well-filled soup: you will not get through the afternoon with some broth with chunks of vegetables. But enough variation is possible! At FitChef you will find, for example, the following slim soups:
- Lentil meal soup
- Protein pepper soup
- Curry vegetable soup
You can also eat a slice of wholemeal bread with it, and your lunch is complete!
Leftovers for lunch
Our last tip for a quick healthy lunch? Use your leftovers from the evening meal! Most recipes can easily be taken to work or study the next day in a bowl. Bring a set of cutlery and a napkin and you have a delicious meal.
Taking leftovers for lunch really only has advantages. That way you are a lot cheaper than if you were to buy the same meal in the canteen. Moreover, you cook healthier yourself than a catering company, which usually adds all kinds of less healthy seasonings to such a ready-to-eat meal. And you also help to prevent waste!