Now that we are more than mid-way through National Nutrition Month, it’s important that we mention the significance of good nutrition for the country’s work force.  Basic common sense tells us that we need to eat healthy to stay healthy, but with the temptation of fast food and convenience of take-out and pre-packaged meals, it’s pretty easy to take the wrong path.

Younger employees think they are immune to problems caused by improper nutrition, but when they reach their 40s and 50s, they will understand what good nourishment is all about.

Good nutrition provides these benefits:

  • Energy for work and play
  • Healthy weight maintenance
  • Healthy aging
  • Preventing disease

We all need to realize that for good nutrition, we should have a meal plan that provides 45% to 65% of calories from carbohydrates; 10% to 35% of daily calories from protein; less than 10% of daily calories from saturated fat, (most should come from unsaturated fat), and 10 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed daily.  Nutritionists also advise the correct intake of calories for women/men depending on age, and job demands.

Encourage your employees to have these healthy eating habits:

  • Get most of calories from low-fat, low-sugar foods
  • Avoid fads or crash diets
  • Eat three meals per day – don’t skip meals
  • Eat reasonable portions – (don’t be guilty of “supersizing”)
  • Watch what they are eating when dining out – some restaurants are caloric minefields!
  • Refuel every four to five hours
  • Consume healthy carbs (high fiber nutrition bars, low fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt)
  • When snacking, or eating a full meal, it’s a good idea to stop when one is 80% full.  Chances are, in 20 to 30 minutes, they will feel satisfied.

To have a healthy workforce, companies could regularly incorporate nutrition programs into their safety programs.  It is to everyone’s benefit to eat healthy and exercise daily.  The results of consuming too many unhealthy foods over a period of time can result in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases that can shorten one’s life span.