Eating healthy is hard. Eating healthy in college is even more difficult.
Stress, busy schedules and late nights create an on-the-go atmosphere conducive to late-night Cheetos binges.
Fortunately, dining options are available for students or anyone living a busy, tight-walleted lifestyle. Below are six staple college foods primed to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
High protein, nutrient density and a price that can’t be beat make eggs a collegiate superfood.
Eggs contain about 80 calories and six grams of protein and can usually be bought by the dozen for less than two dollars.
Starting the day off with eggs may also help you stay full until lunch. Protein found in egg whites and essential nutrients and fats in the yolk will keep your stomach satisfied longer.
Critics cite cholesterol as a reason to avoid eggs, but according to the American Heart Association, adults can consume an egg a day without worrying about harmful cholesterol effects.
Dieting disciples from Atkins to Paleo condemn grains as an agent of obesity. Fortunately, the carb controversy is a myth.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “grains, especially whole grains, are an important part of a healthy diet.”
The key to utilizing grains in your diet is understanding the difference between healthy whole grains and unhealthy refined grains or white bread.
Whole grains contain the entire grain: the kernel, bran and germ. The bran is a good source of fiber while the small germ is dense with nutrients.
Refined grains (white bread products) are milled, leaving only the kernel—the least nutritious part of the grain. Because they are stripped of nutrition and fiber, refined grains are less satisfying, causing you to consume more calories to feel full.
Conversely, whole grains are a good source of nutrients, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Using whole grains wisely can energize you and fill your stomach.
Think of spinach as your general manager of nutrition, addressing many of your body’s behind-the-scenes needs.
This vitamin superstar is full of vitamin A, vitamin K, antioxidants, folate, calcium and dietary fiber.
Combine its nutrient density with its easy accessibility, all while registering at seven calories per serving, and it’s easy to see what makes spinach such a dietary must.
America’s favorite fruit made the list due to its easy accessibility in Atherton and Greek houses, its inexpensive cost and the fiber and nutrients it holds.
Natural sugars found in apples can keep you energized, while the fiber in the apple’s skin aids colon health and keeps you fuller longer.
So next time you’re craving a sugary snack, take a bite out of a Granny Smith instead.
There’s a reason bodybuilders won’t stop raving about chicken breast.
At 21 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat and only 114 calories per 100-gram serving, poultry packs a serious protein punch.
In addition to helping rebuild muscle, protein also takes longer to digest, meaning eating chicken breast will help you stay full after a meal.
Chicken breast’s real beauty lies in its versatility and availability. Baked or grilled, chicken breast is easy to cook and usually available at Atherton, earning it a spot among collegiate superfoods.
Cold-Cut Turkey Breast
Folks, let me be clear: based purely on nutritional value, cold-cut deli meat is not “healthy.”
Manufacturers often use fillers, salt and nitrates to extend meat shelf life and enhance flavor.
However, the convenience, low price and dependable availability of deli meat in school dining venues earns it an honorable mention in this list.
Think of cold cuts as your cheat-meat—a healthier alternative to a burger or pizza. However, all cold cuts are not created equal.
Choose low-fat turkey breast or chicken breast for your next sandwich. These birds are high in protein and relatively low in calories and fat.
Turkey breast measures in at only 50 calories per serving while providing nine grams of protein and only one gram of fat.