If choosing the right diet as a college student is stressful, worry not. Herein is how to eat healthy in college.
The process entails eating veggies, fruits, healthy snacks, and calcium-rich foods, drinking enough water, eating at the right time, and using apps to track your diet.
Eating healthy on campus is not the norm for everybody. College is probably the first time for most students to be fully independent and make decisions.
Deciding what and what not to eat can be difficult, especially if tasty snacks surround you.
Do not be fooled because you need energy for your ever-busy schedule, and it will come from eating the right things.
If you are facing difficulties when choosing your diet, here is how to eat healthy in college.
What It Means To Eat Healthy
Eating healthy means that you get the correct balance of all food nutrients. These are mainly fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. You can have access to these nutrients by incorporating fruits, grains, and protein servings in your diet.
The mistakes that college students make include eating few fruits and not eating enough high-fiber foods and vegetables.
They prefer junk food, fried foods, sodas, and sugary snacks. These are not healthy and can cause health issues and obesity.
Instead here is what you should go for.
Always Take Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits provide the body with much-needed nutrients, and you need to eat them as frequently as possible. Remember that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Fruits are healthy options that help improve your health. Additionally, you are better off eating fruits as snacks than eating other unhealthy snack options.
You need to eat fruits whether you want to or not for the sake of your health. You need to mix things up and take fruit salads or smoothies for that tasty feel. You can also grow tired of eating one fruit over and over hence the need for variety.
It would be best if you also ate veggies with every meal. You can decide to have a veggie smoothie for breakfast, and choose some green beans over other fatty accompaniments to your sandwich. You can also eat veggie toppings instead of greasy meats.
Drink Enough Water
Your body needs enough water, as lack of it results in dehydration. Water does not have calories and is an excellent beverage if you are watching your weight.
However, plain water can get boring, and you need to flavour it by adding some sliced fruits or cucumber.
You can drink water from any source. Most colleges have their tap water treated, and you can drink it. You can buy bottled water as well.
However, note that some contain sugary flavour additives, and you need to read the labels to know the ingredients.
Take Healthy Snacks
Taking snacks is inevitable on campus. You will most likely watch a movie, attend a party, or relax in your dorm. During such times, you might eat a lot of snacks. You need to choose healthy options and avoid those with excess fats, calories, and added sugars.
It would help if you ate more nuts and seeds, rice cakes, dried fruits such as raisins, berries, and apricots, and air-popped popcorn.
You can keep these snacks in the fridge, but they also keep well at room temperature. Also, keep some fresh fruit such as apples and oranges.
Try Out New Foods
College dining halls offer so many dishes, and you can never lack a healthy meal to eat. You need to be open-minded and go out of your comfort zone. Eating what you lie daily will not help you, and you need to change meals.
It becomes easier to eat a balanced diet if you eat different foods. If you are a picky eater, change your ways. Try any new foods that you see in the dining hall. You might be surprised that you like them.
You can start by eating what you like and add a little bit of something that you have never tasted before.
Do it several times, and you will soon love the new foods. Additionally, engage the cafeteria staff and learn what each food choice contains. That way, you can make informed decisions.
Go For Different Calcium Sources
Calcium is a vital nutrient that has multiple benefits in the body. It helps build strong bones and healthy teeth and boost other body processes such as blood clotting and muscle function. Given its benefits, it should be part of your diet.
Milk and other dairy products are excellent calcium sources. You can have some yogurt with berries or drink milk with your meals. You can also eat cheese but keep watch of the calories. Just take one serving daily, if possible.
If you are allergic to dairy products or do not like them, you can try out other calcium sources.
Nuts, green leafy vegetables, soy milk, rice milk and almond milk are excellent alternatives. You need three servings of calcium-filled foods daily. You can also take dietary supplements.
Eat At The Right Time
Nutritionists recommend that students eat three main meals a day and snacks in between. You must eat to your fill each time so that you do not keep getting hungry and eating some more.
It would be best if you ate dinner approximately two hours before bedtime. Hence, avoid taking extra snacks before sleeping. If you have to eat snacks, eat healthy options such as oatmeal.
Utilize Your Smartphone
You can download some excellent nutrition apps that help monitor your diet on your smartphone. Some measure your calorie intake and give tips and recipes of what to eat.
That will keep you motivated. Others, such as Fooducate, help you shop for the right foods. You can scan the barcode on any packed food, and the app will tell you whether the food is a great choice.
If you did not know how to eat healthy in college, this article has provided useful pointers. Follow them, and you can be sure of eating healthy foods for the rest of your campus life.