Heart-Healthy Meals for on the Run by Caron Golden

It’s easy to come up with excuses for eating fast food or unhealthy snacks when you’re on the go. With the right mindset, tools, and some organization, being too busy to sit down for a heart-healthy meal doesn’t have to mean you’re left with no choice but to hit a drive-through for a burger and fries.

Heart-Healthy Meals for on the Run

Why It’s Important for People with Diabetes to Eat Heart-Healthy

People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than people without diabetes. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), where the heart and blood vessels are negatively impacted, is the number one cause of death in people living with diabetes.

What You Need to Eat Heart-Healthy Meals On the Go

  • A grocery list of items you love that are heart-healthy and can allow you several options to create tempting meals and snacks you can eat anywhere.
    • Raw vegetables—edamame (without salt!) and dark leafy greens are heart-healthy choices
    • Fresh fruit—oranges, cherries, and blueberries are great options
    • Nuts—walnuts are packed with heart-healthy omega-3s
    • Low- or non-fat yogurt
    • Lean protein—look for proteins that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like water-packed tuna or salmon, or go meat-free with tofu
    • Whole grain bread and lavash
  • Packing your bag with extra items can make it easier to make healthy choices on the go:
    • Travel cutlery and paper napkins
    • A small cooler and ice packs
    • Reusable storage bags and containers
    • A thermos for hot or cold drinks
Once you get home from the store, it’s key to take a few minutes to slice and store your produce in a way that will let you choose what you want when you’re trying to beat the clock. Put nuts, fruits, and vegetables in containers you can grab quickly. Store ice packs in a visible, designated part of the freezer to avoid wasting time searching for them. Invest the time in this prep now to make it a breeze to pull what you want later.

Prepare Meals the Night Before for a Busy Day

If you know you’re going to have a hectic day ahead of you, set yourself up the night before or early in the morning. Fill your cooler with what you prepared like a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread, sliced vegetables, fruit, a package of nuts, and your thermos filled with water, iced tea, or whatever unsweetened drink you enjoy.

Make Sure to Prep Heart-Healthy Snacks, Too

Even if your meals are accounted for, you may have a craving for a midmorning or afternoon snack. That same prep will still serve you well and reduce the temptation for chips, cookies, or other snacks that could derail your diabetes management. Keep heart-healthy munchies with you in the car or office like cut vegetables, fruit, nuts, or yogurt.
By planning ahead, you can be prepared when you feel hungry by having heart-healthy options close by. Taking a little extra time to prep during your down time means you’re more likely to make delicious healthy choices.

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