How to Eat Cheap and Healthy in College

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How to Eat Cheap and Healthy in College

The benefits of being healthy in college:
○ Better grades
■ Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory)
○ Reduced stress
■ A well balanced nutrition will boost our resistance against the effects that stress brings upon the body.
○ Get sick less
■ Living longer
■ Looking better
■ Feeling good

One of the most important factors in supporting a healthy, balanced immune system is good nutrition

Some challenges to eating healthy in college include:

■ Stress
■ Lack of Time
■ Campus meal plans
■ No or little kitchen access
■ Money is not an excuse: The healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy ones.

Just good enough:
■ Eat healthy most of the time
● Pizza and beer on Thursdays is fine
○ Remember: Eating healthy is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle

What to Eat (and what to avoid)

A generally healthy diet is rich in:
● Fruits
● Vegetables
● Fish
● Nuts
● Whole grains
● Yogurt
● Lots of fresh water

Foods that contribute most to weight gain:
■ French fries
■ Potato chips
■ Sugar-sweetened drinks
● The average American drinks 526 12-oz sodas per year
○ That’s 6,000 empty calories per month
■ Red meats/processed meats
■ Refined grains
■ Fried foods
■ 100-percent fruit juice

How to Eat Cheap and Healthy in College

How to save money at the grocery store:
■ Make a list
■ Eat before you leave
■ Look at unit prices
■ Buy in bulk
■ Use coupons
■ Buy generic

Healthy foods for $2 or less:
■ 100% Whole Wheat Bread
● Price per serving:
○ 18 cents
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 120 calories
○ 6 grams protein
○ 3 grams fiber

■ Brown Rice
● Price per serving:
○ 18 cents
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 170 calories
○ 2 grams fiber
○ 4 grams protein

■ Greek Yogurt
● Price per serving:
○ $1
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 150 calories
○ 0 grams fiber
○ 14 grams protein

■ Frozen Vegetables
● Price per serving:
○ 25 cents (depending on the veggie)
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 82 calories
○ 6 grams fiber
○ 4 grams protein
■ Bonus! 115% of the Daily Value for vitamin A

■ Fresh Bagged Spinach
● Price per serving:
○ 33 cents
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 20 calories
○ 2 grams of fiber
○ 0 grams protein
■ Bonus! 160% of the Daily Value for vitamin A, 40% of the Daily Value for vitamin C

■ Canned Refried beans
● Price per serving:
○ 34 cents
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 140 calories (vegetarian)
○ 7 grams protein
○ 6 grams fiber

■ Canned Tuna
● Price per serving:
○ 70 cents
● Nutrition per serving:
○ 60 calories
○ 13 grams of protein
○ 0 grams of fiber
■ Bonus! 500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids

Other good cheap options include:
● Bananas
● Eggs
● Frozen tilapia

Protips:
○ Keep bread it in the fridge and it will last longer
○ Eggs have gone bad when they float in water
○ “Expired” foods are often fine to eat (but do your research)
○ Make “mason jar salads/meals”

Eat Healthy for Cheap

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/nutrition/facts.htm
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/10/18/a-college-guide-to-eating-healthy/
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/12/pinpointing-the-higher-cost-of-a-healthy-diet/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hu-twitter-general
http://www.thehealthyeatingguide.com/healthy-eating-statistics/#bookmark1
http://www.stress.org.uk/files/Combat-Nutritional-Stress.pdf
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=24
http://www.naturalnews.com/035415_foods_skin_health_beauty.html#
http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/foods-feel-better
http://stayhealthy-stayhappy.com/2011/06/28/25-ways-to-eat-healthy-on-a-college-budget/
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cheap-healthy-15-nutritious-foods-about-2-dollars?page=3