Student Wellness Program

Nutrition

Healthy Eating

Maintaining a healthy eating style starts with small changes that build a foundation to sustain a lifetime of health benefits. Serving as fuel for the day, healthy eating contributes to stronger physical and mental functioning. Critical to establishing a healthy eating routine, is to ensure your meal consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein.

Follow these simple guidelines to create a healthy eating solution that fits your needs:

  • Fruits – Focus on whole fruits (fresh, frozen, dried, or canned in 100% juice).
  • Vegetables – Adding a variety of fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables to salads, sides, and main dishes prepared in healthful ways (steamed, sautéed, roasted, or raw) is a great way to introduce them into your meals.
  • Grains – Look for whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain bread) that are listed first or second on an ingredient list and limit desserts and snacks with grains (cakes, cookies, and pastries).
  • Protein – Vary your protein routine (seafood, beans and peas, soy products, lean meats and poultry).
  • Dairy – To cut back on saturated fat, opt for fat-free milk, yogurt, and soy beverages.

Remember to keep half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and to drink/eat less sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars. Drinking plenty of water is always the best alternative to the many sugary drinks available. Nutrition Facts labels are excellent ways to keep track of varying levels of sodium, fat, and sugar content in everything you choose to consume.

Need help finding a recipe? The USDA offers a variety of recipes, videos, and cookbooks to find your perfect meal. You can also create and print your own cookbook with your favorite recipes! Give it a try at: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/.

Every season comes with its specialty of fruits and vegetables – here is quick guide to let you know what’s in season now: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide.

To get more Information on all things nutrition, visit the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate website, at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/.

 

Eating Away from Home

Eating food away from home can often take a toll on a student as their busy schedule, or student budget, may not offer enough time to plan for, and prep, healthier meal options. However, full-service and fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and grocery stores tend to offer meals that have higher calories, saturated fat content, sodium, and sugars than foods that are prepared at home.

Follow these 10 tips to help you engage in opting for a heathier option while dining out:

  1. Drinks – Although water is the best option, opting for unsweetened tea, or drinks without added sugars, is a good choice. Remember, that many coffee drinks may also be high in saturated fat and added sugars.
  2. Salads – Start your meal with a salad packed with a variety of vegetables and limit the amount of dressing you use.
  3. Sharing – To control the amount you eat, consider sharing a dish with a friend or family member.
  4. Customize – When possible, customize your meal by ordering a smaller portion that may consist of a side dish or appetizer in place of a regular entrée.
  5. Snacks – Pack snacks such as fruit, vegetables, or unsalted nuts when studying, on a road-trip, or commuting, as an alternative to readily available options that tend to be unhealthy.
  6. Vegetables – Review vegetarian dishes on a menu to ensure you get your intake of vegetables and opt for fruits as a side dish or dessert.
  7. Nutrition facts – Many menus now offer nutrition information associated with their dishes. Take a moment to review them and look for items with lower saturated fat, calories, and sodium.
  8. Options – Opt for steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes in place of those that are fried in oil or cooked in butter.
  9. Grains – When it comes to sandwiches, pasta, or burgers, request 100% whole grains.
  10. Remember, you don’t always have to eat everything on your plate. If you’re full, take home the leftovers!

To help you get the most for your budget when planning for nutritious meals, follow these 10 tips provided by the USDA: https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet16EatingBetterOnABudget.pdf.

The NIH has compiled a useful list of dietary supplement fact sheets. If you currently take a supplement, or want to gain more information about one, please visit https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all/.

SuperTracker is a free resource developed by the USDA that allows you to be proactive in taking care of your health, by being able to develop personalized nutrition and physical activity plans, track your foods and physical activity, and get tips and support to help you make healthier choices. To take advantage of this great resource, please visit: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/.

California Northstate University College of Medicine ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7300