People are used to the idea of varying their diet according to the amount of exercise they do. Now, it seems we should also be taking into account the type of work we do.
A new report produced by London’s healthy eating restaurant ‘pod’ and nutritionist Helen Money highlights the connection between eating good food and productivity at work. The pod-uctivity report argues that different roles require different nutrients and recommends diets optimised for four job types – Office Angels, Creatives, High Flyers and Key Workers.
It advises people in admin and support roles to be mindful of their iron intake, as iron is associated with planning ability. It adds that because these jobs tend to be desk-based, this group generally has lower carbohydrate requirements, but
recommends that the calorie saving from carbs should be invested in protein to increase satiety and help dull the attraction of the biscuit tin or vending machine. Menu suggestions include scrambled egg and wholegrain toast for breakfast, and protein-rich almonds as an afternoon snack.
This group, which includes marketing, PR, journalists and artists, is advised to eat a lot of fruit and veg and to consume the right carbohydrates at the right time of day. Pod says Creatives should start the day with a breakfast of slow-release carbohydrate to provide energy and fuel the brain – porridge, fruit and seeds would be ideal. High sugar and high fat should be avoided, as this will cause sluggishness, and carbohydrates should be reduced through the day.
This is the term the report uses for investment bankers, lawyers, accountants, IT workers and analysts. These jobs are mainly desk-based, so carbohydrate requirements for physical movement are low, but brain fuel requirements are high, particularly if long and gruelling meetings are involved. The report recommends a slow release carb snack before a meeting to maintain energy and concentration levels. It points out that because this group tends to eat out frequently, High Flyers should choose meals that contribute to a healthy balanced diet. Lunch should be light and easy to digest.
Emergency workers, nurses, doctors, teachers and taxi drivers have jobs that are mentally and physically stressful, with long hours. This increases the likelihood of a diet high in comfort food. For Key Workers, the report recommends a diet packed with stress-busting foods, such as nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and whole grains to support the nervous system; turkey, eggs and mushrooms to help lower anxiety; and live yoghurt to maintain a healthy gut bacteria balance.