Saturday, January 24, 2009

Making Nutritious Choices Without Sacrifice

     I started this blog because some of the dieting advice out there is just not realistic for college students. We eat out alot, cost, time and convenience are huge factors and sometimes our friends are bad influences. So I'm always grateful when I find plausible tips out there.
     Now that school's back in session, take-out might be tempting. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has compiled the nutrition information for some common Chinese food into a convenient mock menu. The calorie content in some popular dishes is outrageous. General Tso's Chicken can be expected to have 1300 calories, while Shrimp with Lobster Sauce only has 400. Another good tip they suggest: order food lightly stir-fried.
    MSNBC features reasonable advice in "Get Rid of the Guilt! Trade Up to Healthier Treats." For breakfast, it suggests small changes like trading regular cream cheese for whipped. It doesn't expect you to swear off fast food completely, but does point out that if only McDonald's will do, a regular hamburger is a wiser option than a Big Mac. If going out with friends to a Mexican restaurant, choose chicken fajitas over the quesadilla. The article even offers reasonable dessert choices.
     Even with the best of intentions, students aren't going to be preparing themselves three nutritious meals a day, every day. Making realistic food choices, like those featured at CSPI and MSNBC, keep us from spending unhealthy amounts of time planning food intake, and help prevent future overeating. If you don't deprive yourself, cravings won't become overwhelming later. 

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