Healthy, low-fat meals part 2: lunches

Did you like our meal ideas for breakfast?  Here are some great lunch ideas which are nutritious, low in fat and, most importantly, yummy! 

To avoid a mid afternoon slump, it’s important to eat a well-balanced, low sugar meal at lunchtime.  Avoid simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice.  These release energy quickly so although you may feel an initial boost, your blood sugars will soon come crashing down, making you feel lethargic and wanting to crawl under your desk and sleep the afternoon off. 

Protein increases satiety so try to include some form of protein in your lunch and you’ll feel fuller.  Avoid processed foods.  They are high in salt and sugar so as well as playing havoc with your blood sugar levels, you’ll not be doing your heart any favours and the calorie count is likely to be higher than lower-sugar alternatives.

I’ve tried to give you ideas which are quick and easy to prepare and are easy for school or work lunchboxes.

Soup

Made well, soup can provide loads of vitamins and minerals and is a great way to pack a few of your 5-a-day into one meal.  For a quick veg soup simply boil some carrots, parsnips, peas, leeks and lentils in veg or chicken stock then whizz up with a hand blender or food processor.  The lentils provide your protein and the veg will release energy slowly.  Add a slice of wholemeal bread for added fibre.  This will provide around 250 cals.  Make a big batch at the weekend and whack it in a thermos to take to work each day.

Pasta Salad

Perfect to stick in a tupperware box and take to work, mix it up for a healthy, filling lunch. Cook up some wholewheat pasta and mix with some peppers, sundried tomatoes, olives, spinach or basil and some cooked chicken breast. Toss in a low fat dressing or a drop of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and there you have it. Dead easy and you can add and take out ingredients depending on what you like to keep it interesting. If you keep the oily ingredients to a minimum you’re looking at around 400cals for a portion.

Veggie Hummous Wraps

Hummous is a great source of protein. Grab a tortilla wrap, spread in some low-fat hummous (or better still, make your own-you’ll know exactly what’s in it!) and add some sliced raw peppers, tomatoes, olives and salad leaves. The protein will fill you up and the sweetness of the peppers and tomatoes will satisfy a sweet tooth.

Beans on Toast

Make like a student and enjoy some good, old-fashioned beans on toast. Beans are packed with protein, fibre and iron. Combined with wholemeal bread, they’ll release energy slowly, making you feel fuller for longer and have the added benefit of being low in fat. A small tin of beans with 2 slices of wholemeal bread will provide approx. 400 cals. If this sounds way too boring, splash on some worcestershire sauce for a bit of zing!

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