Eating healthy in the college cafeteria can be difficult, especially your first year on campus. With so much freedom to choose everything that goes on your plate, it can be difficult to have the discipline to resist all the unhealthy choices available to you. However, it’s important to eat well if you want to stay healthy, energized and avoid gaining weight. Here is how to make healthy food choices in your college cafeteria.
Always Have a Salad
Most people don’t get too excited about salad, but the more salad you eat, the more you will really develop a liking for it. In addition, it’s one of the best ways to get all the vitamins and nutrients that you need because all of your fruits and vegetables are usually raw. Whenever you cook your produce, it loses its nutritional value, so eating a raw salad is the best way to get real unadulterated nutrition. If you load your salad up with plenty of nuts, seeds, beans, and other great stuff, you can really make it much heavier than you would expect.
Skip the Soda
You don’t need to be earning UC’s health informatics degree to know that one of the worst things you can do for your body is drink soda – whether it be regular or diet. Regular sodas are filled with so much sugar that you can really do a lot of damage to your teeth, your pancreas and other organs in your body. Plus, you will slow down your metabolism and throw yourself into some really dramatic ups and downs energetically. If you’re drinking diet soda, you will be consuming a lot of nasty chemicals, including aspartame, which doesn’t make you fat when you drink it, but it turns off the switch in your brain that tells you you’re full, so most diet soda drinkers tend to over eat quite a bit.
Cut Down on Bread
These days, there’s a lot of research that is showing that bread and other forms of heavy carbs are not only fattening, but they can cause quite a bit of inflammation. Inflammation in the digestive tract, in your joints, even in your brain. Some nutritionists believe that the consumption of too much wheat can lead to inflammation in the brain that could potentially be the source of various forms of dementia. You don’t have to go completely gluten free, but just having an awareness of how much bread and carbs you are consuming is very important.
Eat Seasonal Produce
When you pick out different fruits and vegetables to put on your plate, you want to make sure that you know what is in season. In general, root vegetables, like squashes, potatoes, beets and carrots tend to be in season during the fall and winter. Fruits and berries, like watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries, tend to be in season during the spring and summer. If you’re not sure what is and isn’t in season, then you should do a little research from time to time, or get yourself a calendar that displays seasonal produce.