By Crystal Fernandez
As college students sometimes eating healthy is the last thing on our minds. We go for quick, convenient food choices that can be easily consumed on the way to our next study session or class. With the variety of foods that our campus has to offer, it is almost too easy to fall into temptation and go for the first greasy, salty or sweet option and call it a meal. However, if you explore just a little deeper into the menus, you’ll find that FIU has low calorie, tasty and yes, even filling healthy food options. The best part? You don’t have to go too far.
Check out these healthier eats on campus at some of the most popular panther spots:
Location: Graham Center (GC)
Subway subs are a cheap and quick choice for many of us. They are also a perfect example that fast-food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. The next time you visit Subway on either campus follow these easy guidelines for a healthier sub: Order a 6-inch on whole wheat bread. It is tempting to order the footlong, but chances are, you don’t need those extra carbs. Second, load up on veggies for low-calorie and filling toppings. Finally, grab a fruit instead of cookies or chips.
“The best thing about Subway is that it’s pretty healthy and it’s not expensive. As a student, I’m on a budget so it’s the best option. I like to get a wheat turkey sub with veggies and mayo and mustard,” said senior Robert Dacosta.
Location: PG5 Market Station (PG5)
To maintain a healthy weight, the calories you consume should be balanced with the calories you expend through exercise. Excess calories can cause unhealthy excess weight gain – and no one wants that. Luckily, you don’t have to give up Chick-fil-A’s tasty chicken for a low calorie meal. The Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwich is a boneless breast of grilled chicken served on a multigrain bun with lettuce and tomato. It is only about 320 Calories. Be sure to ask for it without the barbecue sauce for an even healthier selection.
Tropical Smoothie Café
Location: Recreation Complex (RC)
When it comes to Tropical Smoothie Café, there is pretty much something for everyone. Their smoothies combine useful supplements, fresh fruit and vegetables and can be taken on the go.
However, not all smoothies are as healthy as they seem, be careful with added sweeteners and supplements that you may not need. Keep in mind that whey supplement adds 100 calories, 21g protein and 2g fat. Island Green Smoothie with sweetener: 223 calories, <1 g fat, 57g carbs, 6g fiber, 3g protein, as well as 1000 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C intake and 100 percent your daily value of vitamin A. If you’re not into green smoothies you can also go for the Sunrise Sunset without sweetener, which has 320 calories, almost no fat, 81g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g protein, 96 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and 58 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A.
“I like Tropical Smoothie because the smoothies are filling. I usually have them for breakfast because I don’t have time to eat before class so I just stop by and get a Mango Magic to start my day,” said sophomore Tanner Borges.
Location: PG5 Market Station (PG5)
Salad Creations is the perfect spot for a healthy lunch or dinner. You can custom-make your own salads by selecting your choice of lettuce, protein, additional ingredients and dressing – all chopped up and served fresh. Don’t be fooled, though, all salads are not created equal. Be aware that some dressings and proteins can be high in fat and sodium when you make your selection.
Filling your body with good food will help fuel your brain and keep you focused. No matter where you choose to eat on campus, make sure you take time to really view the menu and the nutritional information provided by each restaurant. You’ll find that healthy options are everywhere.