It’s 3 p.m. You have an hour break before your next few classes and you’re pretty hungry. You wander around The Avenue staring at the chips, trying to decide what kind you should get. If this situation sounds familiar, you may want to pay close attention. Although the chips sound good at the time, they will most likely leave you hungry or with an upset stomach.
We are all educated enough to know that a piece of fruit or some nuts would be the better option, but when we’re hungry, who really wants an apple over a bag of Doritos? The main reason why you should choose the apple is to feel satisfied and well energized. Processed and fried foods like chips and donuts are filled with preservatives, salt and fat, which cause you to feel tired, lazy and still hungry — which really defeats the purpose.
When my stomach is rumbling after sitting through a long biochemistry lab, my first instinct is to head over to Topango’s for chips, salsa and guacamole (and believe me I have many times in the past and will no doubt do it occasionally in the future). I then add salt to the chips and start dipping. Yes, the fried goodness of a crisp tortilla chip combined with the perfect amount of salt, mildly spiced salsa and “I can’t believe it’s Campus Dining” guacamole sounds like the ultimate snack after a long class. After I’m finished though, I tend to feel weighed down, tired and ready for another serving.
The simple explanation is that fried foods make you feel bad and nutritious foods tend to make you feel good. Snacks to avoid when hungry include cookies, french fries, donuts and pretty much anything else fried or loaded with sugar.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes are foods we should consume every day but often replace. It’s time to push the cookies aside and let more nutritious foods take the reins. Fruits and vegetables are filled with tons of vitamins and packed with fiber; nuts and legumes have protein and essential oils.
These are all essentials we must consume, so why not incorporate them not just into our meals, but also into our snacks?
If you have the desire for some salsa and guacamole, try dipping carrots or celery instead of a grease-drenched chip. If the craving is for sweet foods, try some honey-roasted peanuts instead of a cookie. If you are really hungry, dip an apple into peanut butter. Other great options on campus are pita and hummus, fruit smoothies, a Power Bar, frozen yogurt for calcium, mixed nuts, a single portion of cereal and so much more.
Even though delicious chocolate chip cookie may taste good, it will not fill you up and will probably give you a small sugar high that may leave you crashing later. So next time you are pacing around the chip section at snack time, turn around and look at the bright nutritious fruit that’s just calling your name, because you know it will be your friend while you are eating it and while you are digesting it.
Hey, I know it’s a tough thing to do, and I am not one to tell you to never eat chips and salsa or ice cream for a snack. We all need treats every once in a while, and we should never deprive ourselves of something; we should just limit our intake. So maybe share those waffle fries with a friend and eat an apple on the side. That way, you will get the best of both worlds, which is really what life is all about.