I’m here to save you from getting misled by your favorite Sweetgreen and Roti “healthy fast food” joints on campus …
Few things irritate me more than people who have a skewed vision of what “healthy” is. Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD and creator of F-Factor Diet, emphasizes that ordering a salad topped with your favorite veggies is low in calories and provides you with a plentiful amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, topping them with falafel (yes, it’s made of chickpeas but it’s also fried) and a heavy dressing can clock you in for your days worth of fat and calories. This can easily be avoided with substitutions like balsamic vinegar!
I’m all about online food logs because they give you the chance to easily track the nutrient content of your favorite restaurant foods and allow you to make changes to your existing diet. Play around with the nutrition calculators by creating a pita or salad so the next time you decide to treat yourself, you’ll be a health savvy consumer and not be duped by false advertising. Like always, try incorporating a variety of vegetables, grains, and lean protein. Make sure to steer clear of cheese, the “crunch”, and heavy dressings.
Chicken roti (384 kcal, 16g fat, 35 g protein)
Chicken kabob (127 kcal, 2g fat, 27 g protein)
Earth Bowl (sounds healthy, right?)
(734 kcal, 54g fat, 37 g protein)
Spicy Sabzi (455 kcal, 23.5g fat, 20 g protein)
Each person’s body is unique in that they require different caloric needs. Recognize what your calorie requirements are to help you make smarter food choices. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that it takes about 3,500 calories below your calorie needs to lose one pound of fat. In order to lose 1-2 pounds per week, you will need to gradually reduce your intake by 500-1000 calories per day. Remember: moderation is key. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, make sure to decrease your overall fat intake, increase your protein, and moderate your carb intake to be able to maintain regular physical activity.