Gone are the days when our mothers bribed us with dessert after dinner if we ate our vegetables. Lately, USC students have actually become more concerned about their dieting habits and want to eat more nutritious items. Just look at Russell House food venues: Freshens, Horseshoe Deli and the salad bar are popular stops for health-conscious Gamecocks. There’s only one problem: these attempts at eating healthier fail due to unnecessary additions to the food.
The word "salad" has become seemingly synonymous with the term healthy, and has hundreds of recipes to choose from. Generally, salads consist of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and so on. This doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong. People usually don’t stop there; they add meats, croutons, cheese and enough dressing to sink a ship. A salad with all of these additives could total close to 1100 calories with 65 grams of fat. Considering most daily nutrition values are measured by a 2,000-calorie diet, this is less than ideal. So how do you change your salad for the better? Change what you put in it!
Instead of lettuce as the base for the salad, try dark green vegetables like kale or spinach. As far as salad dressings go, they all have potential to be high in calorie content, so ease your pouring hand. Nutritionists recommend one tablespoon per salad. Add some fresh fruit and veggies for a sweet, crunchy burst to your meal. For better weight-loss results, try to limit croutons, fatty meats or high-sodium condiments.
Another food favorite amongst wellness watchers is yogurt. With selections like parfaits, smoothies and frozen desserts, what’s not to love? Yogurt’s calcium, Vitamin D and probiotics make it a health-food staple, but all of those “fixins” at the yogurt bar could be detrimental to your health goal. Adding fruit is one thing, but dishing out whipped cream, gummy bears and sprinkles is another. Keep your yogurt simple and nutritious.
Last but not least, the sandwich. Bread, meat and vegetables are all you need. Condiments like mayo, mustard, oils and cheese may be tasty, but they increase calorie content. Adding vegetables is one way to make the sandwich nutritious, but I don’t mean lettuce and tomato. Throw on peppers, spinach or even cucumbers to spruce up your meal.
The key thing to remember is: make your meals simple. A little preparation and focused mindset will keep those urges for extra toppings at bay. Healthy habits take time, but every step will put you on the right path.
Here are some fun and helpful links for healthy eating: