There are plenty of things you can do to eat healthier. It’s not about strict dieting or depriving yourself of the foods you love, it’s about eating smart. Here are some basic tips to eating better, feeling better and keeping yourself healthy.
Here is the new food pyramid. It places a larger emphasis on fruit and vegetables and separates the top shelf.
Even though we’re all busy at college it’s important not to skip breakfast. It gives us the energy we need to keep going throughout the day and a healthy breakfast can help us to snack less. Even if you are running late for class ensure to grab something to eat on your way.
The Packed Lunch
Bringing our own lunch to college may be the best way to control your diet and will save you money. A good lunch will give you the energy you need to keep going until dinner. Make sure to include all the main food groups and limit snacks high in sugar and fat and drinks that are also high in sugar. A lunch you prepare yourself often contains less salt and sugar than convenience/ fast foods.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day.
Try to avoid sugary drinks. Also limit your intake of caffeine (coffee/ tea/ energy drinks)
Try bringing a reusable water bottle to college and refilling it at one of the many water fountains on campus.
Fruit and Veg
Eat at least 5 portions of fruit/ veg every day. They still count whether they are fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.
Drinking in moderation is an enjoyable and usually harmless part of student life. However getting drunk regularly can have potentially serious physical, social and academic effects. Its affects concentration and makes you more likely to miss classes, hand in work late and do poorly in exams.
Drinking in excess can also affect your health in the long term. It gives you increased risk of liver disease, having a heart attack, gaining weight and getting cancer.
The recommended maximum weekly intake of alcohol for males and females differ. It is 21 units per week for males and 14 units per week for females.
- Make a shopping list. Check what you have already and make a list of what you need. This will help you plan healthy meals and avoid buying stuff you don’t need.
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach as this is will make you more likely to shop impulsively and buy foods that aren’t good for you.
- Take your time shopping and check the labels. Avoid foods high in sugar, salt and fat if possible.
Healthy Eating on a Tight Budget:
- You can save money by buying foods in bulk. Bags of fruit and vegetables are cheaper than single items (if you will eat them within a few days), canned goods are cheaper if you buy value packs and even breads can be bought in bulk and then frozen.
- Look out for seasonal foods, as they are generally cheaper. Your local farmers market will provide plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Use your leftovers to turn vegetable trimmings into soups and leftover fruit into smoothies. Leftover dinners can be used as packed lunches for the next day in college.
- You can create high-protein meals by adding lentils, chickpeas and beans which are cheaper than meat or can be used to make meat dishes go further.