On the road trucker and a healthy diet. No, this is not a game “What two things do not go together.” It is serious stuff, and it’s getting more important. Statistics are telling us that the stereotype of overweight driver “Trucker gut” is not a myth. Recent figures show that 80% of the truck road drivers are overweight and 50% are complete slide in the obese category. It is actually shorten the lifetime of the people who work so hard to deliver almost all the country needs. According to the Center for Disease Control, the life span of the average truck driver is an awesome 16% less than the average American.
Given the grim sounding numbers, what is the truck driver to do? Most truckers can not go hit the gym for an hour every day, and think you have to live on a diet of “sticks and berries” is downright depressing. Fortunately, there is a solution. It just takes a little planning, a little education on nutrition and correction or two.
A good way to help plan what you are going to eat when you’re on the road is to think, “What can I bring from home?” or “What could I pick up at the grocery store which is a good portable fuel?” There are a lot of healthy, tasty options such as a small bag of nuts, raisins, granola and dark chocolate chips. It is also important to eat snacks directly from a large bag or box. You can eat your way through a thousand calories before you know it.
There are a lot of basic things you can bring to satisfy snack choice. Pack healthy options like whole grain bread, peanut butter, cheese sticks, carrots and easy to eat fresh fruits like apples and bananas. If you want fresh vegetables like peppers, celery and other vegetables high fiber, they are great to satisfy the need to be chewing on something without piling on the calories and sugar. If you have a mini-fridge in your car or have room for cooler, it opens up an entire world of health friendly foods that you can take on the road.
Here are some simple instructions to make healthy meal choices easier:
– Choose lean meats like skinless chicken and fish.
– Select grilled or roasted, not battered or fried.
– Think salad. But watch out for high-calorie and fat-laden creamy dressings. Ask for dressing on the side. It gives you control over the amount.
– Be aware of all the popular starches such as white bread and dinner rolls, potatoes and white rice. They are not friendly to your waistline and do not provide much in the way of nutrition besides carbohydrates and calories.
– When you eat carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates. Whole grain bread, whole grain pastas, brown rice and oatmeal are made from rough kernel. They provide more nutrients and higher in fiber. That is why they do better to satisfy your appetite.
– Learn to read labels. If it does not specifically say “whole grain” and it probably is not. Learn to read grams of fat and sodium, and know what they mean.
It may seem like a lot to digest, no pun intended, but to understand more about the food we eat will make it easier to be aware of what and how much we put in our mouths. It does not all have to be a nutritionist, but a little education can go a long way.