National Nutrition Month Part 3: Simple Swaps

By Laura Van Camp

Everyone has a unique relationship with food. Some of us eat food under emotional circumstances, others look at food simply as a necessity. No matter what your eating habits are, here are some simple changes you can make to have a healthier relationship with food.

            Soda pop is unavoidable in our culture. Most of us have heard that soda has been linked to obesity, kidney damage, and even certain cancers, yet it continues to be one of the most popular drinks in America. Whether these large scale health factors are a motivation for you to stop drinking soda, the sugar content of soda is alarming and carries its own health risks. If you drink soda, at least limit it to12-oz a day.

            Coffee is a college student’s staple – especially around the time for finals. Coffee itself is actually pretty good for you. It has a low calorie count, it is known to reduce the risk of liver disease, enhance endurance, and the caffeine does help when you’re in an energy slump. However, if you have too much coffee, some of these effects will reverse. In addition, adding the cream, sugar, and flavored syrups increases the calorie count. So enjoy a cup or two, but keep an eye on what goes in your coffee.

            Snacks are necessary for most of us throughout the day, especially in between classes. However, we have a tendency to choose snacks that have a lot of sugar and calories. Even granola bars, a seemingly healthy choice, can pack alarming amounts of sugar! Snack wisely and plan ahead – bring a banana instead of the granola bar or some apple slices instead of potato chips.

Apps like myfitnesspal can help you count calories and pay attention to what you eat in a day, including the balance of fat, carbs and protein. The best way to get healthy is simply to be mindful of what you put in your body, and journaling your food will do just that!

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