Fuel for Thought

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Riley Hagel--Just because it looks healthy does not necessarily mean it is healthy.

As college students, a healthy diet plays an essential role by maintaining the energy needed to get through the day whether it is to keep up with classes, sports, clubs or just trying to balance a hectic lifestyle all together.

The snacks you choose to eat appear to be healthy because the labels say “whole-grain” or “fat free” but what if the quick snacks you consume for energy are not as healthy as you think?

These are some of the snacks that are assumed to be healthy due to their labels but in reality are just as calorific and detrimental as junkfood.

Grapes. It is easy to think that by grabbing a handful of grapes on the way to class is a good idea, after all, they are berries. However, grapes are high in calories and are full of sugars that don’t do much more than what an energy drink would do for your body. A healthier choice would be a handful of raspberries. Raspberries are lower in calories, rich in vitamins and contain antioxidants that develop a strong immune system.

Soy milk. Lately, soy milk has become very popular amongst the health conscious community. Unless you are a vegan, skim milk is a better alternative. Soy milk is artificially induced and it does not provide the essential vitamins that skim milk does. Skim milk is not only virtually fat free but the calcium maintains and strengthens bone density.

Vitamin-enriched water. The word “vitamin” in the title does not necessarily mean that it is healthy. Sure it may have some nutrients but those beverages contain sweeteners and other additives that can increase calorie content. A better option would be vitamin seltzer or naturally flavored waters such as Hint Water which contain no sugar, artificial sweeteners or colors.

Yogurt with fruit. Fat free yogurts may seem healthy but that does not make it the best choice. The fat may be free but you will end up paying for the corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and added sugar. Instead have plain unflavored yogurt mixed with fresh fruit cut into pieces.

Popcorn. Many people think that unbuttered popcorn is healthy. Even though it is convenient and not extremely fattening, why not reach for some almonds instead? Almonds are high in fiber, which is essential for a balanced diet, protein, potassium and other important vitamins and minerals. Also, unlike popcorn, almonds can make you feel full longer.

Breakfast bars. On your way to class in the morning, a quick and easy breakfast is a breakfast bar. However, be careful what kind of breakfast bar you choose. Nutri-Grain bars, although made with real whole-grain, contain jelly that is processed and contain artificial sugars. Instead, choose one without the jelly such as Nature Valley.

Healthy eating is a must with the hectic lifestyle of a college student. Although some people may think that they are eating healthy, there are even healthier choices that they can make. Hopefully after seeing this list of healthy alternatives, you will be able to find healthy snacks to get you through your busy day.

About Cassie Wyatt

I am a junior at California Baptist University pursuing a career in Journalism/Public Relations, I have been with Banner for a year and a half and I am also working on the Angelos team this year. I have a huge passion for writing, so having the opportunity to spread news and share my gift with my peers is a huge blessing for me.