Packing a healthy lunch for the work day is ideal when you want to lose or maintain weight. Using unprocessed foods -- foods that are in a whole or natural state -- can also be helpful to the weight-loss process. Jonny Bowden of Forbes.com states that unprocessed foods such as berries, beans and nuts are some of the healthiest foods on the planet, while unprocessed meat is defined by Harvard researchers as hamburger, game, lamb, pork or beef. These foods are optimal because you know exactly what you’re getting when you eat them.
You can add avocado, raspberries and chopped apples to a green salad for a filling and energizing lunch. According to Self.com, 2 ounces of avocado have 90 calories, no cholesterol, 4 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of fiber and 8 grams of fat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that ½ cup of raspberries adds 32 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 186 milligrams of potassium and only 0.40 gram of fat. The USDA goes on to state that ½ cup of chopped apples has 32.5 calories, 1.5 grams of fiber and a negligible amount of fat.
Peanut Butter and Banana on Celery
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are staples in many brown-bag situations. For a change, use a sliced banana instead of jelly and a stalk of celery instead of bread. Unprocessed peanut butter is a healthy choice because it is high in protein and low in sugar. Make your own peanut butter by roasting peanuts in your oven and then grinding them in a food processor, mixing them with peanut or vegetable oil. If you’re not into making your own, you can usually find unprocessed peanut butter at the grocery store. One large banana boosts the healthy qualities of peanut butter by adding 1.48 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber and only 0.45 gram of fat.
Make a healthy taco salad by using fresh beans -- which can be cooked using a slow cooker or on your stove-top -- ground beef, fresh salsa and avocado. Avoid canned beans, which often contain added sodium. The ground beef, beans and avocado add protein and fiber to your meal, while the fresh salsa adds flavor and nutrients from the tomatoes, onions and peppers. A taco salad is easy to make and is a quick and filling meal option that will leave you satisfied for the rest of your work day.
Vegetables and Hummus
Hummus made from ground garbanzo beans -- which you can make by sticking garbanzo beans and seasoning in a blender -- is a delicious, unprocessed food that works great as a dip with assorted vegetables. Use any of your favorite vegetables like broccoli, celery, cucumber or carrots. Look for packaged, unprocessed hummus at health-food grocery stores, though it can be hard to find and most likely won’t be as good as what you’d make at home. If you do buy it, avoid any product that has added ingredients; additives could mean processing has taken place. According to Self.com, there are 92 calories, 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of fat in 2 ounces of commercial hummus.
- Forbes: The Healthiest Foods on Earth
- Mayo Clinic: Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Nutrition-wise Blog: Red Meat -- No Longer Bad for Us?
- Self: Nutrition Facts: Avocados, Raw, All Commercial Varieties
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 24: Basic Report: Nutrient Data for 09302, Raspberries, Raw
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 24: Basic Report: Nutrient Data for 09003, Apples, Raw, With Skin
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 24: Basic Report: Nutrient Data for 09040, Bananas, Raw
- Self: Nutrition Facts: Hummus, Commercial
- Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images