I share with you an article published in www.trabajoyalimentacion.consumer.es. I previously clarify that any criteria or concept correspond exclusively to the authors of the article. Personally, I found it quite interesting and that is why I transcribed it for this blog.
Health and work go together and influence each other. Since diet is one of the factors that affect our health, it is very important to adapt it to work activity, to improve performance and reduce fatigue, which will contribute to maintaining a healthier body and a higher level of well-being.
For this reason, the worker must learn to harmonize their food consumption with their professional life, since physical or intellectual activity affects their energy and nutritional requirements.
In addition, it is important to remember that, regardless of professional activity, nutritional needs vary for each person, depending on their age, sex, and other individual conditions and the environment in which they live (socio-cultural, climatic factors, etc.) that they must also be taken into account when planning a correct diet
Food and occupational health
Diet is one of the factors that most safely and importantly conditions people's physical development, health, performance and productivity.
Diet influences physical and intellectual performance
An undernourished person will find it difficult to improve their quality of life, since the capacity of work, directly proportional to the feeding, will go down when it is deficient and, as far as physical work is concerned, it can decrease up to 30% compared to normal development.
A monotonous, repetitive diet or food lacking essential for our body can lead to the appearance of certain symptoms both physical; excessive tiredness, lack of reflexes ..., like psychics; lack of interest in things, irritability ...; situations that are improved by adequate nutrition.
Sometimes we do not realize that not only stress, personal problems, lack of sleep ... influence our well-being; We should ask ourselves if we are feeding our body adequately so that it works correctly every day.
Dietary factors that influence work and performance:
<br>• Low calorie or low calorie diets reduce performance capacity and harm health.
<br>• Unbalanced diets where basic foods are lacking; in the medium or long term they lead to nutritional deficiencies with undesirable effects for the organism.
<br>• Hypercaloric diets, lead to overweight and obesity, which supposes an over physical effort for the person, which aggravates or increases the risk of injuries to the locomotor system (muscles, joints, etc.) and that of developing other more or less serious disorders health (changes in blood sugar and fat levels, hypertension, etc.)
<br>• The number of meals that are made in a day. Skipping meals or having only two "basic" meals a day negatively influences the functioning of our body.
<br>• Distribution of the amount of food for each meal. Frugal meals or, on the contrary, very copious, can produce drops in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or drowsiness and digestive discomfort respectively, impairing both physical and intellectual performance.
<br>• Food hygiene. If this aspect is not taken care of, the risk of food poisoning such as salmonellosis increases.
<br>• Alcohol consumption. In excessive amounts, it seriously damages health and causes accidents.
Types of work and food
Through various studies, it has been verified how it improves the performance and well-being of workers who consume diets appropriate to their personal situation: high caloric value in the case of strength workers and moderate calorie intake in people who perform a job. intellectual type with less physical wear, etc.
In this section of the guide, the different types of work are classified as follows:
<br>• Sedentary work, It would include those professional activities that condition the performance of diets adapted to the conditions of the person and their environment, but not an extra increase in calories, due to the low caloric expenditure that this type of work entails: people who have to remain practically seated All day long, they carry out their professional activities as public relations and always travel by car. In this group should be reflected the office staff, commercials, taxi drivers and bus drivers.
<br>• Works of great physical or mental stress, in these cases, if the stress or wear and tear is mainly physical, the diet must contain enough calories to compensate for the energy expenditure associated with the activity, such as that of construction workers, field workers, and the metal industry. , professional athletes, delivery men, etc. If the stress is of a psychic type, the caloric needs are not as high as in the previous case and what is really important is that the diet contains a sufficient quantity of all those nutrients that are related to a good functioning of the nervous system. In addition to people in positions of responsibility, businessmen and managers of companies, department or group managers, managers, it also includes staff who work in a chain as they are subjected to stress due to their monotonous and repetitive work.
<br>• Works with special schedules. Those people who work in a shift rhythm or in special time zones also have to adapt their diet according to work hours, in order to carry out an adequate diet. This is the case of public health workers (nursing, doctors, ATS, caretakers ...), personnel from the chemical and steel industry or from the food sector with continuous hours in the company that require rotating and night shifts, waiters from night bars etc.
<br>• Jobs that require eating away from home. Many people, due to their work activity, cannot eat at home and must do so in company canteens or in collective catering services (bars, self-service, restaurants...). In these cases, it is convenient to have a basic knowledge of food, in order to choose the most appropriate and healthy menu in each case.
How to calculate the calories we spend based on physical or professional activity:
Throughout the day we carry out numerous activities that consume energy. In the table on the previous page, a “factor” is specified for each type of activity. These factors allow calculating the total caloric expenditure of a person, based on their weight and the time dedicated to carrying out each activity. To calculate the caloric expenditure, simply multiply the person's actual weight in kilos, by the corresponding factor depending on the activity in question and by the number of minutes spent performing the activity.
How to do this calculation?
Suppose we want to calculate the total caloric expenditure (calories needed to be consumed to maintain weight) of a 70 Kg man who performs the following activities in one day: sleeps 8 hours, spends 1 hour on personal hygiene, works 8 hours as computer programmer, walks 2 hours every day, makes meals in 2 hours and in his leisure time, spends 3 hours sitting reading.
It is a MISTAKE to believe that you cannot follow a diet by eating in restaurants
Many people with weight problems who eat outside the home lengthen the possibility of going on a diet, since the necessity that forces them to eat in a restaurant they see it as incompatible with following a diet to lose weight.
However, in all restaurants there are possibilities to choose a menu adapted to our needs: it is enough to "know" and "want":
Have a nice glass of water while you wait for the menu.
Opt for light starters (salads and vegetables more often), and if these can be served without dressing, the better. So can control the amount of oil that is added, which after all, although it is a "good fat" for the body, is loaded with calories that must be control. Or take less of those more caloric dishes (legumes, paellas, pasta ...).
Prefer simple meat or fish (griddle, grill, oven) to those preparations with sauce. And kindly request that little sauce be added if it accompanies the dish or that they are served separately, to control the amount.
Ask to replace the fried or fatty starches (fried potatoes) with a vegetable garnish (simple salads, peppers, mushrooms ...). They won't pose a problem for you.
Give up on pastry and other sweet desserts out of habit to choose fresh fruit, fruit salad, compotes or simple milk desserts.
For bread, take just the right amount (one to two slices, two fingers thick each, is enough).
As for the drink that accompanies the meal; water is without a doubt the healthiest choice.
If you have a habit of drinking coffee or tea after eating, you can sweeten it with calorie-free sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, cyclamate).
It is an ERROR nor customize the feeding according to the job
Various studies have linked nutritional intake with physical and intellectual performance, not only in children, but also in adults. This fact has been studied especially in relation to the consumption of breakfast, since after the night fast period some metabolic parameters are modified, which the absence of the breakfast ration prolongs throughout the morning, during the working day.
There are many other aspects related to food that influence work and performance. Many times digestive disorders refer to an imbalance between work hours and food consumption. The bad adaptation of the distribution of the meals to the work rhythm can have negative repercussions from the physical and psychological point of view that directly affect the health of the person and consequently the work efficiency.
Digestive disorders such as dyspepsia, flatulence or meteorism are frequent ...
Dyspepsia: Slow and heavy digestion.
The midday meal is usually the most important intake, with intakes sometimes close to 50% of the daily caloric intake. The digestion of a large meal and with excessive fat intake can be accompanied by general disorders such as acute hypertension, skin vasodilation (heat and redness of the skin after eating), decreased attention span and drowsiness, in addition to the discomfort that accompanies throughout the afternoon a slow digestion. To avoid these undesirable situations we make some suggestions:
Avoid large meals; eat quietly and chew well.
Prefer juicy foods that hardly require fat or prolonged cooking.
Exclude excessively salty and spicy foods.
If you also suffer from heartburn, avoid those foods that stimulate gastric secretion - coffee, decaf, tea and alcohol. Tomato derivatives (sauces) and citrus juice can cause discomfort.
Don't drink carbonated drinks regularly, and get into the habit of reducing the amount of addiction sugar.
If you drink water during meals, gastric juices are diluted and digestion is delayed. This is why it can be beneficial for those with difficult or heavy digestion to skip any type of drink during or just after meals.
After eating, a chamomile or mint infusion facilitates digestion.
Flatulence or meteorism It is an excess of gases in the intestine that causes intestinal spasms and bloating (the abdomen swells). Frequently, excess gas is associated with eating fast or in a hurry, swallowing too much air while eating (sometimes in relation to stress and anxiety situations), indigestion, a sudden change in diet in terms of fiber content , excess consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc.), intake of flatulent foods (foods that produce gas and form odors)…. However, on other occasions, it is one more symptom of certain ailments, among which constipation, lactose intolerance, gastritis and gastric ulcer stand out.
Flatulence can be prevented or improved through proper nutrition, avoiding large, heavily seasoned or strong foods, carbonated beverages and improving the digestibility of foods considered flatulent (certain vegetables and all legumes) through the culinary technique and more appropriate. The following considerations may help:
Do not eat too large or heavily seasoned foods.
Avoid very fatty foods or dishes: fried and battered with excess oil, fatty stews and stews, sauces with excess fat (cream, butter, strong cheeses ...), fatty pastry and pastries (puff pastry, shortcrust pastry, with butter, cream , cream, mocha, chocolate, etc.).
Undercooked pasta, freshly baked baguette bread, flatulent vegetables, and braised legumes can cause digestive discomfort.
A dessert yogurt helps to balance the flora of the intestine, which is why it is especially recommended.
Substitute mint, anise, sage, or fennel infusions for coffee, decaf, and tea, or add a few grains of green anise, fennel, or cumin to a chamomile infusion, as they help with digestion, and peppermint. relaxes the muscles of the colon (large intestine) which helps to relieve the discomfort of excess gas.
In case of constipation, do not make sudden changes in the diet regarding its fiber content, since it can create more gases and intestinal pain, including diarrhea. The appropriate thing is to introduce progressively in greater quantity or frequency of consumption the foods rich in fiber (salads and vegetables, whole grains ...).