So You Want To Eat Well In College?

The hardest part of college for me wasn’t the workload or making friends. It wasn’t getting up to go to class. It was finding food that I thought tasted good and was also good for me. I have never been a health nut by any means, but I always try to be conscientious of what I eat and try to eat healthy food at least once a day. Here are some tips on eating healthy food while living in dorms: Hit Up The Salad Bar

Many colleges and universities provide students with some kind of healthy option, one of which can include a salad bar. If you’re concerned about the other food, and want to make sure you get enough greens and vitamins throughout the day, make sure you go to the salad bar once a day. Avoiding fatty dressings--the kind that only taste good and lack essential vitamins and minerals that you need to live a healthy lifestyle--is for the best. Instead, try having a vinaigrette, olive oil, or dry salad.

Go Vegetarian (One Night A Week)

Going full-on vegetarian seems a little impossible when there are pizzas, burgers, and everything else you could possibly want at your fingertips but the only one keeping you from buying more pizza than you think you can eat is yourself. You can quickly curb this by picking one night a week where you don’t eat meat. This will force you to look for healthier options, since many of the unhealthy options include meat. However, going meatless doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, so remember to enjoy your new healthy meal.

Count Content, Not Calories

Many people confuse calories and content; it’s a simple mistake. Think of it this way: if you eat 1,000 calories of pizza and doughnuts versus 1,000 calories of salad, pine nuts, and a low fat milk, what do you think contains the greater amount of nutrients needed? A calorie in itself is not equal to all other calories. We must analyze what will give us the most bang for our buck. Look at what foods will give you the best outcome with regard to your energy levels as well as levels of function thereafter. The pizza may make you full with just a small amount of it, but your body will quickly store the fats and carbs in the pizza rather than readily using what is available in the milk and nuts of our other option.

Switch From Soda

When I got to college, I drank Pepsi with every meal I didn’t have coffee with. There was a seemingly infinite amount of soda available, why shouldn’t I drink it, right? Wrong. Soda is full of sugar. When your body creates its own sugars from breaking down carbs, they are good for you. But simple sugars should be avoided if possible. This doesn’t mean you should never drink soda again--I would die without a bottle of Coke every once in awhile. But be mindful of how much soda you are drinking and try to switch over to a juice that has less sugar or a carbonated water. With the carbonated water, you still get all the bubbles you like, but it has a fraction of the sugar, if there is even any sugar included. If you have to have soda, switching to a diet soda is best, although that should be avoided as well.