Featured Topic: Eating Healthy on Campus
One of the biggest adjustments you will make in college is learning how to maintain a healthy diet. The keys are balance, flexibility and variety. You don’t need to eat a nutritionally perfect meal every day or avoid all high-fat or high-salt foods. For example, if you eat a fast-food meal for lunch, which may be high in fat and salt, then choose low-fat, low-salt foods for dinner. Just remember to cover all of your nutrition bases by choosing a variety of foods every day. Also, don’t punish yourself for less nutritious choices — make up for missing foods by including them later in the day or the next day. These tips will help you to eat well this year.
- Start your day with breakfast. Enjoy bran cereals, oatmeal, bran muffins and breads with whole grain.
- Add peanut butter to toast to add some heart-healthy fats and protein at breakfast.
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Choose whole fruits and vegetables more often than juice to get the benefits of fiber.
- Choose steamed fresh vegetables or eat them raw in a salad or on their own.
- Select fresh fruits when possible or canned fruits that are packed in juice rather than in heavy syrup.
- Try to select items from at least 3 food groups at each meal.
- Have skim milk or low-fat yogurt at each meal.
- Limit gravies, butter, margarine, dressings and mayonnaise.
- Choose fat-free or reduced-fat dressings if available, or select regular dressings with olive oil or canola oil as the first ingredient.
- Top salads with a protein source such as egg, ham, cheese, turkey or beans.
- Enjoy beans when they are available. Look for burritos with beans, beans and rice, baked beans, chili with kidney beans or bean soup.
- Select meats that are baked, broiled or grilled.
- Don’t be shy about asking the server or cook how the item was prepared.
- Choose baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes more often than french fries.
- Have vegetable pizza instead of pepperoni or sausage.
- Limit soda and other concentrated sweets, which add little nutritional value to your diet.
- Enjoy fish when it’s available.
- Drink 64 ounces of water each day.
A complete nutritional analysis of entrees is available upon your request through your school’s dining services.
In Your Room
- Have healthy, quick foods available for meals and snacks.
- Make a big batch of trail mix and put it in small ziptop bags.
- Stock up on nuts, dried fruit, dry cereal, low-fat granola or cereal bars, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, low-fat yogurt, popcorn, baked chips, salsa, pretzels, fruit cups and raw vegetables.
- Purchase small quantities of perishable foods to avoid spoilage.
- Encourage your family to send care packages if transportation to the grocery store is limited.
At the Student Union
- Select leaner cuts of meat from the deli, such as turkey, ham, chicken or roast beef, instead of salami or other highly processed meats.
- Try honey mustard dressing instead of mayonnaise.
- Choose whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
- Select clear-broth soups instead of cream-based soups.
- Avoid high-calorie beverages that add little nutritional benefit, such as cappuccino, soda and fruit juice.
- Have a piece of fruit with meals or as a snack.
- Have a side dish of cooked vegetables, and skip the butter and margarine.
- Select fresh vegetables from the salad bar. Top your salad with lean meat, low-fat cheese, sunflower seeds, raisins and other nutrient-rich foods. Have your dressing on the side.
- Have a smoothie as a meal, not with a meal.
- Cold cereal with skim milk makes a great meal or snack.
- Have a grilled chicken sandwich or a burger without the fries and soda.
While you may be choosing healthy foods each day, it’s also important to pay attention to the amount of food you eat. The portion you eat can be as essential to good health as the types of food you choose. To learn more about serving sizes and portion control, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
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