Eat Smart

This or That: Quick tips for finding the healthier option

by Anneli Lambeth, blogger

(Courtesy of blog.foodfacts.com)

Everyday, we have to make decisions on even the simplest food choices and when you are in a hurry—as many college students definitely do not have hours to cook—it is easier to make the excuse that we do not have enough time to make healthy choices.  But it is easily possible to make healthy food choices if you can remember a few simple things.  Nutrition labels are your friend! They may seem scary to read at times… but have no fear!

  • Always look at the serving size for the food you are eating.  Sometimes a bag of something may have two or even three servings.. so if you eat the entire bag, the calorie content is doubled or tripled.
  • Of course, choose low-fat foods.  The one thing that is highly debated nowadays is calorie content.  You need to keep in mind that lower calorie foods are better… BUT fiber and protein content are big factors as well.

Some foods that are higher in fiber content may be slightly higher in calories.. but this may be okay depending on the food. Fiber is a very important need for our bodies, as it helps our bodies in many ways.

Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Lowering your blood cholesterol level, by removing bile acids that digest fat
  • Regulating your blood sugar
  • Preventing constipation, by keeping your bowel movements going smooth.
  • More filling, so it helps with satisfaction and can help you lower the amount of food you eat in general. For example, try whole grain products with higher fiber contents

So how do we pick the ultimate healthy foods? Here are some comparisons of simple healthy food ideas versus the non-healthy version.

Cereal

Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal (honey almond flax): 200 calories per serving, 4.5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein!!!

versus..

Rice crispies cereal: 0 grams of fat, 119 calories per serving, 2 grams of protein, no fiber.

Go Lean wins! Why, you ask, if there is less calories and fat in the Rice Crispies?? The problem is this food will keep you satisfied for a short time without the fiber content. Go Lean will keep you full for hours because of the fiber and protein content.

In general, some terms to remember when looking for the right foods:whole-grain, high fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, low sodium. KASHI FOOD rocks when it comes to healthy food choices!

Terms that indicate unhealthy food: enriched white flour, white bread, soda, artificial ingredients, and anything that is deep-fried, breaded, crispy, oily!

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