How to eat healthy on campus

By: Priyanka Mandal/Columnist

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 65 percent of American adults are either obese or overweight today. Health care costs associated with obesity are approximately $100 billion per year. Over the years, portion sizes have distorted to sizes unthinkable, such that the car’s cup holders have increased their sizes to accommodate the ever-increasing soda drink sizes.

It’s time that we think what are we doing and what are we eating. Adults who go to school spend about 5-6 hours on an average, which means that cafeteria food is the major way for most freshmen and plenty of upperclassmen to get food.

The three keys to eating healthy on campus are: planning, balance and variety. It is important to educate oneself about the food they eat, as it is essential to changing their lifestyle and adopt a healthier one. It is important not to just graze around and grab everything and anything, it is critical to know what you are eating and make a choice. But at the end of the day it is a student’s choice whether he wants to adopt healthy eating habits or not.

Fast foods are cheaper, tasty and convenient, and a lack of planning and time on the part of the students makes them an easy prey to restaurant foods and cafeterias.  The biggest challenge is the food industry’s advertisement, as they overwhelm the public health messages.

Here’s an example, in 2004 food, beverage, candy, and restaurant advertising expenditures weighed in at $11.26 billion versus $9.55 million to promote healthful eating. So powerful is the bombardment of the fast food advertisements that the healthy messages fail to make an impact on the minds of the children and young adults.

Eating on the go is often the way of life for students where they are always in a rush because of their hectic life. With the scheduling of meal times and some healthful tips from this article, eating healthy can become an ingrained part of life as is studying. During my internship at Biscayne Bay Campus, I researched and evaluated the foods and beverages available at the campus. You can find lot of healthy foods for under 5$.

Eat the way you know you should. Use these guides to help you overcome the barriers of time, location and healthy eating knowledge.

Priyanka Mandal is nutrition and dietetic intern doing her community nutrition rotation and nutrition counseling at the BBC Recreation Center. Nutrition appointments can be made via (305) 919- 5678 and pmand002@fiu.edu.

MOE’S Southwest Grill

Good Choices

  • Burritos:  Joey Junior
  • Salads: Personal trainer
  • Kids menu: Moo moo mr Cow, Power wagon
  • Tacos: Overachiever, Unanimous decision, Funk Meister

Healthy tips

  • Go for the kid’s menu, if possible.
  • Go easy on ‘Dress it up’ sides like cheese, sour cream, queso.
  • Opt for chicken or veggie choices rather than red meats such as beef and pork
  • Go for beans, tofu or chicken to add protein.
  • Ask for a whole grain tortilla
  • Ask for beans or rice for sides rather than chips
  • Choose whole grain tortilla,   ‘streaker’ , soft taco rather than crispy corn taco shell
  • Add flavor with Pico de gallo.

Grille Works

Good Choices:

Food:

  • Tuna wrap
  • Chicken Caesar Wrap
  • Yogurt parfait
  • Mixed fruits cup
  • Garden salad
  • Turkey and tuna sandwiches
  • Veggie burgers

Drink

  • 100%Orange juice
  • SobeLife water

Healthy tips:

  • Go for whole wheat wraps rather than white ones. Choose whole wheat/rye bread
  • Choose deli sliced meat such as turkey, chicken, ham, roast beef. Avoid pepperoni, salami and meatballs.
  • Eat less and save the rest for later meals.
  • Buy water and replace the sodas which are just empty calories.
  • Choose whole wheat or rye bread and deli sliced meat such as turkey, chicken, ham, roast beef (avoid pepperoni, salami, and meat balls)
  • Include plenty of veggies (tomato slices, lettuce, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
  • Opt for mustard instead of mayo/dressing
  • Good additions are vegetables (including avocados, pepperoncini, and jalapeno pepper)

Bleecker St. Café

Good Choices

Foods:

  • Salads
  • Subs – ham, turkey, tuna, Italian, roast beef, veggie
  • Panini – hummus and feta Panini
  • Snacks – whole fruits, sun chips

Drinks:

  • Smoothies (Don’t added sugar)
  • Bewley’s hot tea
  • Espresso

Healthy tips:

  • Choose smoothies with more fruits and less sorbet/juice.
  • Go for 16oz or lesser size to check calories.
  • Add protein powder, calcium or vita boost.

Book Store

Good Choices:

Foods:

Energy bars, fruit crisps, multigrain crisps, trail mix, roasted almonds, granola nut clusters, sun chips, baked chips, wheat thins

Drinks:

Herbal tea/chai

Healthy tips:

  • Go for baked products rather than fried ones. Eg chips
  • Go for snacks which can sustain you longer and keep you off from that gnawing hunger.

Library

P.O.D. Express

Good Choices:

Foods:

Salads, whole wheat wraps, whole wheat sandwich, yogurt parfait, wheat thins, nutria-bars, trail mix, sunflower seeds, whole fruits

Drinks:

Naked fruit juices, Ocean spray 100% orange juice, Sobe drinks

Vending machines at Biscayne Bay Campus

Good Choices:

Foods:

Nutrigrain cereal bars, Quaker chewy bars, fiber one bars, trail mix, Elfin crackers, Baked Cheez its, Rice works(brown rice crisps), Late july vanilla bean cookies, yogurt strawberry bar, Genisoy chips

Drinks:

Water, Ocean spray 100% orange juice, cranberry and apple juice, Lipton green tea.

Healthy Tips:

Go for the ‘Fit Picks’

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