A healthy diet during business trips

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A sandwich at the railway station, chocolate bar at the airport and energy drink as a pick-me-up shortly before the business meeting. This is how many business travellers sustain themselves when on the go – grabbing snacks at the countless bistros, kiosks, bakeries and snack stalls in railway stations and airports. However, in the long term, this is by no means healthy. Food nutritionist and chairwoman of the Zentrale für Ernährungsberatung e. V. nutrition advice centre in Hamburg, Ute Hantelmann, explains how frequent travellers can eat better and which snacks are both filling and satisfying.

“While business travellers’ physical activity is often minimal, their mental activity is high. It is therefore important to ensure that you do not eat too much and also the right things,” Hantelmann explains. All the sitting and waiting and the focus on work and meetings means regular, balanced meals are no longer a priority. Unhealthy snacks eaten by hand are often the unhealthy alternative.

“Foods with a high energy content – so more than 200 calories per 100 grams – such as sandwiches or chocolate bars only satisfy your appetite for a little while,” Hantelmann continues. Countless small amounts lead to more meals with more calories and in the long term, this can lead to excess weight and cardiovascular disorders. Business travellers should therefore switch to foods with a lower energy content – so less than 200 calories per 100 grams. These contain a lot of water, fewer calories and are juicier. “If you are standing in the bakery or at a snack stall and do not know how many calories something has, then you can safely assume that everything that is juicy that you need cutlery to eat has a low energy content,” the expert reveals. “This also includes pasta and rice, hence a meal with vegetables, rice and sauce, an apple or milk drink is more filling than a hot dog, sandwich, chocolate bar or Danish pastry.” This is because bread – whether wholemeal or white – contains more than 200 calories and will not satisfy your hunger for very long.

Travellers should therefore take the time to eat a proper meal – regardless of whether that is Asian noodles, Greek salad or a Turkish doner kebab. According to Hantelmann, the energy content is then less than 200 calories: “Doner kebabs contain a lot of salad, vegetables and sauce, and this juiciness and liquid help to create a lasting feeling of fullness and are rich in fibre and vitamins, too.” Water is of course the best drink, though the odd treat is also allowed: “The basic supply of liquid should take the form of calorie-free beverages such as water, tea and coffee. Those wishing to treat themselves can of course have the occasional espresso, energy drink or soft drink – as long as these are the exception, of course.”

Ask your local travel agency