Eating healthy on campus a challenge, but possible

By Abby Smith

What does eating healthy really do for you? Why is it such a trend? Does a better diet really affect the freshman 15 or sophomore 30?

Many students, such as David Carlisle, feel that the food options at AB are not healthy.

“The food isn’t very healthy here. Sub Connection is supposed to be a healthier version of the Cave but all the food comes from the same kitchen,” Carlisle said.

Students also share their difficulty with digestion and weight gain.

“The food goes right through you or has the opposite effect,” said John Nicholson, a senior sports management major. “I gain more weight from eating this food than when I’m at home.  I went from 160 pounds to 180.” Nicholson said.

Although not all the food is healthy, within our facilities, which include Jazzman’s, EJ and Emma’s, Sub Connection, and The Cafe, there are various ways to achieve a healthy diet. Different foods have different effects, such as burning fat or building muscle within the limited supply. A lot of students try to make their meals balanced as a form of dieting.

“A healthy meal for me is eight ounces of protein like chicken, pork, or beef, and then one cup of cooked vegetables and one cup of cooked pasta,” said Levi Summe, a health-conscious biology major.

Most of those components are offered at The Cafe or one of the other food facilities daily and Sodexo has made some changes for improvement, like Simple Servings.

“The Simple Servings bar is healthy because they make it gluten free. It normally tastes good too because it’s actually real food; everything else is microwaved,” Nicholson said.

It can be hard to eat balanced meals all the time, especially for picky eaters.

One easy way to burn calories is simply by drinking cold water. The cold water causes your body to work harder to warm up which burns calories.

“Drinking a lot of water helps to clear your system because it increases the speed of the digestion process. It also speeds up your metabolism,” said Scott Reed, an exercise science major. Overall, drinking water is beneficial for more than just hydration.

Many foods can help burn fat. As always, fruit and vegetables are at the top of that list, but protein-filled food and good carbs can burn fat as well.

 “Egg yolks contain a dietary amino acid called leucine which is essential to diets because we can’t make it ourselves. We have to eat it to use it,”  Summe said.

Fish also burn fat because of the protein it contains and the ability to boost metabolism. Oats and nuts are always a good option because they contain fiber which also helps with digestion. Wheat bread, a fiber example, is a good element in a healthy diet according to Scott Reed.

“It is better to eat wheat bread because white bread has refined grains, which means all the nutrients from the grains are removed,” said Reed. “Wheat bread also makes you feel fuller so you will eat less.”

Of course, limiting a diet to these few items would not be healthy. Diversity in a diet is necessary and there is a multitude of options that can help burn fat, build muscle, help digestion, or just make you feel good.


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