Most people assume doctors have perfect eating habits. But our days are busy and we rarely, if ever, have scheduled breaks. Many of us go entire shifts without sitting down to eat a full meal.
To avoid the vending machine or cabinets stocked with peanut butter and crackers typically reserved for patients, we need quick options that are high in nutritional value.
As emergency doctors, here are seven longevity snacks we eat to stay healthy, full and energized all day:
Nuts are high in protein and more environmentally friendly than meat.
But the calorie and saturated fat content can add up, so eat them in moderation. Too much saturated fat can raise your LDL cholesterol (the type that contributes to heart disease and strokes).
We avoid fried, salted and candied nuts, which contain more oil, salt or sugar than our body needs.
Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are high in fiber and a great source of plant-based protein. They contain unsaturated fats, which increases HDL levels (the healthy type of cholesterol).
Studies have found that adding it to your diet can help protect against heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
Some people like the crudités concept: carrots, celery, and small pieces of broccoli or cauliflower. We love veggie options like these that are bite-sized, raw and crunchy, and full of fiber and vitamins.
Roasted sweet potatoes are great, too, especially given how tasty, vitamin-filled and filling they are.
Avocados contain several key nutrients, including carotenoids, monounsaturated fats, potassium, and fiber that have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
They're delicious when topped with a sprinkle of salt or some lime juice.
Olives are high in oleate, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. A 2016 study found that eating more monounsaturated fat reduced the risk of premature death due to disease, compared with eating more carbohydrates.
Olives are often soaked in brine, and over time, snacks high in salt can lead to increased blood pressure. But in moderation, they're a fun and quick fix for hunger.
6. Roasted seaweed
Edible seaweed is nutritious and widely available. It is low in calories and high in fiber.
Roasted seaweed offers a unique taste texture. The bite-sized sheets pop in your mouth, so you get the crunchy effect of eating chips.
7. Hard-boiled eggs
Eggs are full of lean protein. You can boil many at once and then have them one at a time throughout the week.
If you're like us and constantly on the go, our best advice is to eat foods that are tasty and don't take much time to prepare.
And please, a reminder from two emergency doctors: Chew your food well!
Resa E. Lewiss is a professor of emergency medicine and radiology at Thomas Jefferson University and host of the Visible Voices Podcast. She is an educator and champion for diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. Her new book, "MicroSkills" will be out in 2024. Follow her on Twitter @ResaELewiss.
Adaira Landry is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Her new book, "MicroSkills" will be out in 2024. Follow her on Twitter @AdairaLandryMD.
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