There are certain elements unique to college life that can impact nutrition habits and cause students to lose sight of the benefits of eating healthfully. While students work tirelessly to balance their studies, work, family, and friends, they may not leave much room for taking care of their bodies. By developing good dietary habits, one not only increases their state of physical health but they can make significant improvements to their mental clarity and energy levels. Consequently, diets high in fat and refined sugars can cause one to feel sluggish and unmotivated which indicates some truth behind the old saying “you are what you eat”. Stephanie Sobol, Associate Director of Health Promotion, Student Health Services, states that “it’s important for students to think about how they’re fueling their bodies and learn how to balance their plates so that they’re eating the right foods and the right amount of those foods”, adding that “it’s smart to plan ahead and make sure you’ve got some healthy snacks on hand to sustain you in between meals.” Doing so keeps the metabolism going and prevents overeating that often happens when you go too long without eating.
What Does a Balanced Plate Look Like?
- It’s Colorful: Half of your plate should be full of fruits and vegetables to provide you the necessary nutrients to improve your physical and mental health.
- It’s Lean: One quarter of your plate should be a lean protein like fish, beans, egg whites or chicken to help you feel fuller throughout the day.
- It’s Complex: One quarter of your plate should be complex carbohydrates (whole grains) such as whole wheat pasta or bread, bran cereal, or brown rice to keep energy levels steady throughout the day.
Keep Your Dorm Room and Backpack Stocked With Healthy Snacks
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Fiber nutrition bars
- Carrot sticks
- Low-fat yogurt
- String cheese
Learn the truths about nutrition and diet myths and enjoy some free food by attending the event, “Nutrition: Believe This, Not That” at the Campus Cinema on October 17th from 7-8:30.
Have a question about nutrition? Access the Ask the Dietician feature on the Student Health Services website.