By Alecia Sexton
While we may have some luring and enticing dining options on campus, like Subway and Starbucks, we often forget that even though the packaging advertises “fresh” and “natural” products, some of the offerings from these establishments may not be the healthiest for our bodies, though these venues do offer healthy options.
As young and developing college students and athletes, it’s important that we make informed decisions regarding what we eat. I’ve devised a food guide for some of our on campus eateries.
Many students are unaware that saturated fats, while required in minimal amounts in order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, are like sludge in the body. Not only does it slow digestion, it also has a high tendency of placing itself in arteries and contributing to atherosclerosis, a.k.a. the stiffening of arteries. On a similar note, sodium, while required for proper fluid and electrolyte balance, contributes to high blood pressure and puts strain on the cardiovascular system. It’s recommended by the American Heart Association that we consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
While the footlong chicken and bacon ranch melt at Subway may feel like comfort food, it has a tendency to elicit more harmful effects on the body than good and promote weight gain. With 1,220 calories, 2,580 mili- grams of salt and 20 grams of saturated fat, this meal in theory fulfills 61 percent of our daily caloric requirement, 107 percent of our daily sodium, and 100 percent of our daily saturated fat requirement, according to the American Dietetic Association. This meal choice is unfavorable, since it puts you at risk of overheating.
On the flip side, the cold cut combo foot long sub has a total of 720 calories and seven grams saturated fat, making this a better option. Since it goes well with added vegetables, this meal has a higher probability of meeting daily fiber requirements. Fiber is a vital component of food that over 85 percent of Americans are deficient in.
When visiting the campus Starbucks between classes, opt out of a caramel macchiato with a chocolate chip cookie as a snack and lean more towards a light roast coffee with a buttered eight-grain roll. This option has 23 less grams of saturated fat, six more grams of heart healthy fiber and more antioxidants, since light roast coffees provide anti-aging, health promoting properties.
Editor’s Note: The Pioneer is not responsible for giving medical advice. Please refer to a medical professional for serious concerns regarding personal health.