Category Archives: Healthy Eating

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

Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables is a great way to give your body energy and vitamins to help ward off illness.  In addition, most fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and are filling.  As a college student you may wonder   how can I eat more fruits and vegetables when I am busy and also on a budget?

Tips for getting more fruits and vegetables:

  • Shop for fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Look to see when your favorites are in season
  • Cook most frozen vegetables in the microwave in less than five minutes. They are just as nutritious as fresh veggies.  Here are tips for healthy ways to cook fruits and vegetables
  • Try different cooking methods of vegetables including grilling, roasting or baking
  • Keep fruit in your backpack at all times for a nutrient rich snack
  • Grab a piece of fruit with you leave the dining hall
  • Plan meals around a vegetable as the main dish
  • Make healthy fruit dips with peanut butter and yogurt
  • Make nutritious dips for veggies including hummus or yogurt with herbs

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Diet? What Diet?

Are you fed up with “diets” and realize that they just don’t work?  If so, you’ll be happy to know that research also shows diets don’t work (Mann, 2007)[i].  Diets often eliminate food groups and cause an imbalance in nutrient intake. Typically, diets are too restrictive to maintain on a regular basis.  They leave people feeling deprived, which in turn back fires and can cause people to overindulge in the foods they were avoiding.  If you want to make healthy changes to your diet, reject the diet mentality and embrace intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating (Bush, 2014)[ii] means listening to your body. Honor your hunger by eating.  And respect when you feel full.  Challenge the food police that categorize food as “good” or “bad” and instead, enjoy all food in moderation. Make food choices that reinforce your health and make you feel well.  When you are bored, stressed, or feel emotional, instead of using food as your comfort, engage in an activity that will help you manage your stress and work through your emotions.  Respect your body so you can feel good about it and be the best version of you.

Want to learn more about intuitive eating?  Read Intuitive Eating, A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.  You can browse through the book in the student resource area in 201 Student Health Center.

[i] Mann T, Tomiyama AJ, Westling E, et al. Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer. Am Psychol. 2007;62:220–233.

[ii] Bush H, Rossy L, Mintz L, & Schopp (2014). Eat for Life: A Worksite Feasibility Study of a Novel Mindfulness-based Intuitive Eating Intervention. Am J Health Promotion (July/Aug):380-388.


Nutrition Services

Did you know there is a Nutrition Clinic specifically for Penn State students at the Student Health Center?  Check it out 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.

Organic Sports Drinks: Are all sugars created equal?

Refuel, replenish, and stay hydrated. We’ve all heard this advice about what to do after a hard workout. So what do you reach for after exercise: water, Gatorade, tablespoons of sugar?

Sports drinks have been popular for quite some time, but in recent years dietitians have started questioning their value because of the high sugar content.  Gatorade has approximately 20 grams of sugar in 12 fluid ounces. Similarly, Powerade has 21 grams of sugar in 12 ounces.[i]  Both Gatorade and Powerade make lower sugar options, which contain 12 grams of sugar in 20 fl oz (G2)[ii] and 0 grams of sugar in Powerade Zero.  Consuming any type of sports drink on a daily basis will easily boost your daily intake for added sugar.  The US dietary guidelines recommend that added sugar should be limited to less than 10% of calories consumed each day. Possibly it’s time for a less sugary hydration drink.

Maybe it’s time for an organic change. Food and drink analyst, Beth Bloom[iii], states that individuals tend to purchase organic products because they think the items are healthier. But that might not be the case when it comes to sports drinks; organic sports drinks don’t mean less sugar. According to dietitians, sugar is sugar, even if it’s organic. In a recent NPR story, Haemi Choi, a sports medicine doctor at Loyola University Medical Center[iv] , explains that organic cane sugar is not healthier, or nutritionally better, than the form of sugar found in regular sports drinks.

So what’s the best way to stay hydrated?  Choi suggests water.






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.


Quick, Easy, and Healthy Snacks

Looking for new healthy snack ideas? You’veApple come to the right place! These snacks are convenient, delicious and will keep your energy up between classes.    Below is a list of healthy snacks that contain both carbohydrates and protein to fuel your body between meals, meetings, and classes.

Trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, & whole grain cereal)Fruit & Granola

Banana and nut butter roll up in a tortilla

Yogurt and berries

Pita chips with carrots and hummus

Cheese cubes and whole grain crackers

Pretzels or an apple and nut butter

Nuts, fruit, granola


Tips to prevent dehydration.

Water is one of the most critical components of the human body. Seventy-five percent of our muscle tissue is made up of water.  It regulates body temperature, protects vital organs, and aids the digestive system. Water also transports nutrients and helps remove waste from the body[1]. As you can imagine, being well hydrated is important and dehydration can lead to serious health problems.  The best way to approach dehydration is to prevent it.

Here are some tips to help you prevent dehydration.

  • Keep a refillable water bottle with you all the time. Fill it up before you leave home and familiarize yourself with the water refilling stations on campus.
  • Check the weather forecasts for high heat index days and schedule your outdoor activities in the cooler hours of the day.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases water loss and impairs the ability to recognize early signs of dehydration.[2]
  • Thirst is the first sign of dehydration. If you are thirsty, take the time to drink water without delay.



[2] Source: