Getting your daily value at the D-hall
Jessica Sewing | Collegio Reporter
There are at least five different food options available at Gibson Dining Hall: it’s no wonder students find it hard to choose what to eat. The real test is making the right choice. The fear of gaining the dreaded “freshman 15” has students facing the challenge of picking healthy food from the mix of tempting choices.
Linda Timme, Crawford County nutritionist, says students should look at eating in the dining hall as if they were eating at a restaurant: it’s about making smart and educated choices.
Timme’s first advice is to avoid fried foods. She recommends that students look for options that are baked, grilled, broiled or roasted, like the dining hall’s “savory baked chicken.”
Timme also says students should choose tomato-based sauces, such as marinara, instead of cream sauces, like Alfredo. Marinara sauces are lower in fat and calories because the primary ingredients are tomatoes and spices, whereas the primary ingredients in Alfredo are butter and cream.
On days the dining hall serves things like the baked potato bar, Timme says it can be easy to turn something that can be healthy into something unhealthy. She says students should avoid topping a potato with sour cream, butter, cheese and bacon bits because they add tons of fat and calories. Instead, she recommends that students try adding salsa and broccoli.
Every day the dining hall offers the salad bar and the sandwich bar, but Timme says students still need to avoid adding certain toppings that add unneeded calories and fat. She recommends using things like cheese, full fat dressings and bacon sparingly on salads. When making a simple sandwich, use whole wheat more than white bread, add lettuce and tomato to your sandwich and top it with mustard, instead of mayonnaise.
One of the easiest places to start making healthier choices is picking the right beverage. Timme says students should avoid drinking lemonade, fruit punch or soda and instead go for skim milk, or water with lemon.
Timme says a single glass of soda has nearly 200 calories and around 17 teaspoons of sugar. If a student drinks a glass of soda at lunch, and another at dinner, that will add roughly 250 teaspoons of sugar per week to their diet. She says that’s more than a liter of sugar in soda alone, not to mention the almost 3,000 unneeded calories. To burn the 3,000 calories, the average person would need to run for eight hours.
The dining hall posts the menu for the week, including nutrition facts, online, and nutrition cards are placed in front of the food being served. Eating healthy is about making smart choices and being an educated consumer.