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Nutrition 101: Eating Healthy on the Hill

Craving that brownie sundae at Café 1919? How about some De Neve Late Night? Sometimes it’s hard to maintain proper nutrition on the Hill. There are far too many delicious fast food options.

We stopped by the Nutrition Fair on the Hill Tuesday night to get some tips on healthy eating from members of the American Medical Student Association and the Nutrition, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Club. Here’s what they had to say about how to eat well when you live in the dorms.

1) Overview

The sum of your meals each day should consist of: meats, fruits, veggies, dairy products and grains. If you are a vegetarian, your protein needs to come from eggs, dairy products, grains, soy products, beans, and nuts. These are good even if you’re not vegetarian! Limit the amount of sweets you eat as well. See dessert as a reward for being healthy for a week or two, instead of having it too often. Lastly, sodas should be avoided as much as possible. Not only are they extremely caloric, but they can also  wear away your teeth and eventually weaken your other bones.

2) Breakfast

So, let’s start with breakfast. First and most important meal of the day, right? Some people simply don’t have time for breakfast.  A great, quick breakfast could be as simple as:

  • A banana and a cup of milk. “The combination has many carbohydrates, calories, sugars and minerals,” said Ferin Yazdani, a member of the Nutrition, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Club (NCAM).
  • Greek yogurt mixed with canned fruit or regular yogurt. Then top it off with something rich in carbs, such as bagel or toast with peanut butter. This is a favorite breakfast combination of Halee Michel, a member of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).
  • For protein needs, try egg whites, or an egg white omelette.
  • Try cereal, but not ones high in sugar content. Opt for brands like Special K or Raisin Bran.
  • Fruit juices are good, to an extent, because they are usually high in sugar content, and should be drank rather sparingly.
  • Before you leave the dining hall, pick up a fruit, such as a banana, apple, orange or grapefruit.

3)  Lunch and dinner

  • Salads. Leafy greens are definitely healthy, and should be eaten consistently. “But they can be unhealthy,” said Katie Patel, another member of AMSA. “Dressings  like Caesar, ranch and Thousand Island dressing are filled with fatty goodness and can make a salad pretty unhealthy.” Instead, try using vinaigrette or Italian dressing. Avoid croutons, pasta and tortilla strips.
  • Sandwiches. Many of your nutritional needs can be met just by eating a sandwich, if you use wheat bread, cheese, meat and a few veggies.
  • For protein, try chicken and turkey breasts, or fish, such as tuna or shrimp.
  • If you’re vegetarian, you can check out Section 1 again.
  • Rice or bread will satisfy your grain requirement. Then eat some fruits, and finish off with a glass of milk or soymilk.
  • Apples and oranges are a good choice, Yazdani said, because of their richness in vitamin C. Pears are also great, he added, since the provided fiber is “good for your digestive system.”

4)  Late-night cravings

Want a midnight snack? Instead of heading to the vending machine to munch on chips, candy, cookies or other unhealthy stuff, try some more healthy alternatives. Try to stock up on fruit in the dining hall when you leave. Fruits have natural sugars that will satisfy some of your cravings. If you want something crunchy or salty, instead of cookies and chips, try eating nuts and pretzels…or, if you want to be even healthier, carrots and celery sticks are always a great option.

What are your tips for eating healthy on the Hill? Comment below or tweet us @dbmojo.

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