Business travel and road trips can prove to include poor eating habits. There are ways, however, to make your meals and trips heart-healthier.
One study recently revealed a significantly higher risk of developing atherosclerosis disease amongst business travelers. Atherosclerosis is a slow, steady, clogging of the arteries. The main culprits in this social business diet are large meals mainly consisting of high-fat foods and lots of alcohol.
Being that cardiovascular disease causes over 17 million deaths annually, it behooves us to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Granted, it’s not just poor eating habits that lend to our risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise, sleep and overwhelming amounts of stress also contribute.
The study examined the health effects of three different types of eating plans. One plan was the Mediterranean diet, which consisted of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and nuts. Another was the Western diet, which included red and processed meats, dairy products, and refined grains. And the other, the social-business plan, looked a lot like the Western diet but included more unhealthy snacks and excessive amounts of alcohol.
The results were recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to fMRI and ultra-sound test results, those who ate the “business” diet revealed a “significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile” than the Mediterranean diet folks.
On the Road Again
It can be tough avoiding fast foods when you’re on the road. And sometimes they can seem appealing—until you’re finished with the meal and feel regretful and gross. Here are some tips for making your road trip or business trip healthier overall:
– Drink more water
– Drink less sugary beverages and limit alcohol consumption
– Carry around snacks like nuts, low-sugar granola, fruit, and baby carrots
– Avoid red meat; substitute grilled poultry or fish
– Salads are great—keep the dressing healthy and low-fat
– Plan your meal ahead. Figure out when, where, and what, beforehand. With everyone running around, getting “hangry”, you’re bound to make impulsive food decisions.
– If you’re driving, keep a small cooler in the car filled with non-sugary drinks and crunchy raw veggies
– Get good rest. Meetings don’t need to go late into the night. Also, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to be driving when you’re tired. While traveling, “early to bed, early to rise,” is a wise choice.
– Take brisk morning walks. Use hotel swim or gym facilities. Carve out time during the day (even a few minutes) to move your body. Driving and working all day without stretching is awful for your posture (back and neck, too.)
If you’re the kind of person who eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle at home, there’s no reason you can’t continue those behaviors while on the road. Coming home feeling like you need a vacation or a detox isn’t any fun. Safe and restful travels…