Maintaining a healthy diet in college

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Stop what you’re doing for a moment, and think about the typical college student’s diet: typically pizza and fast food and beer comes to mind. It’s a stigma among all students across the nation. But why? It’s cheap, and it lasts. However, because of this, students tend to put their nutrition and health on the back burner. Fruits and vegetables become something you get when you visit home for the holidays. In turn, weight gain and illness are frequently more abundant causing students to miss class and force them to spend even more money on doctor visits. So how do we solve this dilemma? I’ve come up with five easy ways to get the vitamins and nutrients college students need, while staying within budget.

-At fast food restaurants, substitute a salad or fruit for French fries-You know you see it on the value menu, you know you should do it, but you don’t. I know the feeling. It’s hard to eat a salad while on the go, but by stopping for a couple minutes to eat that salad (not drenched in dressing or topped with fried meat!) instead of the fries will help you get your daily vegetables in for the day, and maybe give you a chance to stop and relax for a few minutes.

-Run to the store and pick up some fresh fruit. I know it’s not always the cheapest method, but it’s better for you. Get a few bananas, apples or grapes to eat for breakfast or as a snack in between classes. Fruit is not only better for you, but it makes you feel more “full” therefore causing you to feel less hungry throughout the day.

-Got a little extra cash to spend? Buy a multivitamin! That way, if you didn’t happen to eat well that day, you can at least get the vitamins your body needs to stay well.

-Make good choices at the vending machines. Those Doritos look awfully tasty don’t they? Don’t do it! Instead, get a granola bar or trail mix. Sometimes vending machines are the only option when running to and from class, but just watch what you get.

With these five helpful tips (along with exercise of course) you will be on your way to a healthier you. Remember, you are in college, so it’s alright to let loose and have fun on the weekends but don’t jeopardize your health in the process. Go be healthy!

Liz Wesselman can be reached at