Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Healthy eating in college is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Test Anxiety

As finals week approaches, most Penn Staters begin to flock to their favorite study spots to start preparations for a grueling week of exams and projects. Worrying about exams is common, and can even help your mind stay focused and sharp. However, when worrying becomes intense and overwhelming, it may be test anxiety.
Test anxiety can affect anyone. Experts suggest a few simple strategies that everyone can use to help reduce test anxiety and increase your chances for success during finals week.

  1. Learn what study styles work for you. Think about exams you have done well on in the past. How did you study for those exams? Consider using similar strategies for upcoming exams.
  2. Establish a routine. Make a schedule for the next few weeks to help you follow a similar routine each day. On the days of your exams, follow the same steps. This will help you feel calm and well prepared.
  3. Eat healthy and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and fuel your body with healthy food during study sessions. Your body and brain need attention when studying. Check out some easy, healthy recipes at:
  4. Be active. Exercise to relieve stress and boost your mood. Although you may feel like you are too busy studying, it’s important to take an active break.
  5. Sleep is important. Sleep after studying to help encode new information into long term memory.  This will help you recall the information on the day of the exam. Getting a good night’s sleep is important when you’re studying for exams.
  6. Take a break. Check out Penn State Libraries’ De-Stress Fest.

  1. Ask for help. Consider meeting with your professor or a staff person from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). If you think you are experiencing test anxiety, talk to somebody about it. Book an appointment with CAPS at: 814-863-0395.

Nutrition Services

Did you know there is a Nutrition Clinic specifically for Penn State students at the Student Health Center?  Here is what students are saying about it:

“I found that the dietitian offered information that was useful and effective for me.”

“I liked the recommendations she made to improve my health in a way that I would be able to keep up with.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed my visit. ”

Check out our inviting space and become a champion of your health!  A Registered Dietitian will meet with you to discuss your goals and personal health needs.  These needs may include, but are not limited to, digestive disorders, disordered eating, vegan or vegetarian diets, general health and wellness, weight management, nutrition and exercise, and diabetes.  Make an appointment online through myUHS or call 814-863-0461.  The cost is $28.00/hour.

Spring has Sprung for Fruits and Vegetables

With Spring here, a larger variety of fruits and vegetables are available once again.  By eating and cooking in season, you will discover produce has more flavor and can even be more budget friendly.

It is a great time to experiment with new recipes.  Fruits and vegetables make great side dishes and main dishes.

Looking for ways to get started? Try one of these ideas:

  1. Plan one new recipe a week and build from there.
  2. Host a potluck with “fruits and veggies” as the theme.
  3. Visit local farmer’s markets
  4. Check out these free cookbooks at

Added Sugars

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines included for the first time a recommendation for added sugar.  Added sugar specifically refers to sugars and syrups added to foods during processing*.  The Guidelines recommend that no more than 10% of your daily calories should come from added sugar.  This translates to 12 teaspoons of sugar or 50 grams daily.  Keep in mind, a 12 ounce can of regular soda contains 40 grams of added sugar.

So, what does this mean for your diet?

  • Choose water, milk or calorie-free beverages instead of sugary sodas, sport drinks and blended coffees.
  • Select breakfast cereal carefully. Even ones that say “healthy” can contain added sugar.
  • Read food labels. Added sugar goes by lots of different names with the most common being: cane juice and syrup, corn sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate and nectars, honey, malt syrup, molasses, brown sugar and agave.
  • Keep your diet rich in fruits, vegetables and dairy. They contain natural sugars, not added sugar.

By 2018, all food manufacturers are required to use new food labels (see picture below) which include a line for added sugars.

Current Label                   New Label

*Source: Mayo Clinic

The Student Farm at Penn State

A grant from the Sustainability Institute in 2013 prompted the planning process for a student-run farm. Today, the Student Farm celebrates 1 year! The Student Farm focuses on sustainable food and is in their second growing season. In the beginning phases of development, community stakeholders envisioned the farm as a gathering place where students and community members meet to learn and work in partnership to resolve real-world challenges. The mission of the student-centered sustainable farm and sustainable food and systems program is to increase local food access, enhance food systems education and cultivate a sense community. The Student Farm has definitely accomplished this mission!

The 2016 Sustainable Food Systems Program touts the following metics:  300+ hours of community engagement, 500 students have helped on the farm, 450 cardboard boxes have been replaced by reusable bins, over 900 tomato plants have been planted. Student Farm interns play an integral role.  In fact, Housing and Food Services contributed $32,000 to provide stipens for five student interns to manage the farm. Get ready for the Student Farm Club plant sale to be held in April (Date TBD), held across from the Creamery on Curtin Road.

Healthy Living Starts With You

UHS offers a 12-week weight management program for students.  Participants will meet with a registered dietitian six times to discuss personal dietary and fitness goals.  Students with the following health needs are encouraged to enroll in the program:

  • Prediabetes
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Overweight/Obese
  • Metabolic Syndrome

This is a great time to start building healthy habits for life! Learn more by calling 814.863.0461 to make an appointment.