This article is for everyone working a nine-to-five job. Those who are rushing to meet deadlines, and finding themselves tempted to skip their afternoon lunch break in order to save time. Lidia Bastianich is here to tell you to put down the phone, step away from the desk, and eat your lunch.
Bastianich is the executive chef and co-owner of Eataly, a well-known marketplace bordering Madison Square Park, an establishment that aims to bring the culinary wonders of culinary Italy to Manhattan. The chef laments that the people who are most aware of the health benefits that can come from following a Mediterranean diet of lean proteins, vegetables and olive oil are often the people who are also skipping their midday meal in favor of increased productivity and efficiency.
Bastianich claims that the best lunch is what most Americans would make for dinner, namely dishes involving pasta or meat. Researchers confirm that regularly consuming lunch between 12 and 1pm every day can help maintain one’s blood sugar level, which in turn heightens concentration levels, increases productivity, and prevents excessive hunger that leads to overeating later in the day. Additionally, for those looking to lose weight: skipping lunch can essentially halt your metabolism, thus blocking any efforts to shed a few pounds.
Lunch breaks can also have social advantages—leaving your desk can provide a great opportunity to stretch your legs, mingle with colleagues, and unwind for a short period during the day.
So, when you’re tempted to linger at your desk for an extra hour instead of taking a lunch break in the hot summer months to come, take a step back and realize what you may be missing by skipping your midday meal. Consider the health benefit and social opportunities that eating lunch may provide— taking a “break” may not be a waste of time after all.