Food is an important part of a balanced diet

Over the summer I’ve seen a lot of students who aren’t feeling well, not a surprise since my job is seeing students who don’t feel well. As I’ve tried to get to the bottom of what’s what, I’ve been surprised and somewhat taken aback by how many of you survive on $2 Happy Meals and $0.99 extra value menu items. While I am loathe to denigrate (or pass up) a $2 meal that comes with a free toy, fast food does not form the basis of a healthy diet.

I concede that the food service isn’t always on the same schedule as hunger. After a long, stressful day in the lab or library, throwing together a soufflé might not be super relaxing. McDonalds, on the other hand is open late and doesn’t require any advance planning.

But it’s not that hard to throw together a healthy meal. Here’s a brief guide to feeding yourself well without spending a lot of money or all afternoon prepping mise en place with an expensive German knife.

First, you have to find the food. Your mom, roommate, friend, or even good old COTA (the local city bus for you out of town newbies) can help get you to fresh suppliers. Along with local groceries, don’t forget the affordable bounty at our local ethnic markets. Three or four are a stone’s throw north on High Street. The North Market and its fabulous Saturday farmer’s market is a brisk 2 mile walk south on High Street. For a comprehensive list of fresh food, check out:

Hungry Wolf’s Guide to Local Food Procurement

Once you get provisions, what do you do? How about salads? Hard-boiled eggs, precut salad bar vegetables, and pre-cleaned greens in bags make a decent salad a breeze. Bulk nuts and dried fruits are great ways to add protein and fiber. Add a side of bread, and you’re running your own Panera. Check out the link below to stretch your salad wings:

Minimalist’s 100 simple salads for the season

Real, live college students commented on their food survival techniques @ 101-Cookbooks:

Dorm Food Ideas

If you have access to a microwave and fridge there’s almost nothing you can’t do. Look for one of the many well-reviewed products on the market that make cooking rice or pasta in a microwave a breeze, and check out these sites:

Eating on $25 a week

Cooking ramen in the microwave

Cooking rice in the microwave

Once you’re an accomplished chef, what are you to do with all those odds and ends you have left? Try the Restaurant Puppy. You enter what you have and the puppy spits out recipes for you to try:

An Ingredient based Recipe Search Engine – Recipe Puppy

So, veteran Buckeye eaters, what do you do? Please post a comment and share your epicurean expertise with the rest of us.

Post voraciously written by Victoria Rentel, MD (Ohio State Student Health Services) with a title shamelessly stolen from Fran Lebowitz

178 thoughts on “Food is an important part of a balanced diet

  1. Exactly very informative article, I completely agree with this. Food is an essential part to maintain health and diet. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Tina Comston,
    It is really very informative article. I am a fitness lover myself and follow a strict and healthy diet. I don’t starve myself. One needs to follow a healthy and balanced diet.

    Successfully managing your weight comes down to a simple equation: If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. And if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Sounds easy, right? Then why is losing weight so hard?

    I have some important points for losing weight that I follow personally-
    1.Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet-
    Permanent weight loss is not something that a “quick-fix” diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to replace high-calorie foods with healthier, lower-calorie alternatives, reduce your portion sizes, and become more active. Various popular diets can help jumpstart your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work in the long run.
    Find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating.

    2. Seek out support—
    whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group—to get the encouragement you need.

    3.Slow and steady wins the race-
    Aim to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.

    4.Set goals to keep you motivated-
    Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident, boost your mood, or become healthier for your children’s sakes. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you will reap from being healthier and leaner.
    Use tools that help you track your progress.

    High-fiber foods are higher in volume and take longer to digest, which makes them filling. There’s nothing magic about it, but the weight-loss results may seem like it.

    High-fiber heavyweights include:
    Fruits and vegetables – Enjoy whole fruits across the rainbow (strawberries, apples, oranges, berries, nectarines, plums), leafy salads, and green veggies of all kinds.
    Beans – Select beans of any kind (black beans, lentils, split peas, pinto beans, chickpeas). Add them to soups, salads, and entrees, or enjoy them as a hearty dish on their own.
    Whole grains – Try high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, and air-popped popcorn.

    You shoul do the following things regularly-

    a.Get plenty of exercise-
    Exercise is a dieter’s best friend. It not only burns calories, but also can improve your resting metabolism. No time for a long workout? Research shows that three 10-minute spurts of exercise per day are just as good as one 30-minute workout.

    b.Drink more water-
    Reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, alcohol, or coffee with water. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories.

    I also Keep journal and weigh myself regularly, keeping track of each pound and inch you lose. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you’ll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated.

    Thanks in advance buddy!

  3. heyyy!!

    its a great post,…….

    Food combining sounds very interesting. This is a rule I think I’m going to work to learn more about.

    So excited about a healthy future saved from bloating and other digestive nightmares!!!!

    thanks a lot keep updating such nice information

  4. nice article , i mind more suggest from me is Drink more and more water Reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, alcohol, or coffee with water. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories. I also Keep journal and weigh myself regularly, keeping track of each pound and inch you lose. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you’ll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated. likely comment by Monnica Wood in above or last comment. thanks for your sharing.

  5. Exactly very informative article, I completely agree with this. Food is an essential part to maintain health and diet. Thanks for sharing!

  6. You make a very good article, simple and interesting to observe and not make bored.
    I really liked and really appreciate your work, may be a good reference, useful and handy.
    So, Thank you. Greetings healthy and keep posting

  7. Great blog by Tina. As Lana says, I, too, must say that water is very important–it’s the most important nutrient known to man.

  8. Interesting post with great explanation on importance of food balanced diet. Good effort and keep sharing such crucial healthy recipes or food related tips.

  9. The article is quite nice and interesting to observe. We wait for a new article posts, may be useful and more successful.
    Thank you for sharing, really helpful visit

  10. Exactly very informative article, I completely agree with this. Food is an essential part to maintain health and diet. what we eat will determine our body.
    I Think Food combining sounds very interesting. This is a rule I think I’m going to work to learn more about. So excited about a healthy future saved from bloating.
    thanks a lot keep updating such nice information

  11. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories.
    I try to consume fruit with much fiber and vegetables in breakfast and lunch,
    4liter water erveryday
    and carbo in dinner.

  12. Great post Tina,

    I think the people should understand about diet is not only reduce their consumption of foods, but also the ingredients of them like your article above

  13. in this world, we need to balancing our consumption when we eat something.. But, dont forget if our body need protein and some nutrition from food.. i agree with this article so we understand why to balancing our consumption with food. thx

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