Bad Junk Food Habits
Truckers are on deadlines and don’t have all the time in the world to sit down and eat nice entrées; so, they take the easier route: visiting a local fast-food chain. While fast food restaurants are convenient, and admittedly tasty, they don’t always provide the healthiest meal choices (even when salads are on the menu). Unfortunately, there are more overweight and obese truck drivers on the road than healthier ones.
In Germany, a 2019 study found that only 24 percent of drivers were of normal weight out of the 404 truckers analyzed. While 62 percent of German truckers snacked on fruits; 50 percent munched on sausages. A declining percentage chose to eat raw vegetables and self-cooked meals, as well. A 2021 study out of China even linked bad snacking habits to unsafe driving among tired drivers begging the question: What can American truck drivers fuel their bodies with to keep them healthy, full and more alert on the road? Keep reading to learn about five healthy snacks that can be enjoyed right from the truck cab.
1. Snack: Hummus and Raw Veggies
The brown stuff isn’t as bad as it looks. Hummus, made from blended chickpeas, comes in a variety of flavors that can be enjoyed with carrots, celery sticks, snap peas, or other raw vegetables. Hummus is rich in fiber and other essential nutrients that offer health benefits that help curb appetites; promote weight loss and boost metabolism.
2. Snack: Popcorn
When air-popped, and not drowning in butter, popcorn is a healthy snack that is quick and easy to make right from your truck. Whole-grain popcorn with little to no salt is relatively low in calories and has a low energy density. Popcorn can promote healthy weight loss if eaten in moderation, as well.
Need a truck microwave? Consider Pana-Pacific’s MW Microwave.
3. Snack: Beef Jerky
They aren’t the greasy bacon strips you’ll get from breakfast chain restaurants, but they sure are delicious. Beef sticks are a good source of protein and high in vitamins and minerals including zinc, iron, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and folate. Thanks to a long shelf-life, beef jerky can be left in trucks for an extended period and enjoyed wherever the road takes you. While there are several healthy benefits to beef jerky, only eat it in moderation. Beef jerky is higher in sodium than other healthy snacks on the list and can lead to an increase in blood pressure and risk of heart diseases and stroke.
4. Snack: Nuts and seeds
Nuts are known for high calorie density and are packed with nutrients, carbs and healthy fats that offer energy making them a go-to for truckers on the road. They can be enjoyed solo – preferably without added salt – in protein bars or as part of trail mix (which you can make yourself. Try adding craisins, raisins and chocolate chips.). The best nuts for energy include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews. Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts and pecans have the highest caloric intake among nuts making them the worst type of nuts to eat; and while peanuts may not be a top choice for some, they are a great plant-base source of protein that can reduce the risk of gallstones and heart disease. In fact, peanuts have more protein than any other nut (7g per serving) with 30 essential vitamins and minerals!
5. Snack: Boiled Eggs
While this snack requires more effort to make, it’s worth it to have a delicious breakfast or snack that is not only healthy but good for the mind. The combination of protein and choline in hard-boiled eggs increases mental alertness and energy making it a good choice for truckers to start their day. Eggs can be made quickly and inexpensively in a semi-truck (with an inverter) by using a cheap griddle from a local retail store that does not use much wattage. Simply drop the egg in the griddle, add salt/pepper, and enjoy! Take it a step further by adding shredded cheese, if desired.
Fast food restaurants were made for folks on-the-go; but just because you have places to be doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your health. There are plenty of healthy snacks for truckers that can be made in little to no time at all right from your truck cab. Enjoy these snacks on the road for your mental and physical well-being.