Hello, WTHers! My name is Avery Bowser, and I’ll be your healthy eating guide for the semester. I’m in my third year at Syracuse, so I know that it can be hard to find fresh, nutritious food to eat amongst the dining halls and quick-service restaurants on campus. No need to despair, however – I promise you there are healthy options at all of these locations that can still satisfy your (tastebuds/cravings). To help you identify these options, I will be going to a different location each week to find a meal that is both nutritious and delicious.
This week, I decided to tackle the dining hall. There is a large range of food choices in the dining halls, many of which are loaded with calories, sodium and unhealthy saturated fats. However, they also offer a variety of healthier options:
The salad bar is always a safe bet. Start with leafy greens, which contain more heart-healthy vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce. Then pile on the veggies: peppers, carrots, broccoli …you can pick and choose your favorites. For protein, you can add plain grilled chicken, a hardboiled egg, tofu or beans. Now it’s time for the dressing. Choosing a salad dressing is an important step because many dressings are calorie-bombs (I’m talking to you, Caesar.) Even seemingly healthy dressings like Balsamic and Raspberry Vinaigrette are teeming with calories, sugars and fats. Your best bet is Lite Italian dressing, or just drizzle your salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Nutrition Facts for salad with 1 cup veggies, 4 oz chicken and 2 Tablespoons Lite Italian dressing: Calories: 260, Carbs: 12 grams, Fat: 5 grams, Protein: 34 grams, Fiber: 4 grams
The salad provides a host of essential nutrients and has enough protein and belly-filling fiber to keep you satisfied. Sometimes though, you’re just craving junk food. Luckily, most dining halls on campus offer whole-wheat pizza. Take 1 slice of pizza, and top it with fresh veggies from the salad bar or add a side salad.
Nutrition Facts for 1 slice whole-wheat pizza with side salad: Calories: 370, Carbs: 46 grams, Fat: 16 grams, Protein: 14 grams, Fiber: 7 grams
Are you one of those people who just can’t finish a meal until you’ve had something sweet? Good news: you can indulge without the bulge. In the freezer, bypass the Cookiewich and reach for a Fudgesicle for just 100 calories and 15% of your daily Calcium requirements. Or, try a healthy dessert parfait. Take a vanilla yogurt, and add fresh strawberries, or another fruit of your choosing. Then, add a spoonful of chocolate sprinkles or crushed nuts from the ice cream toppings.
Nutrition Facts for ‘Healthy Dessert Parfait’ with 1 Crowley’s Nonfat Vanilla yogurt, 1 cup strawberries and 1 Tablespoon chocolate sprinkles: Calories: 210, Carbs: 35 grams, Fats: 3 grams, Protein: 7 grams, Fiber: 3 grams
By Avery Bowser