Most truckers have at least once in their trucking career experienced a serious health crisis as a result of their working conditions. Poor eating habits are one of the most important causes of harmed health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is pretty challenging for truck drivers. However, healthy eating on the road takes a bit of planning but brings huge benefits in long term. It’s always easier for a truck driver to stop at fast food, grab a snack in no time and get back on the road, but his body will suffer serious consequences. People misbelieve that healthy food is hard to obtain on the road. It’s not true. It really isn’t.
Numerous studies that have been conducted up to now highlight expected but not encouraging results. Namely, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 69% of 1,670 respondents were obese. They are at the constant and highest risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. All of these conditions may disqualify a driver for CDL renewal and jeopardize his career.
During the last thirty years, there have been drastic changes in information about what’s healthy and what’s not, what’s causing obesity, and what builds muscles. Today we know for sure that carbohydrates are the least favorable and most dangerous when consumed too much and without any physical activity included. This way the metabolism is getting slower and blood sugar level is jumping.
Lack Of Easy Access To Healthy And Affordable Food Or A Bad Habit?
It’s true that truck stops usually offer unhealthy snacks, candy bars, and high-calorie meals with more carbs to the detriment of proteins. However, the food at the truck stops is much more diverse now than it was five or ten years ago. In addition, there are truck drivers that opt for fast food by automatism, even though there is a choice. Instead of burgers, there is chicken meat, fish, or meal salads to go for. So, although healthy food does not dominate the selection, truck drivers still have a choice. They decide whether they want to eat a healthy or grab an unhealthy meal. It often happens that even if there is a fresh fruit container at a truck stop, truck drivers choose a king-size candy bar instead.
It’s nothing to be judged for because sometimes truckers do have a really bad day. Taking a reasonable amount of sugar is no harm. The problem arises when unhealthy products become one’s daily routine. It causes additional issues because simple carbohydrates cause the feeling of hunger sooner than proteins and healthy fats d, so truckers need to grab a snack again in a few hours. It leads to overeating even though truck drivers can’t feel it and they are not aware of that. A bit of pre-planning can solve the issue and give very positive results.
Healthy Eating on the Road Takes Planning
Healthy meals mean better quality of life. As we have already explained, it’s not true that truck drivers have no other options except for taking fast food at truck stops. The truth is that not only do they have a choice because truck stops also offer healthy meals, but they can also pack their healthy meals and start their dieting.
Dieting definitely does not mean going vegan, not eating, or being hungry. It includes balanced eating with the necessary amount of proteins, fats, and carbs that will fuel the body of a truck driver in a healthier way.
Who says it’s impossible to bring healthy food on a truck. Let’s put it straight and stop making excuses. It’s not hard to boil eggs, bring yogurt, oatmeal, and some fresh fruit. Today all trucks have fridges so there’s enough place to store the food you bring. Healthy eating on the road is certainly possible. Remember, no high sugar for breakfast.
It’s totally fine and even advisable to have some snacks between breakfast and lunch. Instead of a king-size candy bar, you can bring mixed nuts, popcorn, and some veggies. Yogurt is again a good choice. All of these are easy to store and you’ll have a balanced snack when you’re in a pinch.
Today there’s a variety of quick and healthy lunch options. Most of them can be prepared in your truck, but you can also prepare the lunch at home and bring it with you. Grilled chicken breasts, turkey, fish and fresh veggies salad is always the best option. Whole grain bread is a good choice for those who are used to having bread. Premade sandwiches are great for those who don’t have enough time to prepare lunch at home. Eggs, tuna, pasta, meat and gravy are excellent ingredients for a truck drivers’ lunch box. Taking a snack couple of hours after lunch is also fine as long as it’s not garbage full of sugar.
For dinner, there are very affordable ingredients such as pre-cut lettuce, bacon bits, tomatoes, and cheese. Tossing everything in a bowl and adding some dressing takes less time than ordering and waiting for fast food at a truck stop.
Nothing can substitute water. Sugar-sweetened beverages will not quench your thirst. Coca-cola, soda, juice, and sweetened tea have tons of sugar which increases your risk of being overweight, having hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc. A sufficient dose of water intake will postpone your hunger and will make your body function better.
The main conclusion that can be drawn is that truck drivers do have plenty of options to improve the quality of their life and health. Tight schedules and lack of time are some of the reasonable challenges when it comes to finding healthy food at truck stops. However, healthy meals have to be part of the daily routine and truckers’ priority since they are at high risk of diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, etc. Eating every three hours, taking enough proteins that will stabilize blood sugar and make your energy last longer, fiber that will fill you up and solve your constipation, fruits and vegetables that will feed you with vitamins and minerals, good fats that will fuel your body and water as the most important element that keeps you vital are all within easy rich. You just need two things: to be willing to eat healthily and to pre-plan your meal. If you do that, healthy eating on the road will become a piece of cake.