Eating healthy no longer a challenge

Kelsey Megard Columnist

You now have the power and money to buy unlimited amounts of foods; freedom to choose what you want and not having to eat whatever your parents are cooking that night. You have the food world at your fingertips. With this power comes responsibility.

 The last thing anyone wants is to be the kid that comes home at Christmas break and has put on a “few” pounds. Don’t fret. With just a few simple tricks, the “Freshman 15” does not even need to be a concern. 

Dr. Shelly Brandenburger, a nutrition instructor at SDSU, said, “From my experience, one of the challenges students have with the meal plan is budgeting. Running low on funds can often lead students to make less healthy food choices as unfortunately some of the cheapest items available can be some of the least healthy as well.” 

Remember to budget your funds. Not purchasing a beverage and sticking with water for each meal will save you cash and calories. 

Make whole wheat a necessity. Create your own anything: pasta, burritos, sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. It doesn’t matter what you are making, there are some tips you should try to remember. If there is a whole wheat option, take it; whether pasta, a wrap or bread, choosing whole wheat will boost your metabolism every time. White breads and pastas turn into simple sugars as soon as hitting your stomach. Simple sugars equal bad news. Whole wheat and multi-grains takes your stomach longer to break down and digest, meaning you will feel full for longer and you cut back on the simple carbs you do not need. 

Control your condiments. When it comes to pasta sauces: go red, not white. The calories in alfredo sauce topple over the calories than any tomato based sauce. Go for a leaner meat such as chicken or shrimp when building your pasta and pile on the vegetables. When building up that sandwich, try to avoid mayonnaise and go for mustard or hummus. Everyone loves bacon, but it is not a necessity. Try adding avocado for a little extra flavor. Vegetables should be a sandwich requirement, and I’m not talking about iceberg lettuce. Want to really add some nutrition to your sandwich or wrap? Load it with spinach, tomatoes, onion and peppers. 

Why go for the salad when the burger and fries taste so much better? Salads are usually boring and flavorless. Who wants to eat that? Answer: no one. Although, it does not have to be that way. Salads can be full of flavor. When designing your leafy creation consider adding fruit or cottage cheese to change things up. Salads are not the most filling of foods. If a salad won’t keep your stomach from making a noisy scene in the middle of class, try throwing it in a pita or between two slices of bread (whole wheat, of course). Adding protein to your creation will also keep you full for longer. 

Try to skip the fried foods. Not only does all that grease cause acne but it also has so many unneeded calories. Our bodies have adapted to favor fatty foods over anything else from back in our primal days. It was not always so easy to get food so the human body’s main goal was to store fat because they didn’t know when their next meal was coming. In today’s world we no longer have this problem. McDonalds is open 24-7. You can get a meal whenever you need it. It’s time to be stronger than your primal instincts and say “no” to the side of fries, at least some of the time. 

Staying healthy in college should not have to be a challenge. Keeping just these simple options in mind when ordering food could make all the difference.