Nutrition For College Students

If you are anything like me you seem to constantly be scouring the Internet looking for the next best workout, the next best recipe, or nutrition tips for college students. My go to’s end up being random sights, but I test out what they recommend anyway.

Well, let me say that this is not ideal. Ultimately you want to be retrieving your nutrition information from reputable and trusted sites.

Try the United State Department of Agriculture, otherwise referred to as the USDA, for example. Working as a reputable organization for over 150 years, President Lincoln was the one who founded the USDA.

The USDA is responsible for many programs such as SNAP, food safety laws, and ChooseMyPlate.gov, which is the program that will be most helpful to you.

This website will lead you to the wonderful world of reputable nutrition information. Functioning as a free website, Choose My Plate is a great nutrition site for college students that allows you to track the foods you eat and your physical activity. Also, it will break down food categories for you; fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and the like that you consume day-to-day.

One of the most interactive aspects of the sight is the Super Tracker tab. Here they have a food-a-pedia where you can search through over 8,000 different foods to find out their nutritional value to you.

Also, by signing up for “My Plan” you enter information about your body type and lifestyle and it comes up with a eating plan catered to you. You will also see a personalized fitness and nutrition plan.

The site offers tips for food to. Without it you might not know to “check product labels – is a grain with “whole” before its name listed first on the ingredients list?” It is these tips that will help you at the grocery store as well as at home.

Not sure what to make for dinner? Look no further than this site. Choose My Plate offers a wide variety of sample menus and recipes. Things like the “Healthy Lunch Challenge Cookbook” to “White House Recipes” or “Sample Menus for a 2000 Calorie Food Pattern.”

The last one maps out one week of meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Each of these days offers 2000 calories, a safe caloric intake for anyone trying to lose weight. Talk about the hard work being done for you!

Here is a sample of the lunch menu from Day 1,

Taco Salad:

2 oz tortilla chips

2 oz cooked ground turkey

2 tsp corn/canola oil

¼ cup kidney beans

½ oz low-fat cheddar cheese

½ cup chopped lettuce

½ cup avocado

1 tsp lime juice (on avocado)

2 Tbsp salsa

Beverage:

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

When it comes to physical activity, most American adults (18-64) fall short of the daily recommendation. ChooseMyPlate.org writes,

“Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level OR 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level. Being active 5 or more hours each week can provide even more health benefits. Spreading aerobic activity out over at least 3 days a week is best. Also, each activity should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time. Adults should also do strengthening activities, like push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights, at least 2 days a week.”

Nutrition for college students, in particular, is important. Being healthy, physical and nutritional in college is a plus. Not only will you be able to avoid the freshman 15, but you will get sick less often and feel great about yourself.

Sure there will be a day when all you want is to sit inside eating Ben and Jerry’s and watching Friends reruns, or maybe that is just me. But if you try to live and eat healthy, then these days won’t be so awful on occasion.

Be mindful of how you fuel your body and your body will be good to you in return.

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Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg is a junior at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism. At school, Kait can be found interviewing people or hitting the gym. As the Colleges Against Cancer president, Kait helps to fight cancer and she educates her peers on the disease. Apart from school she works two jobs, enjoys traveling, and cooking for her roommates.