There is no Free Lunch- At the Workplace

There is no Free Lunch

Why your Work Lunch is Killing your Work Mojo

Everyone loves a freebie right?  Especially when it is free food. And more often offices are using free lunches as a benefit to attract employees. But a recent study earlier this year reminds us that there is no free lunch!

This large study of over 5000 participants showed that over 25% of individuals obtained food from their workplace and 70% of the time the food was free. But that does not mean that the food was free from health costs. In fact, the study showed that foods obtained in the workplace resulted in an average of 1300 calories. The food tended to be high in empty calories such as solid fats and sugars. Additionally, foods were often processed, high in refined grains and high in sodium. 

This news is not only bad for our health but also bad for our productivity. Studies show that this pattern of eating affects how we perform in the workplace. For example carbs that are refined or processed will cause a spike in insulin which also promotes production of serotonin and tryptophan in the brain- the sleepy drugs- which can contribute to the mid-afternoon crash. This surge in insulin is followed by a precipitous drop in blood sugar – our brain’s energy source- which reduces our focus and ability to stay on task. High fiber carbs on the other hand, such as beans and grains,  will slow the rise of blood sugar allowing for a more steady insulin response and a more stable blood sugar.

Also it turns out fruits and veggies are not only beneficial to our health but also enhance our mood and productivity.  In fact,  one study showed the more fruits and vegetables people consumed (up to 7 portions), the more engaged, creative and happy they tended to be. So, when thinking about that “free lunch” remember that in terms of the cost to your health and productivity, it’s actually not free at all!

In good Health,

Dr. Adrienne Youdim

Author
Dr. Adrienne Youdim

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