When you live at home with your parents, you don’t have to think very much about how to maintain a healthy diet. Most parents make those decisions for you, and while you may eat your salad begrudgingly because your mother tells you to, deep down you’re glad she does because you know that it’s good for you. However, when you’re in college, there’s no one to nag you and there will be a wide variety of options in your cafeteria each day. You may feel tempted to eat waffles and bacon each morning for breakfast, a hot dog for lunch, and hamburgers for dinner, but if you do, you’re probably going to gain a lot of weight. That’s why you need to know how to keep everything in balance.
Here is how to make the best food choices in your college cafeteria.
Always Eat Raw Produce
No matter what meal of the day it might be, you always want to make sure you’re consuming some kind of raw produce. If it’s the morning, then you’re probably going to want some kind of fresh fruit. If it is lunch or dinner, you should be sure to eat some kind of side salad with the rest of your food. This is because a lot of the vitamins and nutrients in your food are eliminated when they are heated, so if you want to keep your immune system strong, you have to eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
Most cafeterias include a lot of options that are filled with sugar. It’s also important to note that just because something isn’t blatantly dessert, doesn’t mean that it’s not filled with sugar. You should be aware of what kinds of foods break down into sugar. Bread, pasta, potatoes, tomato sauce, and white rice all basically break down into sugar. This means that you want to make sure you are eating some kind of nutrient-dense foods when you eat these foods in order to balance out your meals.
Know What’s in Season
One of the best ways to stay healthy and keep your immune system strong is to always eat food that’s in season. With each changing season, there’s a different list of fruits and vegetables that will be harvested in your region of the world. If you are going to university, you are in luck, because there are a lot of local farms in the Bay Area, and that means that there will be fresh, seasonal produce available to you at all times of the year. You just want to educate yourself on what’s in season, and then you’ll know that you’re eating the fresh stuff from the local farm, and not the genetically modified produce that traveled halfway across the country.
Look for Items That Come Out Fresh
As stated earlier, the longer your food is heated, and the hotter it gets, the less nutritious it will be. Likewise, it won’t taste as good either. That’s why you want to always keep an eye on which trays are coming out fresh and eat those dishes, rather than the ones that have been sitting under the heat lamps for hours.