BC students need to get fresh
February 15, 2006
A great man once said, “I like big butts and I cannot lie.” OK, Sir Mix-a-lot said it, but it has always been one of my favorite ’80s rap songs.
Unfortunately, many Americans take their love of big butts to an extreme. According to the Center for Disease Control 136.5 million Americans ages 20 and older are overweight or obese.
I find it a bit silly to blame McDonalds for tempting me into bad eating habits. I wouldn’t bring a lawsuit against the Kellogg Company and Nickelodeon for cartoon characters making kids snort sugar for breakfast.
It’s all about reasonable food choices, which isn’t easy when you’re a college kid rushing from one class to another. But there are ways to eat on campus and at home without gaining the “Freshman 15.”
Start with what is usually open in the cafeteria: the Panorama Grill. Usually it’s hard to find something in there that isn’t factory processed, breaded or deep fried, But recently the grill has stocked a selection of large salads, and sandwiches with fruit side dishes for about $4.95 and a breakfast combo of fruit, yogurt and granola for $2.50; the grill even started carrying a vegetarian selection. It costs a little more, but grabbing a cup of soup from the grill is far better for your body and mind than getting a package of doughnuts from the vending machine.
What we get on the go, usually processed foods like packaged cookies, pastries and chips, contain trans fat which is broken down slowly and results in weight gain. Trans fat has been linked to cancer, liver toxicity and other problems, according to Better Nutrition magazine.
Fresh is definitely better. When the Renegade Food Court is open, usually around noon, it has an even better selection of fresh sandwiches.
I’m no culinary master. To be honest, I’ve started two kitchen fires in attempts to cook. However, there are cookbooks tailored to younger people that take little time or effort to prepare. “The College Cookbook,” by Geri Harrington, covers the basics of what should be in your kitchen and cooking terms. The recipes are basic but quite good. In terms of food for your brain, it’s best to try foods with omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatories that support the circulatory and nervous systems, as well as your skin, eyes, cell membranes and sperm. These fatty acids are found in cold-water fish like salmon and tuna, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
A fun thing to try is cooking with friends. Grab a bottle of wine, a few ingredients and pop in a DVD, or turn on some music while you try new dishes. You can hang with friends, maybe lose a few pounds and get a better GPA. Studying helps too, but a better diet can’t hurt.