Monday June 10 2019

How to have a healthy al-desko lunch

The Government recommends that we try to limit ourselves to 600 calories for lunch. With our busy lifestyles and calorific lunch time options, is this possible?

Anishya Kumar

ANISHYA KUMAR | Founder and Managing Director of Zinda Foods Ltd

How to have a healthy al-desko lunch

If you have a regular desk-bound job, the Government has launched a programme that recommends we all stick to a limit of 600 calories for lunch. Public Health England's One You campaign recommends adults aim for a 400-600-600 diet, that's 400 calories for breakfast and 600 calories for lunch and dinner.  Those who have a more active lifestyle can afford to eat more without putting on weight. Channel 4's recent Food Unwrapped show looked at our lunchtime habits and made some discoveries about lunchtime eating that might shock you.

Generally our lunchtimes are supposed to offer us the ability to switch off and relax for an hour. In that time, we are usually tempted by the nearest supermarket meal deal, sandwich outlet or take-away shop for our lunch. Food Unwrapped's research has shown that 1 in 5 people don't break for lunch at all. That's 8-9 hours sat at a desk without burning too many calories. So far from having an alfresco lunch and eating in the fresh air, more and more of us have al-desko lunches eaten at our desks and in our offices.  

Around 11 million sandwiches are sold in the UK every day. How do sandwich producers help us keep to that 600 calorie lunchtime limit? Supermarket sandwiches are on average around 300 calories. But did you know that the two slices of  bread make up the lion's share of those calories coming in at 182 calories? The factory that Jimmy Doherty visited on Food Unwrapped also made wraps. The Southern Fried Chicken wrap was their best-seller and had 265 calories in the wrap base alone - 30% more than two slices of bread. Wraps are becoming more and more popular as our perception is that they must have less calories & therefore be healthier.  However, this sandwich maker's wrap came in at 546 calories (almost all of that 600 recommended guideline), whereas the BLT sandwich was only 326 calories.    

It has always been our mission at Zinda Foods to create a product that is lower in carbohydrates, has no trans fats, no palm oil & absolutely no preservatives.

If you look at most wheat-flour tortilla wraps and flip over the pack to look at the ingredients, you'll see they include “partially hydrogenised oils”, “mono & di-glycerides of fatty acids and emulsifiers” or “shortening agents” which are very much derivatives of the trans fat family!

Our Zinda AirWraps have no form of trans fats - not a drop! Not in the base, nor in the fillings.  Not only are these trans fats adding to the high calorie content of commercial wraps, trans fats are known as a dangerous food additive contributing to heart disease, strokes, liver dysfunction, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers, or even recently links to infertility in women. It's natural to us that we try to limit the intake of trans fats.

But many manufacturers often feel tempted to use trans fats, as they prolong shelf life and prevent ingredients from separating when put together.

Zinda's exclusive, first-to-market wrap base, the AirWrap®, is handcrafted with all natural ingredients. In addition to no preservatives & no palm oil our recipe makes the wrap's texture thinner, lighter and softer than the traditional wraps found on UK supermarket shelves. It also contains less fat & salt enabling a far more enjoyable and healthier way to eat a wrap. Our filled wraps average at around 400 calories and are part of the Tesco lunchtime mealdeal so for just £3 you can add water and fruit or crudites and come in at your 600 calorie recommended lunchtime allowance. 

Next time you are in supermarket remember it is possible to have a lunch that is delicious, natural, healthy, filling and most of all affordable! 

The Zinda AirWrap can now be found in around 70 Tesco Metro, Tesco Express and Tesco Extra Stores across London. Discover where on this store locator.


"Our lunch time habits are being defined by food companies that push foods high in sugar, fat & salt which are often disguised as being 'healthy'."
Anishya Kumar

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