How Business Lunches Featuring Healthy Fats Can Boost Workplace Wellness… and Your Brainpower!

Posted by on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 with Comments Off on How Business Lunches Featuring Healthy Fats Can Boost Workplace Wellness… and Your Brainpower! Comments

Workplace wellness programs aren’t just about fighting the rising tide of obesity, getting employees to quit smoking, and reducing health care costs (although those are all lofty goals). Instead, companies who have really mastered workplace wellness know that it is actually a holistic endeavor: it’s about helping your team be healthy when it comes to body and mind. After all, no matter how much weight you lose, feeling distracted and depressed will end up affecting your ability to do your job.

And while mental health is obviously a complex issue, there’s one very tangible way that employers can help promote it, right in the break room: share the importance of how diet can affect the brain, and make a point of serving brain-friendly business lunches at the office. After all, eating healthy isn’t just about your waistline. The food you eat can directly affect how you think, and how sharp your mind will stay over time. And one of the best ways to eat your way to a healthier brain is by incorporating healthy fats into your diet.

Yes, that’s right — eat more fat!

But don’t reach for the cupcakes just yet. It seems that certain kinds of fats are key to promoting good cognition and protecting your brain as you age. Evidence continues to mount showing that when we eat a diet high in certain healthy fats, we’re actually protecting our brains from long-term cognitive loss as we age, and even from diseases like Alzheimer’s… and even gaining short-term benefits like improved focus and possibly alleviating depression.

sushi takeout box

Healthy fats are found in salmon, tuna, and avocado – so sushi is a perfect example of a brain-friendly business lunch!
Image source: Flickr user RichardMasoner

The healthy fats we’re talking about here are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats:

Polyunsaturated fats are the source of the much-touted essential fatty acids — omega-3 and omega-6 — that not only lower LDL (i.e., bad) cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease, but help promote cognitive function and potentially reduce the risk of depression. These kinds of fats are found primarily in fatty fish (like salmon and tuna), along with walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Monounsaturated fats, found in plant sources like olive oil, nuts, and avocados, have been linked to improved cognitive function. This may be due (at least partially) to an increase in production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critical for learning and memory. In one 2012 study, women who consumed more unsaturated fats scored better on cognitive tests over time than those who consumed less.

So plan a lunch-and-learn around brain health, and all the brain-boosting foods that should become a part of a holistically healthy diet. And, of course, entice attendance by serving delicious, brain-friendly business lunches to your team! Here are just a few menu suggestions:


Salmon, tuna, avocado: a platter of sashimi is essentially a platter of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids!


One of the reasons the Mediterranean diet gets so much buzz is that it typically includes a lot of fish and olive oil instead of red meat and butter, making it a natural source of brain-friendly fats. Find specific inspiration in our prior post on Mediterranean-inspired catering ideas.

Hearty salads

A salad of dark, leafy greens topped with blackened salmon and sunflower seeds will provide a healthy dose of polyunsaturated fats — and be substantial enough to satisfy even the meat-and-potatoes crowd.

Fish tacos

Think Mexican food can’t be healthy? Serve fish tacos (preferably salmon or halibut) topped with guacamole for both kinds of brain-friendly fats.

Caesar salad

Salmon may get all the buzz, but anchovies are actually the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Serve up a real Caesar salad alongside a whole-wheat pasta lightly dressed in olive oil… and maybe some breath mints.

Providing healthy fats and wholesome meals for your staff is easy thanks to Our online ordering, prompt delivery, and Virtual Cafeteria Service make it simple to host business lunches that are full of brain-friendly foods!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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