If you are trying to eat out less and cook food in the truck more frequently, you may need some meal ideas. Sarah and her dietetic interns have been creating a variety of meal plans to help meet the needs of any driver. Feel free to swap/modify ingredients to better fit your food preferences!
What to look for at fast food restaurants
Have you ever been in a pinch and needed a quick meal from a fast food restaurant? Many fast food chains have improved their nutrition choices in recent years! By introducing more vegetable-filled meals like salads and bowls, these restaurants have expanded beyond the typical cheeseburger-and-fries menu.
Even when eating out, try to make your plate balanced. For instance, half the plate non-starchy vegetables, 1/4 plate lean protein, and 1/4 plate complex carbohydrates. Keep in mind, you can ask for apple slices or a side salad with your meal instead of the usual add-ons. Focus on water instead of sugary beverages, opt for baked instead of fried, etc. Click on the link for more suggestions!
nutritious gas station snacks
When you're on the road for a long period of time, odds are you're going to get hungry at some point. When your stomach does start to growl, the nearest gas station may be your only option.
Gas stations may be famous for slushies and lukewarm hot dogs, but there are actually a number of healthy snacks that they also offer. When looking for a snack, try to focus on a snack that contains lean protein and/or a healthy fat. If you eat a carbohydrate, try to pair it with a lean protein and/or healthy fat to keep you full until your next meal.
Grocery Store List
When hunger strikes out on the open road, make sure you’re prepared by having snacks and meals easily accessible. This can help you with your health goals. Feel free to print this list out to help you focus on nutrient-rich options that you can build your plate with.
Diabetes Grocery List Tips
Blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are affected by numerous factors, for example, nutrition, stress, exercise, etc. Carbohydrates are going to make blood sugar go up. Choosing whole grain carbohydrates will make blood sugar go up slower because of the fiber content in comparison to simple carbohydrates. Protein and fat contain very little to no carbohydrates. When you consume a carbohydrate, pair it with a lean protein and or healthy fat to help your blood sugar stabilize.
Begin a healthy eating routine by adding the following foods to your grocery list. Also make sure to follow these steps:
- Avoid regular soda, fruit punch, regular sports drinks, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks. Choose water and sugar free drinks instead.
- Cut back on high calorie snack foods and desserts such as chips, crackers, cookies, cakes and ice cream.
- Focus on healthy fats, like nuts, nut butters, seeds, olives, olive oil, avocado, and avocado oil. Limit unhealthy fats like fatty meats, full fat dairy, lard, butter and sour cream.
- Begin reading the Nutrition Facts and look at the serving size and total carbohydrates.
Reading and Understanding Food Labels By Stephanie Hanning, R.D.
As an over the road truck driver it is probably impossible that you won’t rely on some packaged food to get you through your days. The problem that most people have is the lack of understanding on how to read a food label and what all those numbers mean. Understanding and reading food labels is essential to eating for health. It will help you avoid obvious pitfalls such as excessive sugar or sodium consumption and make you more aware what you are putting in your body and how it makes you feel. Knowledge is power and the more you know and understand the food that you are eating the more you are able to make better choices with your nutrition.
Fast Food By Stephanie Hanning, R.D.
When you are out on the road and hungry, grabbing a fast food meal may be necessary at times. The problem with fast food is that it normally is loaded with calories, sugar, sodium, and fat. This can be a challenging situation if you are trying to eat healthy but you can make choices that can keep you on track with healthy eating.
Carbs - the lowdown By Stephanie Hanning, R.D.
Understanding carbohydrates may be one of the toughest things to do these days. One day the media tells you carbs are bad, the other day they are praised. It becomes really hard to decipher what information is right and wrong. Throw in the obstacles of driving a truck and limited food choices and it seems impossible to choose foods wisely.
Preventing and Controlling Diabetes By Stephanie Hanning, R.D.
Diabetes continues to be on the rise and the number one risk factor for the development of the disease is obesity. The significance of this for the trucking industry is statistics from the National Institute of Health indicate that more than 50 percent of truck drivers are obese, compared to the national rate of 26.7 percent. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of diabetes is 50 percent (JOEM 2009) in the trucking industry, and there are 7 million drivers on the road.
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: A Look at the Facts
Sweetened beverages, sometimes known as sugar-sweetened beverages or SSBs, range from carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks to energy drinks and vitamin and other sweetened waters.
Here are some facts about sugar-sweetened beverages:
- Approximately one-half of the population 2 years of age and older consumes sugar drinks on any given day
- Males consume an average of 178 calories from sugar drinks daily, while women consume 103 calories
- People who drink sodas, juices, and other caloric beverages do not compensate for these calories by consuming fewer calories in food, which is a major factor contributing to overweight and obesity
How Much Do Bad Habits Cost?
- To estimate the cost of eating poorly, you must consider the costs associated with developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancer, higher health insurance and life insurance costs, medical expenses, higher food and clothing costs, decreased productivity, and lost wages from missing work.
- In a study from The George Washington University, researchers found that an overweight man spends $432 a year, and an overweight woman about $524 a year, more than normal weight people. Individuals who are obese, however, have much, much higher costs: $2,646 a year for males and $4,879 for females.