Dec 6, 2016

Are you in danger by the way you eat?

Poor nutrition can make workers feel fatigued, dizzy, disorientated

By Beth Castle

If you have a job that is in construction, oilfield work or operating heavy machinery, you should really consume foods that will assist you to make better decisions at work. Far too often I see people grab energy drinks, fast food, pop, coffee and convenience store foods to help them get through the day. I even suspect that for some people this is a regular habit as their food consumption.


Have you ever had times at work that you are tired, fatigued, dizzy, disorientated or just not feeling well?


Perhaps your food or beverage choices have led you to this state. Unfortunately, this might be how people feel all the time and don’t know the difference. Feeling refreshed from a great night’s sleep and having a burst of energy from eating correctly can make a huge difference in a potentially dangerous workplace.


Often the sugar highs, sugar crashes, low blood sugar levels and the synthetic burst of energy off of energy drinks and caffeinated beverages can lead to very dangerous circumstances and accidents that put you and your coworkers at risk.


Even limited sleep can put you in some dangerous situations too. The combination of the poor food choices and the lack of sleep can make a dangerous mix. 


I have had many young workers tell me that they want to make better choices, however, they say they either lack the knowledge or the access to and time for good food choices. I even get the more mature crowd indicating “If I could have changed some things back in the day for my health, I wouldn’t be having my bad heart, blood pressure and excess weight issues I have today.” 


It is so important that people realize with a few tips and strategies, they can make better food choices to be healthier. Here are just a few:


•Get a good night’s sleep.


•Understand what effect different foods have on your body and energy levels.


•If you are struggling with making food choices at fast food locations or restaurants, order a kids meal to take advantage of the smaller size. Look online and get to know several fast food menus so that you know the percentages and nutritional values of their items and can figure out what will work best for you ahead of time. 


•See a physician if you are having health issues. Get any necessary medication for issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid issues.


•Do you need more fibre in your diet? This removes toxins from the body and is very important for a healthy body.


•Drink lots of water.


•Learn to read food labels. When you have a moment, go through a convenience store and find out what choices are better than the high fat, high sugar, high sodium foods you might have chosen in the past.


•Preplan your food for the day. Go out and get groceries that will be easy “grab and go” items during work. Once you figure out what works best for you, start to make up your own grab and go items from the grocery store.


•Bring a cooler with fresh foods that include protein, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, trail mix and healthy beverages. Bring a freezer pack along to ensure you keep foods fresh.


•Bring a thermos with a hot soup or stew from home to keep you going.


•Pack up a kit that you might need for success if you are remotely working. For example bring along a can opener, disposable microwave dishes, plastic knives, forks and spoons, thermos, water, microwave egg cooker, mini dish soap and brush and condiments. Plan it like you are camping healthy.